Crackdown Coming? Internet Rumors Compared to Drugs

The Chinese government is stepping up efforts to get Internet users to say no to rumors.

A state-media anti-Internet rumor blitz appears to be the latest development in Beijing’s campaign against harmful information on the Internet, with the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily and the state-run Xinhua news agency running multiple pieces that draw colorful parallels between rumors and drugs.

People on the Internet can “irresponsibly and unscrupulously produce and spread rumors,” the People’s Daily in a commentary published late last week (in Chinese). “Such ‘Internet psychological drugs’ are very easily addictive, and make people want to know more and learn more while reading,” it said, adding that it is as harmful as “Internet pornography, gambling and drugs.”

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