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.
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.