China suspends over 580 social media accounts

Beijing, Feb 27 (IANS) Chinese authorities have suspended more than 580 social media accounts for spreading rumours, confusing people or going against the constitution, the media reported on Saturday.

A statement issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on Friday said the suspended accounts include those of “celebrities” of popular microblog Weibo who had thousands of followers. It accused them of “ignoring their social responsibilities, abusing their influence, staining the honor of the state and disrupting social order.”

The statement does not specify what kind of comments the users had published or who was affected, EFE news reported.

CAC said it had also ordered other websites to remove more than 2,000 rumours affecting people’s daily lives, transportation, food security and public policies.

The statement comes amid efforts by China to tighten internet censorship.

From March, it will begin controlling the content published by foreign companies online.

These companies cannot directly publish their “creative content” on the web, including games, animation, comics, audio or video recordings, without the prior approval of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

China, which has a tight censorship system known as the “Great Firewall”, has increasingly clamped down on the internet since President Xi Jinping came to power three years ago.

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