China scrubs online rumors from Internet, shuts down sites

Chinese authorities removed 21,000 online posts in a government crackdown on rumors

China has taken down more than 210,000 online posts and closed 42 websites since mid-March as part of a crackdown on Internet rumors, which authorities claim represent a danger to society, officials said Thursday.

The Chinese government strictly censors any sensitive or anti-government content. But the political chatter online has grown in recent weeks because of a controversy surrounding a top official, Bo Xilai, who has seen his career plummet and is now linked with an investigation of alleged homicide of a British businessman.

China ordered earlier this month Twitter-like microblogging platforms to temporarily prevent users from publishing comments on other users' postings. The microblogging sites said this was done in order to clean up what they described as harmful illegal information on the sites.

On Thursday, Chinese officials noted Internet users had been fabricating rumors that said military vehicles were in Beijing and that the city was in trouble, according to the state-run press Xinhua News Agency. Relevant ministries have taken a series of actions to investigate and prevent further rumors. This led to the detention of six people, who allegedly fabricated online rumors.

Authorities are also focusing on the alleged online rumors spreading on the country's microblogging platforms, said Liu Zhenrong, an official with China's State Internet Information Office, according to the Xinhua report. Some users were creating the rumors to attract attention, he said. But users from outside China have also been using the sites to fabricate rumors, Liu claimed.

China's microblogging platforms, which have often been used as forums to criticize government officials, are already enacting new measures to control posted content. Late last year, China began demanding that the sites require users to register with their real identities in order to make postings on the sites. The country's two largest microblogging platforms, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, however have yet to fully implement the real-name policies across their sites.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?