Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo processed more than 6000 pieces of fake information and published 159 messages fact-checking posts in September, according to a report by the company.

The report, released yesterday (October 10), contains data from the platform’s rumor reporting channels, which allows users to reports instances of potentially fake information.

Users reported rumors more than 2000 times a day, hitting a peak on September 16, which coincided with a post refuting the mistreatment of Chinese tourists in Sweden. The event occurred when a family arrived at a hostel in the country earlier than their reservation. After not being permitted to stay in the hostel’s lobby, they were removed from the property by police.

The post claims that after the family caused a scene after being treated harshly by Swedish police, they continued their holiday as if nothing had happened, thereby disputing the authenticity of their claims. The user attached a photo in which two family members can be seen smiling next to a canal. Weibo disputed the claim, saying the photo was taken in The Netherlands and not in Sweden, and closed the user’s account.

The total number of fake posts reports daily during September (Image Credit: Weibo)

Another popular post that was reported claimed that the United Nations published a study ranking China second last globally regarding ethics.

Amid greater government scrutiny, online content platforms are taking a more active role in policing posts. Numerous services have announced “clean-up” campaigns in order to comply with increasingly laws and regulations that govern content on the internet.

In April, Weibo responded by announcing plans to crack down on themes relating to homosexuality. However, the move prompted a storm of online protest, which caused them to reverse the decision.

The platform has also said it will block the registration of users under 14 years old from November 1, with plans to develop a child-friendly version of its service.

Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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