BEIJING - Chinese authorities closed 16 websites and detained six people responsible for "fabricating or disseminating online rumors," the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) and Beijing police said Friday.
The websites, including meizhou.net, xn528.com and cndy.com.cn, were closed for spreading rumors of "military vehicles entering Beijing and something wrong going on in Beijing," which were fabricated, said a spokesman with SIIO.
The rumors have caused "a very bad influence on the public" and the websites were closed in accordance with laws for failing to stop the spread of rumors, said the spokesman.
Beijing police also detained six people for allegedly fabricating and spreading the above-mentioned rumors, particularly through microblogging posts, according to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Public Security.
An undisclosed number of people who had disseminated similar rumors on the Internet were also "admonished and educated," who have shown intention to repent, the police said.
The SIIO spokesman also said with regard to a number of rumors having appeared on weibo.com and t.qq.com, the two popular microblogging sites have been "criticized and punished accordingly" by Internet information administration authorities in Beijing and Guangdong respectively.
The spokesman did not elaborate what the punishment was, but said the two websites had pledged to strengthen the management.
Beijing police in a statement Friday urged Internet users to abide by laws and be vigilant against online rumors, which severely disturb the public order, undermine social stability and deserve punishment.