China's top cybersecurity authorities launch campaign combating online rumors, punish accounts spreading false info on stock market and social security policies
Published: Jul 16, 2023 01:57 PM

cyberspace Photo:VCG

cyberspace Photo:VCG

China's top public security and cybersecurity authorities launched a campaign of combating online rumors from Saturday to July 21 and punished 373 accounts for spreading false information targeting China's stock market and social security policies, in an effort to create a harmonious and clean online environment.

During the "week of combating online rumors," the Ministry of Public Security said it will closely work with governmental agencies, organizations, companies, communities and rural areas and hold offline themed activities, advocating for Chinese internet users to surf the web in a regulated manner and express their opinions rationally, collectively maintaining order in cyberspace. 

They will also strengthen online and offline interactions, distribute legal education pamphlets, themed posters, and audio-visual content, delivering knowledge about identifying, discerning, and preventing rumors reaching the public, according to the ministry. 

The Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission (CAC) also unveiled some typical cases involving rumors after some 373 accounts were punished for violation of laws and regulations. 

For example, some accounts spread a rumor title "summary of the financial policy roadshow," claiming that a meeting would discuss several financial and economic policies, which triggered a significant reaction in the stock market. The CAC said this typical "stock market mini-essay" rumor, which fabricates authoritative conjectures, has a harmful impact on markets and investors.

Another rumor involves with "social security cards come in four different colors," with each color supposedly catering to a different group of people and having different functions. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security clarified that while certain localities used to issue first-generation social security cards in different colors to make it easier for different groups such as children, elderly, and working people, the third-generation social security card that is currently being issued nationwide only comes in one color and has no differences in function.

Recently, the country's top cyberspace authority has been considering a series of measures to clean up cyberspace environment, including tightening management on we-media platforms by banning them from frequently exploiting hot topics to increase followers or make profits. The cyberspace regulator also published a draft on July 7 addressing cyber violence and bullying content. 

Since the MPS's launch of the special action to combat and rectify online rumors in April this year, in response to the prominent issues of recurring and unceasing online rumors, a series of important measures have been taken. The authority has pursued a number of lawbreakers and criminals who fabricated and disseminated online rumors using current issues and events, while also targeting on "cyber army" groups that spread rumors to divert traffic for profit, achieving significant results, according to the ministry. 

During a national meeting on work concerning cybersecurity and informatization, which was held from Friday to Saturday in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the need to thoroughly implement the important guidelines of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on boosting China's strength in cyberspace, and to vigorously advance the high-quality development of the work on cybersecurity and informatization.