Censors target internet news


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The Independent Online

State censors are trying to prevent critical postings and rumours on the internet from reaching a broader audience, issuing new orders to prohibit news media from reporting online information before it is verified.

The regulations, dated last month and posted on an official website yesterday, are the latest attempt by Beijing to tighten control over information that has been loosened as people use social media to pass on news and bypass traditional censorship.

The rules ban reporters and news media from reporting any information taken from the internet or mobile phones without first-hand verification.

Violators may be barred from working in the media for five years, and serious infractions may lead to criminal charges.