China cracks down on online spread of rumors, false information

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Chinese authorities say nearly 200 people have been punished as part of a country-wide crackdown on rumors published on various blogs and social media platforms.

The punishments are mostly related to rumors involving the recent explosion at a chemical port in the Chinese city Tianjin and the country’s ongoing financial crisis.

Among those punished include subjects who posted and spread a rumor that a man had jumped to his death after the stock market took a dive last week and that the death toll from the Tianjin explosion had risen to 1,300 people (the government’s official death toll is around 150).

Chinese authorities said more than 160 online accounts had been closed, mostly on the social media website Weibo, a Twitter-like service that is popular in the country where many western platforms like Facebook and Twitter itself are banned.

It was not clear what punishments were handed down.

Deutsche Welle: Chinese move to restrict rumors online