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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?