In the first case of its kind, a teenager has been arrested after a post of his regarding a suspicious death on microblogging service, Sina Weibo went viral, Beijing Times reports.
Here’s the back story behind the tweet: A man was found dead outside a karaoke bar in Zhangjiachuan County, Gansu Province on September 12. While the official ruling is that his death was caused by an accidental high fall, the family of the deceased believes he was beaten up before being thrown out of a window.
16 year old Yang, a student at Zhangjiachuan middle school, posted several times about the murky circumstances of the death to his Weibo account two days after the death.
This is one of the first uses of new laws introduced last week to counter online rumor spreading. According to the new policy, posting a message viewed as inaccurate by the Chinese government that is retweeted 500 times or visited by 5000 internet users can lead to up to three years of jail.
There is much opposition to what is seen by many as heavy handed censorship laws.
“It’s far too easy for something to be reposted 500 times or get 5,000 views. Who is going to dare say anything now?” wrote one Weibo user according to Reuters.
“This interpretation is against the constitution and is robbing people of their freedom of speech,” wrote another.
[By Maia Lenei Buhre]