China shuts down over 100,000 fake social media accounts

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THE Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has confirmed the shutdown of no fewer than 100,000 social media accounts over misrepresentation of news anchors and media agencies as part of her effort to eradicate fake news from the Chinese internet space.

The cyberspace regulator launched a campaign to clean up online information, focusing on social media accounts that disseminated fake news and impersonated state-controlled media.

A statement posted on its website on Monday, May 15, 2023 stated that 107,000 accounts of counterfeit news units and news anchors and 835,000 pieces of fake news information had been wiped off since April 6.

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It noted that the cleanup was important as China and countries across the globe had been grappling with fake news coverage online.

In its investigation, the CAC said it discovered accounts that impersonated credible news media by fabricating news studio settings and mimicking professional news presenters. These accounts utilized artificial intelligence to generate anchors with the intention of deceiving the public.

“The CAC will guide online platforms to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the majority of internet users to obtain authoritative and real news,” the regulator said, adding that it encouraged users to provide leads on counterfeit news and anchors.

Fake news identified covered hot topics such as social incidents and international current affairs, according to the statement.

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The Chinese government has consistently implemented extensive measures to eliminate online content and language that it considers inappropriate, offensive, and harmful to the public and businesses.

In a recent development, the CAC has pledged to take strict action against malicious online comments that harm the reputation of businesses and entrepreneurs.

 

*EDITOR’S NOTE:

The headline and lead were corrected to include ‘social media.’

Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.

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