An Internet cafe in Beijing photographed last year.
Credit Greg Baker / dapd
China will jail anyone caught using social media to spread "slanderous rumors" or "false information" for up to 10 years, according to a new legal interpretation of Internet restrictions, the official Xinhua news agency reports.
A court's interpretation says the spread of such rumors could automatically incur a three-year prison term, but if the post is read by 5,000 or more people and/or shared more than 500 times, the penalty could jump to 10 years in jail.
Thousands of messages posted on the Internet every day in China get censored. Until now, little has been known about how the Chinese censorship machine works — except that it is comprehensive.
"It probably is the largest effort ever to selectively censor human expression," says Harvard University social scientist Gary King. "They don't censor everything. There are millions of Chinese [who] talk about millions of things. But the effort to prune the Internet of certain kinds of information is unprecedented."
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:52 am
Here's a bit of news that might make you drop that chicken nugget midbite.
Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.
A July photo shows houses that have emerged from Tangjiashan Barrier Lake in Xuanping Township, in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
Credit Liu Huawei / Xinhua /Landov
It's been a long time since the people who lived in rural Xuanping saw their little town, which was flooded by a powerful earthquake in 2008. But thanks to a steep drop in water levels, parts of their village in China's Sichuan Province are visible again, from homes and businesses to its school.
The village's ghostly return began in July, when water levels fell from 712 meters to 703 meters above sea level — a difference of nearly 30 feet, as news site China Daily Asia reported.