(SCMP) — A libellous online post that is forwarded more than 500 times or viewed more than 5,000 times could land its author in jail for up to three years, according to the mainland's first judicial interpretation to control rumours on the internet.
The legal move comes as the Communist Party ramps up its campaign to rein in the internet following President Xi Jinping's call to "seize the ground of new media."
The Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate, the country's top prosecution body, jointly issued the document yesterday. It set out the terms on what constitutes a criminal offence when it comes to spreading rumours or misinformation on the internet. The guidelines take effect today.
Advertisement - story continues below