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Online rumors dangerous to social order

(People's Daily)

16:27, November 03, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Beijing, Nov.3 (People's Daily Online) --Not long ago, Tianya forum carried a post titled "Man with Incurable Disease Kills Eight Village Officials Whom He Believed to Be Evildoers," claiming a young man from Yunnan province brutally murdered eight officials at the local village committee.

This story was quickly reposted on many other websites and forums and attracted great attention of the media and netizens. However, it was quickly discovered that the story was a complete fabrication.

The rapid spread of the story from Tianya to many other websites and forums, including Xiqinhuiguan, shows the dangerous potential for rumors to spread online.

Given that this made-up story was unimaginably strange at first glance, and people can easily find many loopholes after a quick read, how did it spread rapidly online and cause quite a stir in the Chinese Internet community?

Other recent popular false stories include: "Armored Car Robbed near Houyanqiao in Dalian. One Person Killed," and "Middle School Girls in Hunan Kept as Lovers by Local Officials and Wealthy Men. Girls Get Paid 500 RMB per Month." People cannot stop wondering why there are so many rumors on the Internet.

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Leave your comment10 comments

  1. Name

helen at 2011-11-06175.142.245.*
Ref: PD User replied at 2011-11-05 07:38:30I don"t normally stoop to reply to ignoramus but if you are adult enough, you should check the international news about Hillary Clinton proceeding with the use of the internet to propagate disinformation and subversive info to undermine governments ....Not going to spoon feed you though. My advice to you is to do your own research.
Jen Yang at 2011-11-06220.164.118.*
Well said, People"s Daily. There is freedom only with responsibility. Progress occurs when people act responsibly, and not when they are allowed to spread lies and untruths to disrupt peace and harmony.
Wake Up at 2011-11-0598.243.104.*
Government watchdog should play an important role in such case by tracking down those bad apples and punish them accordingly. Today"s China has no fear when facing superpowers overseas. The real danger comes within as rumors, civil disobedience, ... is created, stirred up by western governments, news media and any hostile element. As vast majority Chinese living standard has been rising rapidly, Chinese people has the duty, right and responsibility to condemn and isolate those bad apples and to pump more positive energy into the social system.
PD User at 2011-11-0567.253.5.*
Certain control is necessary before online rumours become a pastime and culture. That"s why increasingly more and more sovereign nations require all internet users to register so that they can be traced. This will encourage responsible and ethical online behaviour.(On the face of it this sounds acceptable and correct, but given the remainder of your statement, it"s clearly a manipulation.)On the international scene, the US State Department decided under Hillary Clinton to promote and finance online disinformation and subversive exercises to undermine governments and countries not submissive to US Global Tyranny. (You wouldn"t mind providing a source for this information, would you?)But then of course, this is an extension of US arrogance and online terrorism.(I sure hope other readers are laughing at this conclusion as much as I am.)With about 500 million internet users in China, control is absolutely essential for social order, national security and sovereignty. (And, presumably, you would appoint yourself as the arbiter of that order. Sure sounds like American propaganda to me. You should stick with the Socialist version of suppression.)China should do what is in China interests. (I agree.)This is of paramount importance. (Hyperbole is unnecessary.)There is no need to apologise nor explain to foreign powers. (No, there isn"t. But a little bit of introspection and humility would be more productive than blaming all your problems on those "cowboy" Americans."
CK wong at 2011-11-04124.82.99.*
Rumours are meant for transmission, the net could be abused just like some TV media and daily news papers do the same by sending out unvouched news or rumours for certain agenda or to hurt certain quarters. News watch must be set up by government and keep an eye on theese abuses. You can reduce the impack, but can not eliminate them.If the posting is with malicious intend, then the poster must be punish together with the person who repeated the message without checking. Issue of lesser harm should impose financial penalty, if seriously affecting the socialty, then a compulsory jail term would serve them right

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