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Serious breach limit set for online rumors in China

Serious breach limit set for online rumors
By Cao Yin ( chinadaily.com.cn)

China's top judicial authorities have defined what is a "serious case" of spreading false information online.

Libelous or damaging rumors posted online and viewed at least 5,000 times or forwarded 500 times are classed as a "serious" breach of Criminal Law.

The Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate released the definition in a judicial interpretation on Monday.

Online posts that have a great negative effect on a victim or their family, such as mental anguish, will also be investigated as serious, it said.

"Serious cases" also involve the spreading of false information that causes mass disturbances, religious conflict, social disorder or damages of national interests, it said.

According to Chinese law, offenders face up to three years in prison.

The interpretation also states that profiting from helping others delete posts is illegal. A person who gains more than 20,000 yuan ($3,267) through this practice will see his or her case treated as "serious", it added.

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