China announced new changes to their legal provisions which allow the government to gaol you if they don’t like what you are posting on twitter or facebook or on a blog. Retuers have reported that people who post false rumours that become widely circulated will face up to three years in gaol. China’s high court (equivallent) determined that people whose rumours were reposted at least 500 times or viewed at least 5,000 times would now be liable for prosecution.
Several prominent officials have been forced to resign in recent months, including Yang Dacai, who last week was sentenced to 14 years in prison after web users posted pictures of him wearing expensive watches. The images led to a corruption inquiry and spurred President Xi Jinping to launch a widespread anti-bribery campaign.
Under Monday’s ruling, a “serious case” of defamation includes any false information that causes protests, social unrest, or psychological agony to its subject. According to AFP, the law also covers posts related to extortion and blackmail.
Chinese officials say the law will help deter smear campaigns and the spread of misinformation, though users have already expressed concern over the government’s low page view and repost thresholds.
But look, let’s be friends. Isn’t there a saying about better to Dance with the Devil? I’m sure it’s not the one about dancing with the devil you know, because, well, I don’t know how well we know this one particular devil.