China: Blogger confesses he spread rumours online
(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) One of China's best-known online commentators appeared in state media yesterday to admit to spreading irresponsible internet posts after China adopted tough measures to crack down on online rumours.
Commentators will be charged with defamation if posts containing rumours are visited by 5,000 internet users or reposted more than 500 times, according to a judicial interpretation issued by China's top court and prosecutor. Detained Chinese-American venture capitalist Charles Xue, known for making controversial remarks on social and political issues, told state broadcaster CCTV and the official Xinhua news agency that "freedom of speech cannot override the law".
"My irresponsibility in spreading information online was a vent of negative mood, and was a neglect of the social mainstream," Xue said.
Xue had 12 million followers on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like site. Police are investigating reports that Xue's online activities may have involved crimes, Xinhua said. Several foreign and Chinese executives, detained for various reasons, have made confessions on state television, leading to worry in the business community about a trend that some lawyers say makes a mockery of due process. Reuters Beijing
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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