7-year penalty for spreading rumors on Net

By Global Times – Xinhua Source:Global Times - Xinhua Published: 2015-10-28 1:08:01

Rumormongers can be sentenced to up to seven years imprisonment for spreading fabricated information online in China, media reported on Tuesday.

According to China Central Television, those who publish false alarms on natural disasters, police notices or deliberately spread rumors on the Internet will be held for up to three years in prison if the spread of the false information has disturbed social order. Those whose rumor mongering causes serious consequences can be put behind bars for three to seven years.

The punishments have been written into an amendment to the Criminal Law, which will take effect on November 1.

China began in 2013 to implement a 10-clause judicial interpretation which defines what kind of online behavior could be regarded as "fabricating facts to slander others" and what could be regarded as "serious" violations. It rules that people face defamation charges if online rumors they post are viewed by more than 5,000 netizens or retweeted more than 500 times.

Since the Ministry of Public Security's crackdown on rumormongers online in 2013, a local court in Beijing gave the first ruling on an Internet rumormonger last April. The netizen, who defamed celebrities and the government, was given a three-year jail term.

According to a report issued by the China Internet Network Information Center in 2014, China has 490 million consumers of online news, 270 million people using microblogs, and 277 million social network users.

Posted in: Society

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