With a fresh campaign against online rumors underway, China Media Project’s David Bandurski examines the “Seven Base Lines” recently defined to help guide “mutual building of a favorable [online] environment”:
You might assume with all this talk of “rumors” that there are genuine concerns about the truth and accuracy of information. Perhaps the leadership wants to put a stop to the spread of false and destabilizing information — like talk of radiation fallout that prompts panic salt buying (one thing mentioned a lot during the 2011 anti-rumor crackdown).
You would be wrong.
Let’s look quickly as the “Seven Base Lines.”
- The Base Line of Laws and Regulations
- The Base Line of the Socialist System
- The Base Line of National Interests
- The Base Line of Citizens’ Legal Rights and Interests
- The Base Line of Public Order
- The Moral Base Line
- The Base Line of Information Accuracy
Notice that information accuracy is at the bottom of the list. […] [Source]
Bandurski adds a translated Nanfang Daily commentary “which sums up the official view on this issue quite well.” See also a recently reposted 2011 interview with Hu Yong, who argues that rumors can play a useful social function, and that “the best possible mechanism for clearing up [information] would be for the government to realize openness and transparency of information.”