Major Social Media Crackdown In China, Nearly 40,000 Accounts Shut: Report

Chinese police have shut down 34,000 online accounts and punished more than 6,300 people for allegedly spreading rumours as part of a crackdown launched in April, state media reported on Friday.

Major Social Media Crackdown In China, Nearly 40,000 Accounts Shut: Report

Chinese police have shut down 34,000 online accounts and punished more than 6,300 people for allegedly spreading rumours as part of a crackdown launched in April, state media reported on Friday.

The Chinese internet is tightly controlled by the ruling Communist Party, and widespread censorship of social media in the name of protecting social stability is often used to suppress negative stories or critical coverage.

Police "severely cracked down on illegal and criminal activities such as fabricating false information about police, epidemics, dangers and disasters," state broadcaster CCTV said on Friday.

"So far, public security organs across the country have investigated more than 4,800 online rumour cases, investigated and handled in accordance to the law more than 6,300 people who spread rumours, and shut down 34,000 illegal accounts," CCTV said, without specifying the type of accounts targeted.

CCTV said police also deleted 27,000 pieces of information and blocked more than 500 social accounts for alleged cyberbullying in the time since the "Clean Net" campaign began in April.

Police have designated 2024 as "a year of special action to combat online rumours", according to CCTV.