China to Crack Down on ‘Harmful Content’ Related to COVID-19 in 2021

Chinese Regulators Aim to Rectify Rumours about Covid Ahead of Lunar New Year Holidays:

In anticipation of the Lunar New Year holidays beginning this weekend, Chinese regulators have taken steps to combat misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. A statement published on its website said authorities aim to stop spread of “false information” that could cause panic and prosecute “secret prescriptions” against the virus and “false testimonials from patients”.

The Chinese Administration has been intensifying measures in the run-up to the celebrations. After a few weeks of rising hospital pressures and difficulty accessing medicines, people resorted to dubious home remedies like consuming canned peaches against covid. Authorities have warned of ‘rumours’ that could “seriously alter the social order”.

An analysis by Peking University said that around 900 million people could have been infected with Covid in China after it lifted the ‘zero Covid’ policy and allowed for more relaxed control of the pandemic.

The Administration has mentioned unsubstantiated accusations, pseudoscience and mistaken impersonation of experts being shared over social media in December. Additionally, it has warned against false health advice such as overdosing on ibuprofen during recovery.

State authorities have also requested locals to contain spread of the virus during the festive dates by prioritising healthcare services in rural areas. They have also reaffirmed their dedication to putting an end to excessive wealth-flaunting and overeating, suggesting gift-giving – including cash gifts – and family feasting has waned in recent years.

In addition, authorities have closed off any circulating information about alleged celebrities, including gossips and private revelations.

Lastly, regulators have stressed that spreading false information across various networks in a way that “exaggerates the dark side of society” as well as posts that are “vulgar”, will not be tolerated.

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