We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

China cracks down on Internet bird flu rumors

Two Internet users have been detained after spreading alleged rumors on Sina Weibo

Chinese authorities have detained two Internet users for allegedly spreading rumors about the new bird flu virus on the nation's top Twitter-like microblogging site, Sina Weibo.

The two Internet users, surnamed Li and Gong, deliberately created the online rumors as a way to draw attention, according to a Thursday posting from China's State Internet Information Office.

Chinese police will detain Li for five days, and Gong for 10. In addition, authorities have shut down over 20 accounts on Sina Weibo belonging to the two Internet users and several others.

Sina Weibo is one of China's most popular social networking sites, with over 503 million registered accounts. But authorities regularly censor information on the site, deleting posts that deal with anti-government topics or cover sensitive subjects. In some instances, Chinese police have gone as far as arresting users for spreading alleged online rumors.

Currently, a small number of users are spreading rumors on Sina Weibo in the guise of dispelling lies, according to the China's State Internet Information Office. In response, authorities are increasing efforts to crack down on the rumors.

Both Li and Gong are from China's Guizhou province, located in the country's southwest. No confirmed bird flu cases have yet to be reported in the province as of May 1, according to the World Health Organization. In total, more than 126 bird flu cases have been found in China, mostly in the eastern part of the country. 24 deaths have been recorded.


IDG UK Sites

Galaxy S6 UK release date, price, specs: When is the Samsung Galaxy S6 coming out? Galaxy S6 launch6......

IDG UK Sites

5 things we hate about MWC: What it's like to be a journalist at a technology trade show

IDG UK Sites

Interview: Lauren Currie aims to help design students bridge skills gap

IDG UK Sites

12in Retina MacBook Air release date rumours: new MacBook Air to have fingerprint ID, could launch...