Hangzhou man detained for spreading radiation rumors

13:36, March 21, 2011      

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The West Lake branch bureau of the Hangzhou Public Security Bureau penalized an Internet user with a 10-day jail sentence and a 500-yuan fine for spreading rumors that radiation from Japan has polluted the sea area around China's Shandong Province on March 20.

The 31-year-old man, surnamed Chen, is a worker of a computer company in Hangzhou. He told police that he saw a piece of information on the Internet on March 15, which said a reliable source had confirmed the effects of radiation over sea areas near Shandong Province from leaking nuclear materials out of Japan's nuclear power plant. The notice instructed people to tell family and friends to store salt and dry kelp as much as possible and not eat seafood from the area for one year.

Chen said he saw the news and delivered it to family and friends without a second thought. However, Chen did not expect that his post would be blindly followed and quickly spread through the city on the Internet, triggering a panic among citizens.

After being criticized and educated by police, Chen realized he had caused a very bad impact on social stability and published a notice on Internet to clarify the rumor he spread before.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online
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