China arrests two for using the Internet to defame cultural icon

The two users have admitted to fabricating the rumors, according to police

Chinese police have detained two Internet users for allegedly starting online rumors that tried to defame government groups and a cultural icon in the nation.

30-year-old Qin Zhihui and 40-year-old Yang Xiuyu both worked at a company "that deliberately fabricated rumors over the Internet," China's Ministry of Public Security said in a posting on Wednesday. The rumors were created as a way to drum up a greater online following and "illegally obtain benefits" for the two, the ministry added, without elaborating.

Both Qin and Yang have accounts listed on China's Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like service with over 500 million users in the country. The two were arrested for allegedly posting comments defaming Lei Feng, a former soldier in China's People's Liberation Army, who has figured in propaganda campaigns in the country since his death in 1962.

Lei is partly celebrated for his modesty and selflessness. But the online posts from Qin and Yang claimed Lei lived a life of luxury, prompting Chinese Internet users to complain to authorities.

Qin and Yang also allegedly created rumors targeting the Chinese government, according to the ministry. During a 2011 train accident in which 40 people were killed, the two posted that local authorities had spent 200 million yuan (US$32 million) to compensate only foreigners who were in the crash. The claim was re-posted 12,000 times two hours after it appeared, and stirred up public discontent against the government, the ministry said.

Other Internet posts by Qin and Yang tried to discredit a well-known expert on military affairs, a senior journalist, public figures and ordinary people. Both Qin and Yang are still under arrest, and have admitted to fabricating the rumors, according to the ministry.

Since the rise of Chinese social networking sites, police in the country have routinely tried to crack down on alleged online rumors, at times even arresting people. In some cases, authorities have detained people for posting sensitive information critical of Chinese officials. Last year, a Twitter user in the country was held by authorities after posting a political joke about a major government meeting.

Earlier this month, Beijing authorities set up a site where users can be alerted of online rumors. One of the latest rumors to be debunked includes the purported news that six prison inmates had killed 78 women. The site also disputes a recent rumor that disposable chopsticks can be made into edible bamboo shoots.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesChina Ministry of Public Securityregulationsocial networkinggovernmentsocial mediainternet

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?