September 17, 2013
An influential Communist party journal has compared online rumours to Cultural Revolution-style denunciations and warned of the need to curb “wanton defamation” of authority, as China intensifies its campaign to control social media.
It came as the Chinese state broadcaster aired video footage of the handcuffed businessman Xue Manzi, also known as Charles Xue, confessing that he had irresponsibly spread rumours because his 12 million microblog followers made him feel like an “emperor”.
While China has repeatedly attempted to rein in the country’s boisterous social media, a leading internet activist described the wide-ranging crackdown on dissent as unprecedented.
“In their eyes, the internet is out of control now and it has become a tool to reduce their political base, and subvert the ideology of the government,” said Wen Yunchao. “This campaign includes the crackdown on ‘big Vs’ [verified microblog users with many followers] and inner rectification [of the Communist party]. It is a brutal and astute plan … At present, people do not talk.”
This article was posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 4:53 am