China Confronts the Online Rumor Mill

Anywhere in the world it can be a challenge to sort fact from fiction on the Internet, but in China the problem has a unique dimension, given the relative absence of reliable information, especially on issues involving the government.In recent years, all too often the Chinese authorities have issued false statements in an effort to conceal the truth about matters of public concern, with the result that rumors thrive as people grope for clues about what really happened. As official lies and popular rumors vie for supremacy, it becomes all the harder to distinguish between fact and fiction, especially on the Internet.

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