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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Implement real-name registration, avoid Internet rumors

(Xinhua)

09:06, April 10, 2012

BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- The Internet Society of China has released a written proposal calling on the country's Internet companies and websites to strengthen self-discipline and prevent the spread of online rumors.

The spread of online rumors has become a public nuisance which seriously infringes people's rights, national security and social stability, the society said in the proposal.

Internet companies should educate their employees about professional ethics and improve their ability to identify online rumors. The companies should also comply with the government's rule for real ID authentication and at the same time well protect Internet users' personal information, it said.

The introduction of real-name authentication has been controversial, but it is believed that microbloggers' privacy can still be protected in spite of the new procedures.

The real-name information is only held by microblogging service providers who are forbidden by law to leak users' personal information, and microbloggers can still use pseudonym as screen names.

China has 500 million Internet users and more than 300 million microbloggers. Microblogs and other social network sites (SNS) have become increasingly influential in China.

However, without real identity registration, the government is concerned that spam, disinformation and rumors can surface.

The cloak of anonymity allows netizens to say whatever they like, and can lead to rumors spreading like a virus which can cause major social unrest.

Some Internet users can then unwittingly pass on these rumors, posting them as facts. False information can also be posted under the names of others, which is a severe infringement of their rights.

It is for these reasons that Internet users should actively support the rumor-resisting campaign; do not create, forward, believe and indulge in rumors. More importantly, they should accept and implement the real-name microblogging registration rules.

In the meantime, Internet service companies, like social media websites and microblogging websites, should improve ways to protect netizens' privacy and safeguard online information security.

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