Are the new Chinese anti-defamation laws a new tool to obstruct general online views?

September 10th, 2013   Theme: Internet Freedom

China’s new anti-defamation laws are according to analysts without a doubt a smokescreen for the government to control general online views. On September 9, the Chinese government announced new anti-defamation laws which are being criticized for cracking down the freedom of speech. Chinese officials say that “people have been hurt and reaction in society has been strong, demanding with one voice serious punishment by the law for criminal activities like using the internet to spread rumors and defame people” meanwhile analysts uphold that “the new guidelines are clearly a way to crack down or control general online views.” China has lately experienced a wave of embarrassing political scandals with the effect of resignation of several prominent officials. In the wake of that a lot of journalists as well as a high-profile blogger have been arrested in recent weeks. With the new laws, people whose rumors are visited at least 5000 times or being quoted at least 500 times would be liable for prosecution and could therefore face up to three years in prison.

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