China / Society

Social media accounts closed for spreading rumors about blasts

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-15 07:08

Social media accounts closed for spreading rumors about blasts 

 Smoke rises over damaged containers and cars after a huge explosion rocked the port city of North China's Tianjin, August 13, 2015. [Photo/CFP]

BEIJING - Over 360 social media accounts were suspended or shut down for spreading rumors after fatal explosions in Tianjin this week, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced Friday.

Two blasts at a warehouse in north China's Tianjin City on Wednesday night have left 56 dead and 721 hospitalized.

Following the blast, certain accounts on microblogging site Sina Weibo and the instant messaging service WeChat began posting rumors like "toxic gas blown to Beijing", "malls and markets looted", and "no one survived within one kilometers of the blast site".

In addition, the CAC said, some accounts masquerading as relatives of the victims, attempted to swindle money through fraudulent charity fund raising.

Some "big Vs", or star bloggers, had also posted "irresponsible" comments about the blast, according to the CAC. It said some star bloggers had caused their followers to panic by comparing the blast to the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during WWII.

The CAC has ordered social media enterprises to shut down more than 160 rumormongering accounts permanently, and to suspend over 200.

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