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Transparency is the best weapon against rumors | Updated: 2013-08-22 22:12

The Beijing police has launched a campaign against those spreading rumors online and arrested two micro bloggers who they say are responsible for such transgressions. Rumors are bad and the best weapon against them is transparency, says an editorial on Qianjiang Evening News. Here is an excerpt:

The criminal detention of two popular micro-bloggers this week marks the start of a campaign against online rumors. The suspects, surnamed Qin, and his colleague have spread and commented upon various rumors over the past few years and derived material profit from the process; they even have a company for this purpose.

Rumor as the twin of personal publishing can sometimes cause unimaginable harm to social stability. It is certainly necessary to investigate those who do so for commercial interests. However, detention is not always effective against rumors, which are often shared by an astonishing number of netizens.

The best weapon against rumor is, without doubt, transparency. There is an old saying, "Rumor has short legs" — which means that rumors travels fast at first but soon get tired.

Only through unhindered access to the truth will the ordinary people choose not to believe in rumor. Actually, in some incidents where rumors were spread widely online, it was partly because the government was late in publishing the truth.

Hopefully, this new campaign against rumors will have the effect of encouraging transparency.

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