Vital to crack down on rumors

Updated: 2013-09-25 10:08

(China Daily)

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Comment on "Fighting online rumors will protect free speech" (China Daily, Sept 13)

I strongly believe that clamping down on online rumors will protect, and not, harm freedom of speech. Everyone has the right to his/her own opinion but no one has the right to spread lies or propaganda to tarnish the reputation of another person or organization.

As a member of the digital age, I have used many social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and seen many people spreading lies about others and many users "re-tweeting and re-posting" those lies and ruining the reputation of the targeted person. I think the United States should implement the policy that China has, according to which words used online could be deemed a criminal offense.

The Internet is one of 20th century's greatest technological gifts to humankind. Yet its power to spread information among people is often abused by some people for their personal gains.

There is also the issue of what is authentic and what is not on the Internet. It would not be wise to trust blogs or users on social networking sites that are not verified. I support the writer's position that enforcing the Internet by law will make the Web more credible as far as information versus rumor is concerned. And as long as rumor, propaganda or slander is not being spread, people are free to say whatever they want to.

Alan Butler Jr., via e-mail

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