China Tightens Online Censorship Rules For News Sites

The Cyberspace Administration of China has tightened its internet censorship rules. From now on, all news websites and social networks will have to verify all news reports before they are published. This means that news websites will have to find out the source of a news story and check that it is true before they are allowed to publish anything. Social networks will have to develop some kind of internal process that will identify breaking news posts and verify if they are true. In a statement, the Chinese authorities said: “No website is allowed to report public news without specifying the sources, or report news that quotes untrue origins,” adding that “It is forbidden to use hearsay to create news or use conjecture and imagination to distort the facts”. The authorities have not said what the punishment for failing to verify news reports will be. In other internet censorship news, South Africa, India, Kenya, Russia and China have tried to get a UN law changed so that governments would be able to switch off access to the internet whenever they want. They were outvoted and so the law remains unchanged, but it is worth noting that these countries may try to change their own laws to try to restrict internet freedom within their borders.