Two men have been detained in Beijing for fabricating online rumors and maliciously tarnish the reputation of others, Beijing police confirmed on Wednesday.
Yang Xiuyu, founder of the Erma Company, along with employee Qin Zhihui, were found to have fabricated and spread rumors online and taken profits from their illegal acts, Beijing police said.
They are suspected of the crimes of making troubles and engaging in illegal business operations.
Yang and Qin have confessed to the crimes.
Four other employees of the company are also under investigation.
The police said they started to investigate the case when some netizens reported that a rumor defaming the image of Lei Feng, a household name of a Chinese soldier was widely spreading online.
During the investigation, the police found that the suspects Yang and Qin had fabricated more than 3,000 different rumors on the internet over the past three years.
“I fabricated the news. I didn’t verify their authenticity, so I knew it and I’d say I made it wrong. I should take the responsibility. I did this without intention, just because I thought them disgusting,” said Qin, the suspect.
“(He did it) just for the purpose of catching the eyeballs and self-satisfaction and boosting his fan base, as the rumors are relayed in the 10,000 times within two hours,” said Zhang Hui, a policeman.
Apart from fabricating rumors on hot issues, Yang and Qin also fabricated rumors about celebrities. Qin implied on Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, that Ms. Zhang Haidi, the chairperson of the All-China Federation for Disabled Persons, has acquired Japanese citizenship and gives China Disabled Persons’ Federation contracts to her sister.
“I am not at odds with Zhang. I just thought that I should dig something out for fun. She doesn’t have anything to gossip about. She’s kind of a positive person. I like to interpret things in my way and send it out online, so I don’t always forward others,” confessed Qin.
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