One of the bloggers detained in a recent crackdown against ‘online rumour mongers’ told police he fabricated over 3,000 stories in order to ‘get famous’.
According to Xinhua, Tai Huohuo (née Tai Zhihui) was arrested in Shenyang, Liaoning province by Beijing police investigating online rumours.
Following the Wenzhou high-speed rail disaster in July 2011, which killed 40 people and injured nearly 200, Tai fueled a rumor that foreign nationals involved in the accident received more compensation than Chinese citizens by fabricating a claim that an Italian passenger received as much as €30 million. The post was shared 12,000 times within two hours and garnered him an additional 1,500 followers.
Sensing how easy it was, Tai began creating more rumors about the railways ministry, the Chinese Red Cross, controversial PLA major-general Luo Yuan and even the 1960s Communist propaganda poster boy Lei Feng.
As Erik wrote yesterday, it may have been the rumours about Lei Feng (beloved, unimpeachably brilliant Lei Feng) that were the final straw.
Tai was unabashed, saying he has succeeded in becoming famous, and for that reason publishers will offer him a book deal.
Interviewed by police, Tai’s father said his son was a “bad seed” and that they could do whatever they want with him. One wonders why he possibly felt the need to act out for attention with lovely parents like that?
[Image via: China News]