'Top 10 online rumors' exposed

Updated: 2013-09-06 14:23


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BEIJING - The "Beijing Regional Platform for Jointly Refuting Rumors," an official monitor of false information published by people online, on Thursday issued a list of "Top 10 Online Rumors," to showcase a month-long government crackdown on such fabrication.

The mechanism, which went into operation on August 1, was formed jointly by major websites headed by Qianlong.com, under the direction of the Chinese capital's municipal authorities responsible for Internet information.

The top 10 false "news stories" published by individuals online are as follows:

1. "Infant soup" made of babies' bodies has been available in Guangdong province.


During a secret investigation in Fushan and Taishan cities, where the cases were reported, a reporter asked local residents, taxi drivers and pharmacies about the alleged "infant soup" but nobody had heard of such a thing.

A restaurant manager also said he never heard of such "soup". The local police told the reporter they had not heard of such cases nor received any related reports from citizens. To clarify the rumor, they launched several large-scale investigations targeting local restaurants, but found nothing.

Local hospitals said that they have special staff to keep track of every infant body, preventing any intervention from doctors, so that it is impossible for any infant body to be accounted for. 

2. A bus was kidnapped in Bozhou, Anhui province, in August. 


The micro blogger who posted the news was found by police to be a college student passenger of the bus, who wanted to draw wide attention by fabricating the kidnapping news, as the blogger was cheated out of 280 yuan when he bought his ticket from scalpers. 

3. A student was killed by officials in Wanyuan, Sichuan province, in July. 


The student was illegally selling mushroom on a street and misinterpreted the urban management officers' actions of moving his booth as an attempt to confiscate his goods, and he tried to stop them.  

In the scuffle, the vendor's left shoulder was scratched.

4. A photo "showing floods in Liaoning province" was actually copied from those of floods in the Philippines.


The photo was identified as one of a post-flood scene from the Philippines in 2011. The flood triggered by tropical storm Washi killed more than 1,000 people in the Philippines.  

5. Hundreds of people died in floods in Qingyuan in August. 


Hundreds of people died in floods in Qingyuan in August, said a post by a micro blogger on Aug 20.

The flood control headquarters of Fushun city, where Qingyuan county is located, said a total of 54 people across the city were killed in the floods as of 7 pm Aug 20.  

6. "1008600" is a telephone number owned by swindlers 


China Mobile said on its official Sina Weibo account that any phone numbers starting with 10086 or text messages from those starting with 10086 are free of charge, according to the company's billing rules. 

7. China ranks lower than 160th in terms of people's quality of life in a list compiled by the United Nations. 


In a micro blog, the rumor publisher said the ranking was quoted on Wikipedia. But Internet users couldn’t find any such reference on Wikipedia. The report said the ranking was made by UN, but the blogger also failed to provide any official UN file or link.  

 8. Six criminals escaped from a prison and then murdered 78 women and raped 16 in August.


To gain more attention and followers on Sina Weibo, a man surnamed Li fabricated the news and published it on his micro blog under the name "Wenzhou Top News". Li found that words such as "murder, prison break, robbery and rape" can always grab attention on the Internet. 

9. A large number of bad guys disguised as law-enforcement personnel attacked homes in August. 


A photo of a notice was uploaded by a micro blogger, warning Internet users to be aware of such disguised "law-enforcement personnel", but local police said they never received any reports about such attacks, and official staff members of the committee that allegedly issued the notice also denied any such cases.

10. The Three Gorges Hydropower Station is being privatized. 


A post on Sina Weibo said Three Gorges Hydropower Station was privatized by Changjiang Water Resource Corp Ltd. The truth is, the biggest shareholder of Three Gorges Hydropower Station is the state-owned China Three Gorges Corp, which holds 73 percent.