China claims victory in scrubbing the Internet

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By AP

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Updated: Sat, 30 Nov 2013 01:18:40 EST

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese government has declared victory in its recent campaign to clean up what it considers rumors, negativity and unruliness from online discourse. Critics say the moves have suppressed criticism of the government and ruling Communist Party.

Beijing launched the campaign this summer, arresting dozens of people for spreading rumors, creating new penalties for those posting libelous information and telling the country's top bloggers to guard the national interest and social order.

At the same time, government agencies at all levels have boosted their online presence to control the message in cyberspace.

A study by an Internet opinion monitoring service under the party-owned People's Daily newspaper showed the number of posts by a sample of 100 opinion leaders declined by nearly 25 percent and were overtaken by government microblog accounts.

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