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China sweeps online rumors for transparency

China sweeps online rumors for transparency

Updated: 2012-04-05 21:17


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BEIJING - The Chinese government has initiated a thunderous campaign to clean up fabricated online information spread on major Twitter-like micro blogs after rumors stirred up worries about the country's political situation recently.

The rumors' rise should act as a warning to China's government as well as to Internet users home and abroad that online information, without supervision and regulation, can make truth and reality hard to differ.

Some Internet users who unconsciously forwarded these rumors provided a platform for disinformation to spread and be believed, confusing and unnecessarily panicking the public.

In today's Internet world, repeated online rumors are cheaper and more hazardous than ever.

It is quite effective for the government to take temporary and makeshift measures to clean up the rumor mill. But what is more effective and lasting is to make micro blogs' operations more transparent for the public.

The spread of online rumors is directly related to people's anxiety at a time when China's society is changing fast and reform is encountering obstacles.

Anxiety on the country's social and economic issues can only be fueled by online gossip in which the creators' origins and identities are often concealed.

Thus, besides cracking down on illegalities seen online and making the government more transparent, the basic social security system must be improved and social justice must prevail.

The government should provide more channels for the public to make appeals and resolve social problems in time before discontent boils over.

Giving people enough information and managing outlets for their voices will prove ever-more important in defusing tensions in modern society.