China’s internet-police have been cracking down on Weibo lately, including last week’s bust on an epic controversy-factory run by ‘rumor mongers.’ While policing Weibo isn’t exactly a liberal move, authorities’ next targets are the private/small-group conversations on WeChat, which is much worse.
Ding Renren [the police spokesman] said that WeChat is also a public space on the internet, and although the audience is a more limited group [than the audience on Weibo], if you spread rumors or false information that you haven’t verified in a public space, that is illegal.
Apparently, that even includes passing rumors around to your friend circles on WeChat, so be careful.
If it’s illegal to spread “unverified” rumors, this author would love to call attention to the following:
- Xinhua’s use of fetish porn, claiming to be photos from a Western execution
- China.org.cn’s usage of Battlestar Galactica photos in a piece on China’s aircraft carriers
- The People’s Daily congradulations for Kim Jong Un as “Sexiest Man of the Year.”
- Xinhua’s staggering incompetence
We patiently await the
show trials, and promise not to talk about them on WeChat.
[Image via TechNode]