Teenager becomes first victim of China’s new ‘anti-gossip’ law after blog

Read Time:2 Minute, 27 Second

  • Boy publicly questioned police  investigation into death of local businessman
  • Internet censors have ordered bloggers to  ‘keep social order’

By  Anna Edwards

PUBLISHED: 04:16 EST, 20  September 2013 |  UPDATED: 06:07 EST, 20 September 2013

 

A draconian measure to stop people  ‘gossiping’ online in China has claimed its first ‘offender’ – a 16-year-old  boy.

The country has imposed strict limits on what  people can and cannot say on the internet, which many thought would target  whistleblowers, critics of the government, or activists.

Instead, a teenager, named only as Yang, was  arrested for ‘provoking trouble’ by criticising police online.

In August, internet censors called popular bloggers to meetings and asked them to agree to standards, including keeping social order  

In August, internet censors called popular bloggers to  meetings and asked them to agree to standards, including keeping social order

 

The Beijing Times has interviewed a man, who  claims police took his 16-year-old son away this week, after accusing him of  ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’.

The newspaper said the blogger had gone on  the popular social media site Weibo to post his criticisms of the police  handling of a death in the community.

A statement from authorities in  Zhangjiachuan, Gansu province said the boy had publicly questioned a police  investigation about the death of a local businessman, the Daily Telegraph  reported.

The case involved a karaoke bar manager who  supposedly committed suicide by leaping from a building.

But the sceptical teenager posted the claim  that the man had been beaten up in a row, and accused the police of failing to  investigate fully.

State media have also accused some microbloggers of undermining socialism and promoting Western values  

State media have also accused some microbloggers of  undermining socialism and promoting Western values

His accusation quickly went viral and caught  the attention of the authorities, who decided to act.

Under the new Chinese law it is illegal to  post ‘false information’ that may be harmful to others.

The law stipulates that if such information  is retweeted 500 times or seen by 5000 users, the person who posted it can be  arrested.

In August, internet censors summoned popular  micro-bloggers to meetings and asked them to agree to standards, including  keeping social order – a move observers have said has a chilling effect on  public discourse.

State media have also accused some  micro-bloggers of undermining socialism and promoting Western values by  spreading lies and negative news.

Last month government-run newspaper The  People’s Daily reminded China’s ‘big Vs’ – popular bloggers whose social media  profiles are verified as genuine – that they ‘should be careful what information  they convey.. and use their right to expression responsibly.’

Many Chinese celebrities, from pop stars to  business tycoons, have amassed huge followings on social media sites, and at  times have posted material that the government has not approved of, such as  calling attention to social injustices and questioning state  policies.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2426559/Chinese-teenager-suggested-police-investigated-mans-death-thoroughly-person-arrested-countrys-new-anti-gossip-law.html#ixzz2fRh0SN7Z Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook



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