Coup rumours: China cracks down on sites | social media | Hindustan Times
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Coup rumours: China cracks down on sites

China is shuttering more than a dozen websites, penalizing two popular social media sites and detaining six people for circulating rumours of a coup that rattled Beijing in the midst of its worst high-level political crisis in years. Sutirtho Patranobis reports.

social media Updated: Mar 31, 2012 23:12 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

About a week after reports about an imminent coup got the internet buzzing here, authorities have detained six persons and shut down 16 websites for fanning the rumours.

The detention and shut down were ordered because those involved were "fabricating or disseminating online rumours," the State Internet Information Office and Beijing police said.

The websites were closed for spreading rumors of "military vehicles entering Beijing and something wrong going on".

The SIIO spokesman added that two popular micro-blogging sites - weibo.com and t.qq.com where much of the coup reports were shared by curious netizens - were also punished by authorities. Subsequently, the sites suspended the comment functions on their websites.