Chinese Internet firms launch site to debunk online rumors

Six Internet players including Baidu and Sina Weibo will monitor claims made on their sites, and highlight rumors via the new site to expose phishing scams and debunk false information.

Six Chinese Web sites have launched a platform on Thursday to refute online rumors and expose phishing scams.

Six Chinese Internet companies have introduced online platform to refute rumors and false information circulating on the Web. 

According to a China Daily report Thursday, the new website collates and monitors statements from microblogging services, news portals, and China's largest search engine Baidu, to refute online rumors and expose the scams of phishing Web sites. The six Internet companies are: Qianlong, Sogou, Sohu, Netease, Baidu, and Sina Weibo. 

The new online platform operates under the instruction of the Beijing Internet Information Office (BIIO) and Beijing Internet Association, a non-profit social organization.

Internet usage has expanded Chinese people's channels of expression, but also facilitated the circulation of rumors and false information, noted Chen Hua, BIIO's director of the Internet information service and management department. "The platform will be an attempt by Beijing's websites to eradicate online rumors and raise Internet users' awareness to differentiate rumors from the truth," he said.

The first phase of the platform has been completed, Chen said, adding it has collected about 100,000 statements on online rumors and phishing websites, providing Internet users around 30 sites through which they can report online rumors or scams.

Operators of the platform will spend another year working on the second phase which, when completed, will introduce more interactive programs to encourage the public to report online rumors.

China's efforts to regulate online information and websites are not new. In June,, which monitors blocked Web sites in China, suggested the government was experimenting with stealth methods to censor Internet search results  when keyword search results for 1989 Tiananmen Square protests had been amended or thoroughly filtered, instead of showing the usual message stating sites could not be displayed.