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China The Internet Technology

China Detains Internet Users For Spreading Rumors 89

alphadogg writes "Chinese authorities have started to detain Internet users for allegedly spreading online rumors, in its latest measure to control the country's social media sites. China's State Internet Information Office said it determined several online Internet rumors were fabricated, and instructed relevant departments to prosecute the offenders, according to a Tuesday report from China's state-run press agency Xinhua. The so-called rumors include a case where a user spread alleged misinformation about income tax provisions by forging state documents. The user was detained for 15 days. In another case, a Chinese college student from the province of Yunnan was detained after spreading what the government called a rumor on blogs and forums, about an incident where a man killed eight officials in his village. The 'rumor' had said the man killed the officials because of pollution generated from a cement factory."
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China Detains Internet Users For Spreading Rumors

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  • One rumor (Score:4, Funny)

    by residieu ( 577863 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @04:51PM (#37848844)
    One rumor was that China would detain Internet users for spreading rumors.
    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      I heard that was just a rumor that it was a rumor.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by bennomatic ( 691188 )
        Hey, bro, I heard you liked rumors, so here's a rumor about rumors about rumors.

        or something like that.
      • Sounds as if you now face two counts. Lets hope that as the Yuan rises and absorbs a greater and greater share of the World GDP that they won't use the money to invest in the US private prison industry. No doubt there are many on Wall Street, who are prepared to trade on the prospect of broad exchange of cultural values, to facilitate a Chinese entry into our markets. After all without rumor, you can't really run a business. One has to create a brand. Its important that we all understand what that will

    • Look, mate, you could be detained for spreading a rumor like that.

    • by slick7 ( 1703596 )

      One rumor was that China would detain Internet users for spreading rumors.

      An axiom, not a rumor, the tighter you hold onto something, the greater the chance of losing it.
      It is better to hold something with an open hand.

  • Gasp! (Score:3, Funny)

    by catbertscousin ( 770186 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @04:53PM (#37848866)
    Someone posted a rumor on the internet! This cannot be allowed to continue!
  • irony (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 )

    while in USA the more and more oppressive government managed to destroy free market, in China the free market is just maybe managing to destroy the totalitarian government.

    • Actually, I'm pretty sure that despite the ravings of TV pundits, the US is more free than China will ever be, market included. Also, I'm pretty sure this story was about the government crushing dissent and winning, and not at all about free marking bringing down the government. Mods, put out that flame.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is the problem with the slippery slope argument.

    • In USA, big business controls the government.

      In China, the government controls big business.

      Neither country has free market (if you look at the big picture), but USA is definitely way closer to it than China.

      To get this in perspective, in China, economic crimes such as tax evasion or fraud, and even things that we would consider far less notable than that, can (and sometimes do) result in a death sentence. One recent case [].

      • In USA the government usurped power from the people, created all sorts of unelected offices and departments, which created tens and hundreds of thousands of various rules and government uses these to make money by selling special privileges to avoid the rules.

        In China government allows free market as long as there is no political competition and all of the investment capital and businesses came there and created all of these companies, built all of these factories and various infrastructures, and now this s

        • Are you seriously saying that China is closer to the "libertarian paradise" than USA?

          similar where USA was in 19 century and before 1913.

          And that sure was a great place to live in, right?

          • similar where USA was in 19 century and before 1913.

            You can tell by this number that you are talking to a Federal Reserve hater, who thinks the worst thing in the American economy is the federal reserve.

            But even if he's right about that, he's still wrong compared to China, because the market manipulations the Fed makes is small compared to the manipulations the Chinese government makes. It isn't without reason that people want to label them 'currency manipulators.'

            • Or he could be referring to income taxes. There were all kinds of government expansions during that period. Even Prohibition, the start of the war on drugs, began not too long after. Whether you believe that laissez-faire is good or bad we lost any claim to it early in the 20th century.

              • Could be. But my experience is that people who mention the year 1913 by date are invariably Federal Reserve nuts.
                • Everything. Federal reserve, income taxes, prohibition (because in reality income taxes and prohibition are closely related, as prior to income taxes introduction, 50% of gov't funding was coming from so called 'saloon tax' - alcohol sales.) You can thank the feminist anti-saloon movement for ensuring that gov't started with the income taxes as well, by the way.

                  • , 50% of gov't funding was coming from so called 'saloon tax'

                    Wow that sounds like such a free market. :/ Come on man, crony capitalism was huge before 1913. As a starting point, think of Boss Tweed. And that's just the surface.

        • " created all sorts of unelected offices and departments"

          So the government sets out to save from destruction the environment of the planet upon which we depend for survival for and yet create and manage energy resources that the economy functioning. You think that problem is going to be so simple that it won't require lots of administrators and their staffs to actually make happen, or are we to just let that last shred of the natural world that keeps our environment healthy from pathogens and the predation

          • The government sets out to do what? Gov't doesn't do what you think it does, it doesn't at all do what you think it does and it doesn't at all have the ideals that you think it should.

            Also no poor nation cares about its environment, when a nation is poor, the people in it are only concerned with what they will eat tomorrow, not how to make their environment more pleasant or clean, etc. It is absolutely necessary that the nation becomes very very wealth before it can ever start thinking about such secondary

        • This is a misconception. If you are in a Chinese Special Economic Zone, you might be right, but even there you are limited by the focus on attracting foreign capital. China still has cities that are fully communist, after all.
  • ...but how do people know they're just rumors? Even is they *are* rumors, they're just giving them credibility and worsening their image. That said, forging state documents should be punished, at least to scare him and keep him from doing it again.
    • Indeed. At what point do interesting stories and allegory turn into rumor?

      • When everyone is too fearful to say anything ever. At that point a stable equilibrium is reached given the total absence of communication of any kind. Civilization as we have known it will cease.

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @05:02PM (#37848970)

    Seriously, does anyone believe false rumors like this when the Chinese foreign ministry said that they "protect the freedom of expression of citizens in China," []?

    • The only difference between defamation/ libel and false reporting, is that a false report doesn't really target anyone (so no 'victim' per se beyond the public trust).

      IMO, news reports should be held to the same generic standard of verifiability as a direct accusation. This crap where Fox news gets Legal protection to make up any garbage they want as long as it doesn't defame anyone, and 'report' it like it's real, is a scourge on the name of the press.

      The same should apply to any type of high profile blog

    • Seriously, does anyone believe false rumors like this when the Chinese foreign ministry said that they "protect the freedom of expression of citizens in China," []?

      We have always been a war with Eastasia.

    • Reminds me of something I heard, that the Soviet Union had better freedom protections than the US. In the Soviet Union, not only did their 'Bill of Rights' protect freedom of speech, it also protected the right to protest, and condemns those who prevent protests. And yet it was only a piece of paper. We all know how well that worked.
      • More or less like that, yes.
        The second and the third Soviet constitutions (of 1936 and of 1977 respectively) indeed guarantees - among of other rights and freedoms - the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, the freedom of assembly and the right to protest. I haven't found anything about condemnations of the preventers there, but then again I only scanned quickly over the text.

  • We are human beings, not "Internet users."
    • I don't believe that you are a human, you are an AI troll.

      That's right, you all heard me right here, on /. This is not a rumor, this is true. Please make sure everybody knows.

      Do I win the Internets?

      • I see a problem here. Your statement implies that intelligence is compatible with troll when it clearly is not.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Who is number 1?!

      You are number 6.

    • Hey, if it's good enough for Tron (or Alan Bradley at least), It's good enough for me.. User. lol
  • by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @05:40PM (#37849354) Homepage

    The Chinese government did NOT arrest anybody, nor is there a limit on free speech in China! This is a lie and a completely unfounded rumor, and you are in violation of China's non-existent free speech laws. Please stand by for questioning; you will be collected.

  • 1. The concept that you can attribute blog posts to an individual, since it is not merely obvious but assured that they posted it, no matter what it is, if their identity is on it, well, that's an interesting concept. And naive.

    2. Since identity is so difficult to be sure on on the Internet, we'll be seeing Chinese government accusations and wondering if they just fabricated the rumor postings to justify imprisonment. Yeah, I just wrote that.

    3. And since Internet in China is entirely open and unfettered b

    • Time to start paying more attention to who you vote for. And to start educating them about technology and how it should be used and not abused. But I'm afraid it's already too late.

      When has it NEVER been time to do that? It's unfortunate that everyone seems to believe the time to do so is at some point in the future, excepting the few who think "now" and the even fewer who think "always."

    • You mean I should sit on a serious (serious sam, perhaps) and note it? Sorry. :) Also on a serious note, that's what happens when those in power haven't the faintest idea what they're on about. Like the new American CIO spouting buzzwords or the judge in Britain wanting BT to block I still am not sure that voting for a different candidate is going to make a difference. :(
  • It is good to live in the USA, where people are free to spread "rumors" that the government deems to be untrue. Here is a "rumor" (cough, cough) that the government is secretly abducting citizens and implanting their brains [].
  • by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @09:45PM (#37851382) Journal

    Where will we get our iPhone 5 rumors now?!

  • I heard a rumor that there really isn't any internet traffic out of china, that all they really have is government teams of people posting stuff out for them to make us think they're actually connected. Instead all the people are actually surgically connected into the world's most powerful HUMANCENTiPAD.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.