The Heavy Fist Must Come Out to Deal With Online Rumours (Written Conversation)

The following is reposted from China Copyright and Media with the permission of the author.

This collection of three articles denouncing online rumours was published on 23 August in Red Flag Manuscripts.

Editorial note: recently, Qin Zhihui (online name “Qin Huohuo”) and Yang Xiuyu (online name “Li’erchaisi) who had fabricated and disseminated rumours online for a long time, were arrested and detained, as soon as the information became public, it triggered broad social attention, and the broad popular masses clapped and cheered. The network is not a world outside of the law, malicious fabrication and dissemination of rumours must be sanctioned by the law. So, how large is the harm of online rumours? Where does the root of the excess of online rumours lie? How will it be possible to thoroughly deal with online rumours? Please read the articles in this section of this copy.

Clearly Understanding the Huge Harm of Online Rumours
Lü Qiqing

The rapid development of the Internet has brought people extremely great conveniences, at the same time, it has also provided a channel for a number of people to disseminate rumours online. In the best case, online rumours infringe the individual rights of citizens or social organizations, in the worst case, they cause social panic and endanger national security. National public security organs have together launched a special campaign to attack the online dissemination of rumours and other such crimes, and expanded attack and punishment strength for the fabrication and dissemination of rumours online, these moves are timely and decisive, and have given prominence to the determination and the confidence of the Party and the State to purify the online ecological environment, and have also let even more people clearly understand the huge harm of online rumours.

1. Online rumours intensify social panic. Following the transformative development of information technology, the extent of popularity of the Internet in China has grown ever higher, on the basis of the most recent data, the number of netizens in our country has exceeded 600 million, and is growing at a speed of nearly ten per cent every year. This indicates that, in the near future, the network will cover every corner of the entire country in the same way that radio and television do, this concept “netizen” will no longer exist after the entire population goes online. What merits special attention is that, following the development of mobile information technology, the scale of Chinese mobile netizens has also sharply risen, at present, already 450 million people use mobile networks, among those, more than 400 among them are mobile Weibo users and more than 300 million are Wechat users, this means that in China, one in every three people uses Weibo through mobile phones, and one in every four people uses Wechat. It seems as if everyone can become an information recipient through mobile networks, at the same time, they may also become topic starters and information disseminators. The huge number of netizens and the confused voices has become a complex public opinion field. The era of self-media and micro-information in which “everyone has a microphone, and makes continuous speeches” has arrived. The original online ecology has been thoroughly smashed: in the past, we often used the virtual world to distinguish the differences between the network and reality, at present, the boundary between the network and reality is becoming blurred; in the past, we used “online smoke, offline fire” to explain that an online hot topic might ferment into a hot social incident, but now, online fires are even deeper than the flashpoints of real contradictions. An irresponsible rumour online might easily trigger an eruption of social panic.

After the “23 July” Yong-wen train crash happened, “Qin Huohuo” created the rumour online that the Chinese government had spent 200 million Yuan on high-priced compensation for passengers of foreign nationalities, which was reposted on Weibo more than 10.000 times in only two hours, and provoked dissatisfied emotions of the masses against the government, this put the government’s efforts to deal with the aftermath at a disadvantage. On 21 February 2012, a netizen named “Miduomama” posted information through Weibo that “I went for a vaccination today, the doctor said that Hospital 252 was closed, that the SARS virus had appeared, truly frightening”. This microblog was rapidly reposted online, triggering panic among some of the masses. On the 23th, Officials from Hospital 252 and the Baoding Municipal Health Bureau refuted the rumour stating that, after investigation, the illness patients suffered was the common cold, and was not a case of SARS as played up online. In March 2011, after the earthquake and the nuclear accident in Japan, the netizen “Yuweng” posted information on QQ stating that China’s table salt would suffer nuclear pollution, afterwards, this was reposted and disseminated in great quantity, and in a number of regions in China, panic buying of table salt began, and market order was utterly chaotic…

The harm brought to society by this series of online rumours may be called huge, because of the rapid speed of online dissemination, in combination with the fact that rumour disseminators often, “if they cannot write astonishing lines, will not let go until they die”, online rumours may be diffused across thousands of miles in a very short period, and become a node of factors for instability, when these nodes are hooked up together, they may become fuses triggering sudden social mass incidents. Whenever online rumours are harmful to society, they must be analysed and explained, and remedied, which requires spending huge economic and social capital. Because of this, online rumours extremely easily confuse and poison people’s minds, intensify social panic, and cause destruction of regular social order that is difficult to heal.

2. Online rumours trigger crises of social trust. At present, our country is in a special period of economic transformation and social change, which is also a period of high occurrence of social contradictions. In this special period, online rumours can easily become direct factors triggering social shocks, and harming public security. Some social contradictions that characterize periods of transition have frequently become focus points put up as online topics, for example, the hit rates of the difference between rich and poor, unbalanced resource allocation, the problem of corruption and other such content are very high. online rumour fabricators pander to the feelings of insecurity and indeterminacy in some people’s hearts during the period of transition, and use weak spots in netizens’ hearts to fabricate and disseminate extremely seductive and pernicious rumours, triggering social crises.

In the Qian Yunhui case in Zhejiang, online rumours said that “Qian Yunhui was murdered”; in the Guizhou Weng’an case, online rumours said that “three suspects are all relatives of local leading cadres”, and “the uncle of the deceased person was brought to the police station for inquiry, and was beaten to death”; in the Hubei Shishou incident, online rumours stated that “the deceased knew that the local public security chief and court president’s wife were murdered after they smuggled and peddled drugs with the boss of the Yonglong Grand Hotel”… It seems as if every time a troublesome social phenomenon arises, it is accompanied and instigated by rumours, online rumours tear apart social trust and engender huge negative energy.

Since ancient times, rumours have been the archenemy of social stability, it is said that “public clamour can confound right and wrong, slander can destroy families”, “three people become tigers”, etc., these are all used to describe the “harm” of rumours. Among the many online rumours, the rumours that are aimed at social public persons, social ethics and morals and the basic social system are the broadest. This sort of rumours fundamentally destroys the trust of citizens in government, society and the political systems, creates grave ideological chaos, and influences the faith of the masses in social and economic development. For example, people have fabricated rumours online saying that the first national model worker in the Beijing municipal traffic system was caught for corruption. Although relevant departments have timely cleared up the matter and dispelled the rumours, this rumour has linked up “national model worker” and “corruption”, which objectively influenced the trust of the masses in this lofty honour of the model worker.

Online rumours have always tended towards negative information, in an attempt to use the “bad information effect” to incessantly disintegrate the truth of the matter, and incessantly destroy the structure of social trust. It incessantly magnifies the dark side of society, and incessantly sharpens contradictions, their harm is huge, they not only gravely threaten social stability, but also let the people generate the misunderstanding that society is sinking into the dark, they are bound to lose faith in the society of which they are a part, and their positive energy to promote social progress will be depleted.

3. Online rumours damage the image of the country. Regardless of in which country, online rumours can cause nasty influences, and sometimes may even take human lives. In 2010, Phoebe Prince, a girl from Massachusetts in the US, committed suicide because of slanderous online rumours. Before that, a classmate of Prince’s had disseminated large amounts of rumours on Facebook and other social websites, and had committed personal attacks against her for months on end. After this incident occurred, the students who disseminated rumours were punished, and Facebook began to strongly push for a real name system in order to strengthen online management, but Prince became a victim of online violence.

All in all, in some cases, the background of online rumours is the unintentional act of an individual, but in many more cases, it is premeditated and organized, concealed behind online rumours is harmful information industrialization. “Qin Huohuo” and “Li’erchaisi” together founded the Beijing Erma Company, they plotted to disseminate hot spot incidents online, colluded with a small number of so-called “opinion leaders” to organize an online “navy” that stirred up trouble online for a long time, and sought to win eyeballs and gain benefits through malicious speculation and concocting rumours. According to both persons’ statements, online speculation must “trick” netizens, to make that they think they are the adjudicators of “social injustice”, only by being anti-society, anti-system and anti-country, are they able to rant about dissatisfied feelings about reality, and clamour that “rumours do not stop with the wise, they also stop with the next rumour”.

The malicious online dissemination of false information has become an extremely immense industry. The urge of interests has resulted in the fact that this industry has penetrated into every corner of the Internet, and has shaped itself into a navy especially engaging in sending posts. They manufacture trouble in an organized manner, confuse right and wrong, guide online public opinion, and spread rumours to deceive the people, these rumours contain slander against individual citizens and social organizations, and concoct facts concerning public events, they not only harm individual rights and interest and pollute the online ecology, they also influence social stability and harm the image of the country.

With the involvement or under the guidance of Western hostile forces, a number of people with ulterior motives regularly aim the spearhead of online rumours again the Party and the government, they maliciously concoct facts, engendering huge eyeball effects. Since March 2012, a number of lawbreakers fabricated limitless rumours online, and wilfully disseminated rumours such as “military vehicles enter Beijing, something happened in Beijing” and other rumours, causing nasty social influence. Afterwards, the Beijing public security organs detained 6 rumourmongers, the telecommunications departments also closed 26 websites that “fabricated rumours, disseminated rumours and were negligent in management”.

The online “navy”, especially contains some who attempt destruction in the ideological area, or who attempt to incessantly attack our Party and the Socialist path through disseminating rumours, our blackening the names of historical leaders of our Party and country, we must struggle and punish this part of the online navy and especially the leaders of the “navy”.

At present, we are marching a journey to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, in this important historical period, we must incessantly consolidate the guiding position of Marxism in ideology, and consolidate the ideological basis for the common struggle of the entire Party and the people of all ethnicities. Online rumours are a cancer in the ideological area, we must soberly and fully understand their huge harm, and adopt powerful means to thoroughly eliminate them.

(The author is an editor at the journal “Ideology and Political Work Research”)

Responsible editor: Wang Nongyuan

 

The roots of the flood of online rumours

Li Xiaomei

Fabrication and dissemination of rumours online and other such unlawful and criminal activities run wild, which is a grave problem from the past view years that cannot be looked down on, it not only gravely harms citizens’ own rights and interests, and gravely disorders online public order, it also directly harms social stability and national security. In the faces of the flood of online rumours, the broad popular masses continuously strongly call for punishment of online chaos, but until now, repeated punishment results are not yet as one would wish them to be, Qin Zhihui (online name “Qin Huohuo), Yang Xiuyu (online name “Li’erchaisi) and others rampaging online for many years are proofs of this. So, why is it so difficult to deal with online rumours, and were are the roots for their incessant flood?

1. The pluralism, diversity and changeability of people’s ideologies during a period of social transformation, is a direct cause. Following the entry of today’s China and the present world into the online era, especially Weibo, Wechat and other new communication forms incessantly emerge, the unprecedented surge of demands for people’s right to know, right of discourse and right of supervision has become a clear characteristic of the times. Communication methods in the online era are renewed every day, overturning traditional ideological dissemination rules, and breaking traditional ideological dissemination structures, the characteristics of pluralizing, diversifying and changing social mentalities become clearer every day, right and wrong, advanced and backward, mainstream and fringe ideological concepts are mutually interwoven, the noise and din in the ideological area goes on and on, leading to the fact that people’s worldviews, views of life and values are diversified and that conflicts occur, some contradictions are brewing, fermenting and even intensifying in these conflicts. The development of the network has created extremely convenient conditions for the fabrication and dissemination of rumours, and so some people or forces have begun to let other people identify with their own ideology or seek to gain their own interests through fabricating or disseminating rumours and other such methods.

The network is a sort of convenient and low-cost method and channel for society and citizens to let off emotions and express appeals, especially because of the fragmentation, perceptualization, emotification, unilateralization, and even extremization of Weibo discourse and other such characteristics, as well as the fact that its costs are low, it has a strong concealed nature, and allows rapid dissemination, it has become possible to expand the influence of a certain piece of information through variable and infectious dissemination, especially information concerning official corruption, infringement of citizens’ rights and interests, environmental pollution, cruel demolition of housing and relocation of residents, heartless acts of the rich and other such problems; whenever rumours are published online, they easily attract a sympathetic response from netizens, not a few people repost this without distinguishing right and wrong, causing it to become a focus point of many people’s attention rapidly, within a very short time. Relevant departments lack effective supervision and management over this sort of words and deeds, further enabling some people to vent their own dissatisfied emotions through fabricating these rumours, and at the same time becoming online celebrities having many fans, or even becoming so-called “anti-corruption heroes”, “anti-black pioneers” acclaimed by media and the masses, this sort of fabrication and dissemination of rumours may actually add fuel to the flames of the worsening situation of online rumours by bringing fame and fortune to these “models”.

2. The attack, infiltration and influence of the market economy is an important cause. Following the seeming infiltration of the principle of market exchange into every area, interest groups in a number of political, economic, cultural and other such areas have, for the sake of attacking competitors or seeking personal gain, taken the initiative themselves or used public relations companies, market companies, communications strategy organs, etc., to buy a number of new media editors, journalists and even responsible persons, who mutually collude to fabricate rumours and false news, and disseminate this on a large scale in order to achieve objectives that are not to be divulged. In recent years, the mutual attacks that occurred between the two giants of the Chinese milk industry, Mengniu and Yili, is a model case.

A large batch of online pushers have published large amounts of information on the Internet in relation to a certain event, or make a hubbub about something in a focused manner, these organized online pushers seemingly have become “online bohemians” who swarm together in gangs, they guide online public opinion through fabricating and disseminating rumours, and thereby mislead and even control mass public opinion, they do not stint to forge the popular will to reach their goal, they generalize particular problems, the collectivize individual problems, they politicize common problems, etc.

3. Some media enterprises have reformed and pursue profit, and have thereby forgotten their social responsibility, this is a special cause. Following the reform of a number of media enterprises, and under the pressure of intense competition in the media sector, a number of news media, for the sake of pursuing even higher hit rates, viewing rates or listener rates, have not shirked to sacrifice the truthfulness of news, or have even wilfully fabricated and disseminated rumours, pursuing so-called sensational effects, some have even brazenly concocted false news to achieve the objectives of attracting audiences’ eyeballs and gaining profit for the work unit. Also, some news work units have, under the pressure of market competition and for the sake of pursuing advertising profit, covertly sold news coverage under the guise of soft news, etc., publishing or broadcasting unverified advertising or not verifying advertising at all, leading to the fact that this advertising misleads the masses and harms society, especially advertising for number of fake and shoddy products, false medicine, and other such soft news causes huge harm. In recent years, from the “death of Jin Yong” to the salt rush doe to rumours, much false news has appeared first on Weibo. Online rumours and false news are disseminated by some traditional media without verification, gravely harming the credibility of the entire media sector.

4.The infiltration by Western countries in our country’s online and traditional media is an external cause. Western countries rely on their superiority in capital, science and technology in all sorts of news resources, and especially use them to grasp online discourse hegemony, to further accelerate the speed, further expand the strength, further diversify the methods and further conceal the means by which they conduct ideological and cultural infiltration in our country, the network has become an important battleground for struggle in the ideological area. In order to realize the peaceful transformation of China, Western developed countries with the US in the lead, through implementing “cultural imperialism” use their monopolistic position in online information and use the media resources they control, to conduct cultural invasions and ideological infiltration, push their own value concepts, living methods and ideologies. Furthermore, the US and other Western countries not only disseminate some discourse and even rumours attacking our country’s basic political system, economic system, social system, etc., online and in traditional media by purchasing or assimilating a number of domestic officials and intellectuals, through a number of foundations, non-governmental organizations and other such organs, they also purchase and assimilate a number of editors and journalists at news work units, and even borrow a number of opportunities of media enterprise structure reform to intervene by shareholding and share control, first, they control media’s market managerial powers, afterwards, they infiltrate step by step so that in the end, they control newsgathering and editing powers. At present, in a number of online media and even traditional media, rumours attacking our the fundamental system of our Party and country, vilifying the leading persons of our Party and our country and concocting so-called tragic stories about our Party and country appear frequently, which is the reflection of these problems.

It is reported that Qin Zhihui, Yang Xiuyu and other such persons formed online pusher teams, who colluded with a small number of so-called “opinion leaders”, to organize an online “navy” to concoct false news, wilfully distort facts and fabricate disturbances, etc., online for a long time, and even claimed to want to “overturn China by rumour”. That they used the “Guo Meimei bragging incident” to deliberately make a hubbub and maliciously attack the country’s charity and relief system, is a case in point. Now then, who are these so-called “opinion leaders”? Which part did they play? When carefully analysing more online rumours, it is not difficult to discover that not a few online Big Vs who regularly fabricate and disseminate rumours have themselves once committed crimes, not a few spearheads of online rumours are directly aimed at the history, programme and leaders of our Party as well as the Socialist system, etc., behind this, there are those political forces who participate in and even instigate and control matters, these are all problems that should be thoroughly investigated.

5. That relevant departments’ attacks on online rumours are powerless is a crucial cause. In the face of the flood of online rumours, relevant departments have repeatedly dealt with this in the past, but the result was not as intended. What is the reason for this? The powerlessness of the attack is an extremely crucial reason. We see that online Big Vs who wilfully fabricate and disseminate rumours often only are prohibited to post for a period of time, and very rarely have their accounts cancelled, furthermore, the fact that posting is prohibited on their microblog on one website does not impede them to continue to fabricate and disseminate rumours on other websites, giving people the impression that enforcement is only to make a show and going through the motions; some online Big Vs regularly fabricate rumours to attack the history, programme and leaders of our Party, as well as the Socialist system, etc., not a few netizens report them but do not gain a response, and can certainly not see the due process; whether or not online content is a rumour is often determined by the website on which it is published itself, relevant departments’ supervision and rectification over websites, in this regard, is rarely seem; wilful and even malicious fabrication and dissemination of rumours occurs repeatedly on not a few websites, including a number of large commercial websites, not a few netizens also call for strict punishment of the website concerned, but it is rarely seen which large commercial websites are punished; experts have, over the last few years, repeatedly called for the establishment of a website responsibility system where who provides a publication platform is responsible, but it has still not been seen that relevant departments publish corresponding regulations, and even the online real-name system on which such hopes were placed in the past has seen big discounts because of the interference of interests and other such reasons, which has, to some extent, indulged the spread of rumours; furthermore, it has been continuously said for so many years that legal systems to deal with online crime, including online rumours would be established and completed, but corresponding laws and judicial interpretations have hitherto not been completed.

(The author is the editor-in-chief of the “Sunshine Avenue” column on CCTV-& and a second-level literary editor at the China Agricultural Film and Television Centre)

Responsible editor: Li Zhentong

 

Thoroughly Deal with Online Rumours: We Must Dare to Strike “Tigers” and Manage Websites

Zhu Xudong

The Ministry of Public Security, on the basis of the clues reported by the broad popular masses, deployed public security organs nationwide to launch a special campaign, which is a concentrated attack on organized fabrication and dissemination of online rumours and other such violations of law and crimes, at the beginning, Qin Zhihui, Yang Xiuyu and other online pushes were arrested, as well as corresponding enterprises, gaining social praise. This also indicates at the same time that as long as relevant departments truly bring out the heavy fist and dare to grasp real problems, there can be good result. So, on how it is possible to thoroughly deal with online rumours, the author believes that we should focus our efforts in the following six areas:

1. For political online rumours, the fist must be bravely brought out, and this must be ruthlessly dealt with. This time, the Ministry of Public Security combined the Party’s mass line education and practice movement and clues vigorously reported by the broad popular masses, and deployed public security organs nationwide the launch a special campaign of concentrated attack against organized fabrication and dissemination of online rumours and other such violations of law and crimes, which realistically safeguarded the health and order of the online environment and social order, and gained the praise of the broad popular masses. Furthermore, after the information that Qin Zhihui and Yang Xiuyu were arrested spread, not a few Weibo Big Vs who often fabricate and disseminate rumours, so-called “opinion leaders” whose real name was not verified and others have successively quietly deleted much of their Weibo content that fabricated or disseminated rumours, some even deleted hundreds and thousands of their posts, so that only a few dozen were left, some historical-type rumour fabricating microblog are model examples. This it can be seen that using the sharp sword of criminal law to attack online rumours has been a good beginning. It is hoped that this good beginning can spur all localities’ tempest movements to sternly attack online rumours, that wherever one online rumour appears, one is punished, that all online criminals fabricating and disseminating rumours are ruthlessly struck, ensuring that rumours remain thoroughly far away from the network. Whenever the relevant departments attack online rumours, there are people who use the pretence of freedom of speech to flagrantly censure this. Because of this, we must expand propaganda strength in relation to the campaign where relevant departments bravely bring out the heavy fist and ruthlessly deal with political online rumours, use the opportunity to strengthen education about netizens’ online self-discipline, online civilization, etc. Let the broad netizens clearly understand the huge harm of online rumours, and at the same time, also deeply understand that, as with all freedoms, the freedom of speech is limited. As responsible citizens, they must not only not fabricate or disseminate rumours, they must also vigorously report rumours and actively attack rumours.

2. When dealing with political online rumours, we must also dare to “strike tigers”. General Secretary Xi Jinping said that in fighting corruption, we must persist in striking “tigers” and “flies” together. That we must dare to “strike tigers” in fighting corruption, has not only won strong popular support, but has also had notable effects. For dealing with online political rumours to truly have effect and win popular minds, it is equally necessary to dare to “strike tigers”. At present, one very important reason that the problem of rumour dissemination on microblog is extremely grave, is a number of Weibo Big Vs who have relatively many fans and fabricate or disseminate rumours. Some of these rumour “tigers” directly attack Party and government policies and methods, some wilfully and even intentionally repost false information on official corruption, violent demolition of housing and removal of its occupants, environmental pollution, etc., that may easily instigate sudden incidents or mass incidents, without verification, some wilfully reverse verdicts on Chiang Kai-shek, Wang Jingwei and other historical reactionary persons where a final conclusion has already been made, and slander or attack Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and other great people from our Party’s history on a large scale, even though netizens’ reactions are strong, relevant websites and especially commercial websites are unwilling to adopt cancellation of accounts and other strict measures, further conniving at mistaken words and deeds and causing extremely harmful consequences. Because of this, we should dare to strictly attack Weibo Big Vs’ fabricating and disseminating rumours and other such acts, where there is a vile influence, accounts are to be closed at once, and for other cases, a strict measure of “a warning the first time, account cancellation the second time” should be commonly adopted and such structures shaped, so that it will be possible to have the effect that one is killed to warn a hundred and the flood of online rumours is thoroughly dealt with. In order to prevent that relevant websites do not act because of commercial interests and other such factors, the State Information Internet Office and other controlling departments must establish open reporting hotlines, that vigorously accept complaints from the broad netizens concerning online fabrication and dissemination of rumours as well as discourse attacking the Party and the government, and adopt corresponding punitive measures.

3. Cadres and scholars must become the main force attacking rumours. Ideological work is an extremely important work of the Party. We should clarify the general responsibilities of the number one leaders in all localities and departments for ideological work, and ensure that the broad Party members and cadres give it high attention, and set the example in attacking online rumour with all their power. With regards to those university and Party school teachers who fabricate and disseminate rumours attacking the Party and government in the classrooms, who wilfully reverse verdicts of counterrevolutionary persons where there already is a historical conclusion, and who defame and attack great persons from our Party’s history on a large scale, and who do not repent and reform after education, it is necessary to firmly eliminate them from educational teams. Where that kind of so-called experts and scholars in all sorts of research organs, including those subordinate to the Party Centre, the State Council, as well as all ministries and commissions, all provinces and municipalities, it is even more necessary to strictly hold them accountable; at the same time, where people and work units fabricate and disseminate rumours for a long time, we must pursue the responsibility of the main leaders of the work unit; concerning those people who receive funding from foreign organs as well as non-governmental organizations, to the point that it purchases large-scale attacks on the Party and government, and to the point that it incites the masses to cause trouble, public security organs and security departments may be requested to adopt corresponding measures after examination and verification.

4. The news sector must strive to become an example of dealing with online rumours. We must summarize the mistaken thoughts of “putting money central in everything”, “relying on talking about hit rates (distribution numbers, viewing rates) in everything”, and overlooking ideological properties in the process of pushing the marketization of the press and publications sector, deeply analyse the huge harm of some newspapers, periodicals, websites and publishers providing platforms for the dissemination of rumours by trading page space, channels, accounts, etc., for the sake of economic interest, severely punish some work units whose influences is especially nasty, and thoroughly correct mistaken methods that still exist at present. The West’s control over ideology is more severe than we imagine, for example, within the “Deutsche Welle” editorial department, there is a post of “ideological supervisor”, all articles must pass “appraisal” before they may be issued. At present, another important reason why problem of rumour dissemination on microblog is grave, is that traditional media blindly report with unverified microblog information as clues, moreover, online media ensures that their influence becomes expanded thousands upon thousands of time because of reposting, resulting in the dissemination of rumours exceeding by far the scope of microblog. Because of this, rigid rules should be brought out, requiring that all media, including mainstream media represented by traditional media and focus news websites, can absolutely not report on matters using unverified microblog information and other such information as clues, and should certainly not report microblog information that has not been verified, regardless of how big the sensational effect that it might have is, in all cases, the principle of the truthfulness of news and social responsible should be closely kept in mind by media from beginning to end, they can absolutely not drift with the tide, and those not abiding by regulations must be severely criticized, investigated and prosecuted.

5. Integrating expanding supervision, complete real-name systems and smooth reporting. Looking from the situation that the flood of online rumours has not been thoroughly dealt with in the past few years, a large numbers of websites and especially commercial websites have clearly been unable to bear the responsibilities that they should bear. Therefore, it is suggested that relevant departments should unitedly establish a platform responsibility system with “who establishes online dissemination platforms keeps the gate, which website is out of order, will be the website whose responsibility is prosecuted” as soon as possible, and establish severe responsibility punishment systems with this sort of responsibility system at the core, regardless of on which websites rumours are fabricated or disseminated, or other such problems occur, there must absolutely be no indulgence, they must be let to bear the corresponding responsibility and even pay the price of closing doors and ceasing business.

One important reason for the flood of online rumours is that those fabricating and disseminating rumours are allowed to use create false names and publish discourse online, and believe that they may avoid legal punishment. At present, among online microblog users, zombie fans not occupy and extremely large proportion, whenever a real-name system is completely and thoroughly implemented, the number of microblog users of Sina, Tencent and other such commercial websites will very likely decrease from the present hundreds of millions to tens of millions, the so-called tens of millions of fans of a Weibo Big V may also reduce to millions or even a few hundred thousands, commercial websites whose commercial interests would be gravely harmed naturally will do their utmost to oppose this. But to thoroughly cure online rumours at the root, a complete and thorough implementation of a real-name system is obligatory. Although the obstacles are great, we should not compromise, yield or even surrender to them. Another important reason for the flood of online rumours is that netizen reporting channels are not smooth and the investigation and prosecution of reported rumours by corresponding websites and relevant departments is not powerful. Because of this, online reporting, telephone reporting, letter reporting and many other forms should be integrated and used, and investigation and prosecution results timely published to society, creating more and better conditions to let the popular masses participate in the campaign to attack online rumours, and mobilize the forces of the entire society to suppress online rumours.

6. Strike hard, according to the law, for a long time, with complete laws and regulations as handhold. The online space is a public venue, online society is a rule of law society. In our country’s present laws, in order to guarantee netizens’ freedom of expression to the greatest extent limits attacks on line rumours generally to administrative punishment, but the good intentions of legislation cannot be used for the benefit of law-breakers and criminals. Online rumour fabrication and dissemination creates a huge harm which indicates that, on the basis of differentiating social harm, strengthening the criminal attack strength against online rumours is not only an important guarantee to stimulate online civilization in a rule of law society, but is also a call and expectation of the popular masses. Using legal methods to punish rumours is a reasonable action that any rule of law country can do, and that should be adopted, conducting criminal law attacks against words and deeds of rumour fabrication and dissemination is also necessary for social development. Because of this, we must persist in conducting a long-term attack against online rumours, and especially must firmly punish the acts of rumour fabrication and dissemination by the so-called dissidents who incite the subversion of the national regime with the support of external forces. At the same time, we must establish legislative high-voltage wires against acts of rumour fabrication and dissemination, to ensure that the broad netizens hold the law in awe. Therefore, we should take the publication of the “Seven Baselines” and this concentrated attack on fabrication and dissemination of rumours as a juncture to expand the strength and speed of legislative processes and revisions, establish corresponding legal norms and institutional norms, and let those who dare to defy the law lose the family fortune, lose wealth and honour, and fundamentally eradicate the soil for the breeding of online rumours.

(The author is a post-doctoral researcher at the Tsinghua University Marxist Theory Post-Doctoral Mobility Station and a vice-secretary at the National Cultural Security and Ideological Construction Research Centre)

Responsible editor: Li Zhentong

整治网络谣言必须出重拳(笔谈)
编者按:近日,长期在网上造谣、传谣的秦志晖(网名“秦火火”)、杨秀宇(网名“立二拆四”)被抓获并刑拘,消息一经公开便引发了社会广泛关注,广大人民群众拍手称快。网络不是法外世界,恶意造谣、传谣必须要受到法律的制裁。那么,网络谣言的危害有多大?网络谣言泛滥的根源在哪里?如何才能彻底整治网络谣言?请看本期一组文章。

认清网络谣言的巨大危害

◎ 吕其庆

互联网的快速发展,给人们生活带来了极大的便利,同时,也给一些人在网络上散布谣言提供了渠道。网络谣言轻则侵犯公民或社会组织的个体权利,重则造成社会恐慌,危害国家安全。全国公安机关集中开展打击网络传播谣言等犯罪专项行动,加大网络造谣、传谣的打击整治力度,此举及时果断,凸显了党和国家净化网络生态环境的决心和信心,也让更多的人认清了网络谣言的巨大危害。

1.网络谣言加剧社会恐慌。随着信息技术的裂变式发展,中国互联网的普及程度越来越高,根据最新数据显示,我国网民数目前已过6亿,且以每年近10%的速度在增长。这昭示在不久的将来,网络将如广播、电视一样覆盖到全国各个角落,“网民”这个概念将随着全民上网而不复存在。尤其值得注意的是随着移动信息技术的发展,中国手机网民规模也在迅猛增长,目前已有4.5亿人使用手机网络,其中手机绑定的微博用户突破4亿,微信用户数突破3亿,这意味着在中国,每3人就有1人通过手机使用微博,每4人就有1人使用微信。几乎每个人都可以通过移动网络成为信息的接受者,同时也可以成为议题的设置者和发言者。庞大的网民、庞杂的声音汇聚成一个错综复杂的舆论场。“人人都有麦克风、时时刻刻都发言”的自媒体、微信息时代已经到来。原有的网络生态彻底打破:以往我们常用虚拟世界来区别网络与现实的不同,而现在网络与现实的界限变得模糊;以往我们用“网上冒烟网下燃”来说明一个网络热点话题会发酵成为社会热点事件,而现在网络引燃现实矛盾的燃点更低。网上一个不负责任的谣言,很容易成为引发社会恐慌的爆点。

在“7·23”甬温特大铁路事故发生后,“秦火火”在网上编造了中国政府花2亿元天价赔偿外籍旅客的谣言,仅两小时就有上万条微博转载,挑动了民众对政府的不满情绪,使政府的善后处置陷入被动。2012年2月21日,名叫“米朵麻麻”的网友通过微博发布了“今天去打预防针,医生说252医院封了,出现了非典变异病毒,真是吓人”的信息。该微博迅速在网络上传播,引起一些群众恐慌。23日,252医院院方和保定市卫生局辟谣称,经调查,病人所患病为普通感冒,而非网络炒成的非典病例。2011年3月,日本发生地震核泄漏事故后,网民 “渔翁”在QQ群上发消息称中国食盐将受核污染,后经大量转发扩散,中国部分地区开始疯狂抢购食盐,市场秩序一片混乱……

这一系列网络谣言,对社会造成的危害可谓巨大,因网络传播速度快,加之造谣者往往“语不惊人死不休”,网络谣言便会在很短时间里传遍千里,成为一个不稳定因素的节点,而这些节点串联在一起,就会成为引发社会突发群体事件的导火索。一旦网络谣言对社会造成了危害,要去破解它、弥补它,需要付出巨大的经济和社会成本。因此,网络谣言极容易蛊惑人心,加剧社会恐慌,对社会正常秩序造成难以愈合的破坏。

2.网络谣言引发社会信任危机。当前,我国正处在经济转轨与社会转型的特殊时期,也是社会矛盾的高发期。在这一特殊时期,网络谣言很容易成为引发社会震荡、危害公共安全的直接因素。一些转型期特有的社会矛盾,往往成为网络议题设置的重点,譬如贫富分化、资源分配不平衡、腐败问题等内容的点击率很高。网络造谣者迎合转型期一些人内心的不安全感和不确定性,利用网民心理弱点,编造散布极具蛊惑性和危害性的谣言,引发社会危机。

浙江钱云会案件中,有网络谣言说“钱云会是被谋杀的”;贵州瓮安事件中,有网络谣言说“三名嫌疑犯都是当地领导干部的亲戚”,“死者叔叔带到警察局问话被打死”;湖北石首事件中,有网络谣言称“死者是在知晓当地公安局长、法院院长夫人同永隆大酒店老板走私贩卖毒品后被害的”……几乎每一次社会不安现象的出现,都有谣言的伴随和鼓动,网络谣言撕裂社会信任,产生巨大的负能量。

谣言自古以来就是社会稳定的大敌,所谓“众口铄金,积毁销骨”,“三人成虎”等等,都是用来形容谣言之“厉害”的。在诸多网络谣言中,针对社会公众人物、社会伦理道德和社会基本制度的谣言,危害是最为广泛的。这类谣言从根本上破坏公众对政府、社会和政治制度的信任,造成严重的思想混乱,影响群众对社会经济发展的信心。比如,有人曾在网络上造谣,说北京市公交系统的一位全国劳动模范因贪污腐败被抓。虽然相关部门及时澄清,消除了谣言,但这则谣言把“全国劳模”和“腐败”相联系,客观上影响了公众对劳动模范这一崇高荣誉的信任。

网络谣言总是偏好负面信息,试图用“坏消息效应”不断瓦解事情真相,不断摧毁社会信任体系。它将社会的阴暗面不断放大,将矛盾不断激化,其伤害是巨大的,不仅严重威胁社会稳定,而且让人们产生社会堕入黑暗的错觉,势必会对所处的社会失去信心,消耗推动社会前行的正能量。

3.网络谣言损害国家形象。不管在哪个国家,网络谣言都会造成恶劣影响,有时甚至会取人性命。2010年,年仅15岁的美国马里兰州少女菲比·普林斯因遭受网络谣言中伤而自杀身亡。此前,普林斯的同学曾在脸谱等社交网站上散布大量谣言,并对她进行了长达数月的人身攻击。事件发生后,散布谣言的学生受到处罚,脸谱也开始力推实名制以加强网络管理,但普林斯已成为网络暴力的牺牲品。

一起起网络谣言的背后,有的是个人无意识之举,但更多的是有组织有预谋而为之,网络谣言背后隐匿的是不良信息产业化。“秦火火”和“立二拆四”两人创立了北京尔玛公司,他们通过在网络策划传播热点事件,伙同少数所谓的“意见领袖”,组织网络“水军”长期在网上兴风作浪,通过恶意炒作、炮制谣言赚取眼球,谋取利益。据二人称,网络炒作必须要“忽悠”网民,使他们觉得自己是“社会不公”的审判者,只有反社会、反体制、反国家,才能宣泄对现实不满情绪,并叫嚣称,“谣言并非止于智者,而是止于下一个谣言”。

网上恶意传播虚假信息已成为一个极为庞大的产业。利益的驱使,使得这个产业已渗透到互联网的各个角落,并形成一批专门从事发帖的水军。他们有组织地制造事端,混淆是非,引领网络舆论,谣言惑众,这些谣言既有对公民个体、社会组织的诽谤,也有针对公共事件的捏造,不仅侵害个体权益,污染网络生态,更影响社会稳定,损害国家形象。

在西方敌对势力插手或者指使下,一些别有用心者经常将网络谣言的矛头指向党和政府,恶意捏造事实,产生巨大的眼球效应。2012年3月以来,一些不法分子在互联网上无端编造、恶意传播所谓“军车进京、北京出事”等谣言,造成恶劣社会影响。事后,北京公安机关拘留了6名造谣者,电信管理部门也关闭了16家“造谣、传谣,疏于管理”的网站。

网络“水军”,尤其是一些试图在意识形态领域搞破坏,试图通过散布谣言不断攻击我们党和社会主义道路,抹黑我们党和国家的历史和领导人,对于这部分网络水军尤其是“水军”首领,我们要旗帜鲜明地与之做斗争并进行严惩。

当前,我们正走在实现中华民族伟大复兴的征程上,在这一重要的历史时期,我们要不断巩固马克思主义在意识形态的指导地位,巩固全党全国各族人民共同奋斗的思想基础。网络谣言作为意识形态领域的毒瘤,对其巨大危害必须给予清醒而充分的认识,并采取强有力的措施将其彻底清除。

(作者:《思想政治工作研究》杂志社编辑)

责任编辑:王农媛

网络谣言泛滥的根源

◎ 李晓梅

互联网上制造、传播谣言等违法犯罪活动猖獗是近年来一个不可小视的严重问题,不仅严重侵害公民切身利益,严重扰乱网络公共秩序,更直接危害社会稳定和国家安全。面对网络谣言泛滥,广大人民群众一直强烈呼吁整治网络乱象,但此前多次整治结果并不尽如人意,秦志晖(网名“秦火火”)、杨秀宇(网名“立二拆四”)等横行网络多年就是一个证明。那么,网络谣言为何如此难以整治,其不断泛滥的根源在哪里?

1.社会转型期人们思想意识多元、多样、多变是直接原因。随着当代中国乃至当今世界进入网络时代,尤其是微博、微信等新的传播形式不断出现,民众知情权、话语权、监督权要求空前高涨成为鲜明的时代特征。网络时代传播手段日新月异,颠覆了传统意识形态传播规律,打破了传统意识形态传播格局,社会意识多元、多样、多变的特征日益明显,正确与错误、先进与落后、主流与边缘的思想观念相互交织,意识形态领域的噪音、杂音此起彼伏,也导致了人们世界观、人生观、价值观的多样化并发生冲突,一些矛盾在冲突中酝酿、发酵甚至激化。而网络的发展为谣言的制造、传播等创造了极大便利条件,一些人或势力就开始通过制造谣言等手段让别人认同自己的思想或者谋取自己的利益等。

网络作为社会民众宣泄情绪、表达诉求的一种方便、低成本的手段和渠道,尤其是由于微博言论的碎片化、感性化、情绪化、片面化甚至偏激化等特点,再加上其成本小、隐蔽性强、传播快,使其可以通过裂变式、感染性传播扩大某条信息的影响力,尤其是关于官员贪污腐败、侵害民众利益、污染环境、野蛮拆迁、为富不仁等问题的信息;谣言一旦在网上发布后,很容易引起网民的共鸣,不少人不辨真假便加以转播,使之在短时间内迅速成为很多人关注的焦点。而有关部门对这种言行也缺少有效监管,更使得一些人在通过制造这些谣言发泄自己不满情绪的同时,还成为了拥有很多粉丝的网络红人,甚至成为媒体、民众追捧的所谓“反腐英雄”、“揭黑尖兵”等,这种造谣、传谣竟然可以名利双收的“典型”则对网络谣言愈演愈烈起到了推波助澜的作用。

2.市场经济的冲击、渗透、影响是重要原因。随着市场交换原则几乎渗透到每一个领域,一些政治、经济、文化等领域的利益集团为了打击竞争对手或者谋取私利,自己出面或者利用公关公司、广告公司、传媒策划机构等,收买一些新闻媒体的编辑、记者甚至负责人,相互勾结起来制造谣言、假新闻并大肆传播以达到不可告人的目的。近年来多次爆出的中国乳业两大巨头蒙牛、伊利之间在媒体上的相互攻击战就是一个典型案例。

一大批网络推手在互联网上围绕某一事件大批量发布信息或有针对性地进行炒作,这些有组织的网络推手俨然形成了一个帮派云集的“网络江湖”,他们通过制造、传播谣言来引领网络舆论进而误导甚至控制大众舆论,为达目的不惜伪造民意,将局部问题全局化、个体问题公众化、普通问题政治化等。

3.一些媒体转企改制为追求利益而忘记社会责任是特殊原因。随着一些媒体转企改制,在媒体行业激烈竞争的压力下,一些新闻媒体为了追求更高的点击率、收视率、阅读率等,竟然不惜牺牲新闻真实性甚至故意造谣、传谣而去追求所谓轰动效应,有的甚至公然炮制虚假新闻来达到吸引受众眼球、谋取单位私利等目的。还有的新闻单位在市场经营的压力下,为了追求广告利益,以软新闻等形式变相出卖新闻版面,把一些未经核实或者根本就不进行核实的广告以新闻的形式刊发、播出,导致这些广告误导民众、危害社会,尤其是一些假冒伪劣产品、虚假医疗广告等方面的软新闻危害更为巨大。近年来,从“金庸去世”到谣传抢盐,很多虚假新闻最初都是在微博上出现。网络上的谣言、虚假新闻被一些传统媒体不加核实加以传播,严重损害了整个媒体行业的公信力。

4.西方国家对我国的网络和传统媒体的渗透是外部原因。西方国家凭借其在各种新闻资源上的资本、科技优势,尤其是利用其掌握的网络话语霸权,对我国进行思想文化渗透的步伐进一步加快、力度进一步加大、手法更加多样化、方式更加隐蔽化,网络更是成为意识形态领域斗争的重要阵地。为了实现对中国的和平演变,美国为首的西方发达国家通过实施“文化帝国主义”,利用其在网络信息上的垄断地位以及利用其控制的传媒资源,对我国进行文化侵略和意识形态的渗透,推行自己的价值观念、生活方式和意识形态。并且,美国等西方国家通过一些基金会、非政府组织等机构,不仅通过收买、同化一些国内的官员、知识分子在网络和传统媒体上散布一些攻击我国根本政治制度、经济制度、社会制度等的言论甚至谣言,还收买、同化一些新闻单位的编辑记者,甚至借一些媒体转企改制的机会以参股、控股的形式介入,先是从控制媒体的市场经营权然后一步步渗透最终控制新闻采编权。目前,在一些网络媒体乃至传统媒体上不时出现攻击我们党和国家根本制度、丑化我们党和国家的领袖人物、捏造我们党和国家的所谓悲惨秘史等谣言,就是这些问题的体现。

据悉,秦志晖、杨秀宇等人组成网络推手团队,伙同少数所谓的“意见领袖”、组织网络“水军”长期在网上炮制虚假新闻、故意歪曲事实、制造事端等,甚至声称要“谣翻中国”。他们利用“郭美美炫富事件”蓄意炒作,恶意攻击中国的慈善救援制度就是一个例证。那么,这些所谓的“意见领袖”是谁?在其中扮演了什么角色?仔细分析更多网络谣言不难发现,不少经常造谣、传谣的网络大V本人就曾经是罪犯,不少网络谣言的矛头是直接指向我们党的历史、纲领、领袖以及社会主义制度等,这背后有哪些政治势力参与甚至指使、操纵,都是一些应该彻查的问题。

5.有关部门对网络谣言打击不力是关键原因。面对网络谣言泛滥,有关部门此前曾多次整治,但结果却不尽如人意。原因何在?打击不力是一个非常关键的原因。我们看到,对一些故意造谣、传谣的网络大V常常只是禁言一段时间而很少销号,并且还是其在一家网站的微博禁言了却不妨碍其在其他网站的微博上继续造谣、传谣,给人感觉整治就是做样子、走过场;一些网络大V经常编造谣言攻击我们党的历史、纲领、领袖以及社会主义制度等,不少网民举报却得不到回应,更看不到应有的处理;网络上的内容是否是谣言,往往是发布的网站自我判定,有关部门对网站在这方面的监管和纠错却很少看到;包括一些大型商业网站在内的不少网站多次出现故意甚至恶意的造谣、传谣事件,不少网民也呼吁严惩相关网站,但是却很少看到哪个大型商业网站受到严惩;专家这些年多次呼吁建立谁提供发布平台谁负责的网站责任制,但一直没有看到有关部门出台相关规定,就连曾一度被寄予厚望的网络实名制也因为利益干涉等原因大打折扣,某种意义上放纵了谣言的蔓延;并且,这么多年一直说要建立健全整治网络谣言在内的网络犯罪的法律制度,但是相关的法律和司法解释至今仍不健全。

(作者:CCTV-7《阳光大道》栏目主编、中国农业电影电视中心二级文学编辑)

责任编辑:李振通

彻底整治网络谣言:要敢于打“老虎”、管网站

◎ 朱继东

公安部根据广大人民群众举报的线索,部署全国公安机关开展专项行动,集中打击网络有组织制造传播谣言等违法犯罪,开局就抓获秦志晖、杨秀宇等网络推手以及相关企业,赢得了社会赞誉。这同时也表明,只要有关部门真正出重拳、敢抓真问题,就会有好效果。那么,如何才能彻底整治网络谣言,笔者认为应该从以下六个方面重点努力:

1.整治网络谣言必须勇出重拳、狠招。公安部这次结合党的群众路线教育实践活动和广大人民群众积极举报的线索,部署全国公安机关集中开展打击网络有组织制造传播谣言等违法犯罪专项行动,切实维护了健康有序的网络环境和社会秩序,赢得了广大人民群众的赞许。并且,抓捕秦志晖、杨秀宇的消息传出后,不少经常造谣、传谣的微博大V、没实名认证的所谓“意见领袖”等纷纷悄然删除了自己以往的造谣、传谣的很多微博内容,有的甚至把原来的几百上千条微博删除得只剩下几十条,一些历史类造谣微博就是典型例子。由此可见,拿起刑事打击这把利剑打击网络谣言,开了一个好头。期盼这个好头能够带动起各地严打网络谣言的风暴行动,对网络谣言发现一起严惩一起,狠打所有造谣、传谣的网络犯罪分子,让谣言彻底远离网络。每当有关部门打击网络谣言时,就有人把言论自由这个幌子拿出来横加指责。因此,我们应对有关部门勇出重拳、狠招整治网络谣言的行动,要加大宣传力度,借机加强对网民网络自律、网络文明等教育。让广大网民认清网络谣言的巨大危害性的同时也深刻认识到,同所有自由一样,言论自由也是有边界的。作为负责任的公民,不仅要不造谣、传谣,更要积极举报谣言,主动打击谣言。

2.整治网络谣言也要敢于“打老虎”。习近平总书记强调,反腐败要坚持“老虎”、“苍蝇”一起打。反腐败要敢于“打老虎”,不仅深得民心,而且效果显著。整治网络谣言要真正见成效、得民心,同样也要敢于“打老虎”。目前微博传播谣言问题之所以非常严重,一些粉丝量较多的微博大V造谣、传谣等是一个非常重要的原因。这些谣言“老虎”有的直接攻击党和政府的政策、做法,有的不加考证就随意甚至故意转播一些容易引起突发事件、群体事件的官员腐败、暴力拆迁、环境污染等虚假信息,有的故意为蒋介石、汪精卫等历史已有定论的反动人物翻案,并大肆诋毁、攻击毛泽东、周恩来等我们党历史上的伟人等,尽管网友反映强烈,但相关网站尤其是商业网站不愿意对其采取销号等严厉措施,进一步纵容了错误言行,造成了极其恶劣的影响。因此,应敢于对微博大V造谣、传谣等行为严厉打击,对影响恶劣的一次就销号,其他则普遍采取“第一次警告、第二次销号”的严厉措施并形成制度,才能真正起到杀一儆百,彻底整治网络谣言泛滥的作用。为了防止相关网站出于商业利益等因素不作为,国家互联网信息办等主管部门要设立公开的举报热线,积极受理广大网民对网络造谣、传谣以及攻击党和政府的言论等的投诉,并采取相应的惩罚措施。

3.干部、学者要争做打击谣言的主力。意识形态工作是党的一项极端重要的工作。应该明确各地各部门一把手要对意识形态工作总负责,使广大党员干部都高度重视、以身作则全力打击网络谣言。对于那些在课堂上造谣、传谣攻击党和政府、故意为历史已有定论的反动人物翻案,并大肆诋毁、攻击我们党历史上的伟人等言行的高校、党校教师经教育仍不悔改者,要坚决将其从教师队伍中清除。对于包括党中央、国务院以及各部委、各省市下属的各种研究机构中这类所谓的专家、学者,更要严加追究问责;同时,对于长期造谣、传谣的人及单位,要追求其单位主要领导责任;而对那些受国外机构以及非政府组织等资助甚至收买大肆攻击党和政府甚至煽动群众闹事的人,可以请公安机关、安全部门查证后采取相应措施。

4.新闻行业要争做整治谣言的表率。要总结这些年来在推进新闻出版行业市场化的过程中忽视意识形态属性出现的“一切以金钱为中心”、“一切靠点击率(发行量、收视率)说话”等错误思想,深刻剖析一些报刊、网站、出版社为了经济利益买卖版面、频道、书号等为谣言传播提供平台的巨大危害性,并对一些影响特别恶劣的单位进行严厉处罚,彻底纠正目前依然存在的错误做法。西方对意识形态的管束比我们想象的严厉得多,例如,“德国之声”编辑部内就设有“意识形态监察员”一职,所有文章均须通过“鉴定”后方可发表。目前微博传播谣言问题之所以非常严重,另一个重要原因就是传统媒体盲目以未经核实的微博信息为线索进行报道,再加上网络媒体转载后使得其影响成千上万倍地扩大,使得谣言的传播远远超出了微博的范围。因此,应出台硬性规定,要求包括传统媒体和重点新闻网站为代表的主流媒体在内的所有媒体,绝对不能以未经核实的微博信息等网上信息为线索进行报道,更不应该报道未经核实的微博信息,不管其有可能引起多么大的轰动效应,都始终牢记媒体的新闻真实性原则和社会责任,决不能随波逐流,对于不遵守规定的,要严厉批评并予以查处。

5.加大监管、全面实名和畅通举报相结合。从这些年网络谣言的泛滥且没有得到彻底治理的情况来看,大部分网站尤其是商业网站显然未能尽到自己应尽的社会责任。因此,建议有关部门应该尽快统一建立“谁建设网络发布平台谁把关,哪家网站出了问题就追求哪家网站的责任”为原则的平台负责制,并以这种平台负责制为主建立起严厉的责任追究制,无论哪家网站出了造谣、传谣等问题都绝不姑息,必须让其承担相应的责任甚至付出关门停业的代价。

网络谣言泛滥的一个重要原因,就是造谣者和传谣者由于可以用编造的虚假身份在网络上发表言论,并且自认为可以规避法律惩罚。目前网上的微博用户中僵尸粉丝占到了非常大的比例,一旦全面、彻底推行实名制,新浪、腾讯等商业网站的微博用户数很可能从现在的数亿个缩水到数千万个,一个所谓拥有数千万的微博大V的粉丝数也会缩减到数百万甚至几十万,商业利益大受损害的商业网站自然会极力反对。而要彻底根治网络谣言,全面、彻底推行实名制是必须的。虽然阻力很大,但我们不应该妥协、让步甚至屈服。网络谣言泛滥的另一个重要原因就是网民举报渠道的不畅通和相关网站、有关部门对被举报的谣言查处不力。因此,应该利用网络在线举报、电话举报、来信举报等多种形式相结合,并及时将查处结果向社会公布,创造更多更好的条件让人民群众参与到打击网络谣言的行动中来,发动全社会的力量清剿网络谣言。

6.以健全法律法规为抓手长期依法严打。网络空间是公共场所,网络社会是法治社会。在我国目前的法律上,为了最大程度保障网民的表达自由,对网络谣言的打击一般局限于行政处罚,但立法的善意不能为违法犯罪者所利用。网络造谣、传谣造成的巨大危害表明,在区分社会危害性的基础上,加强对网络谣言的刑事打击力度,不仅是法治社会促进网络文明的重要保障,也是人民群众的呼唤和期盼。运用法律手段惩治谣言是任何一个法治国家都可以、也应该采取的合理行动,对造谣、传谣言行进行刑事打击也是社会发展的需要。因此,要坚持对网络谣言进行长期打击,尤其是对那些在外部力量支持下煽动颠覆国家政权的所谓异议人士造谣、传谣的行为,更要坚决严惩。同时,要对造谣、传谣行为设立法律高压线,使广大网民对法律心存敬畏。所以,应该以“七条底线”的出台和这次集中打击制造传播谣言为契机,加大修法、立法的力度和进度,建立相应的法律规范、制度规范,让敢以身试法者倾家荡产、身败名裂,从根本上铲除网络谣言滋生的土壤。

(作者:清华大学马克思主义理论博士后流动站博士后、国家文化安全与意识形态建设研究中心副秘书长)

责任编辑:李振通

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