Rumour has it – China to jail micro-bloggers
Regulations to impose lengthy jail terms on those convicted of spreading online rumours or provoking unrest have been introduced in China.
Under a law that came into force yesterday, micro-bloggers found guilty of using "false online information" to provoke "serious public disorder" could face up to 10 years in jail, reported the state-run 'China Daily'. "Slanderous comments" could result in a three-year sentence.
Charges would be brought if "defamatory" comments were "viewed by at least 5,000 internet users or re-tweeted 500 or more times", claims China's official news agency Xinhua.
Free speech activists and some lawyers expressed alarm at the move. Human rights lawyer Mo Shaoping said he hoped the measures would help prevent "absurd" cases. (© Daily Telegraph, London)