BEIJING (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 26th January, 2020) WeChat, the most popular Chinese social network and messenger, intends to decisively combat rumors and the spread of misleading information concerning the outbreak of the new deadly coronavirus, the social network's security department has announced.
In a statement, WeChat noted that the society was extremely concerned about the disease spread, while rumors and unreliable information surfacing online only increased the panic.
WeChat can also temporarily or permanently suspend accounts that publish misleading information about the outbreak.
In addition, those violating the aforementioned rules may face criminal penalties. Under China's criminal code, those who fabricate and disseminate fake information about the disease in the media or on the internet with a view to undermining public order can receive from 3 to 7 years in prison.
Law enforcers will likely easily identify violators of rules since the social network requires real name authentication.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in China's central city of Wuhan in late December. Over 1,970 confirmed coronavirus cases have since been registered across the country, with the death toll now standing at 56. Confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have been also recorded in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Nepal, France, the United States, Malaysia, Australia and Canada.