China's fearsome track record on internet censorship claimed more victims on Monday after two men were arrested and detained for spreading "rumours" on the web which the authorities did not take kindly to.
China Daily reported that the men were detained in Changsha, Hunan after suggesting that thousands of policemen in hundreds of vehicles had been spotted guarding a wedding in the city last week.
Despite having posted a video of the vehicles and officers surrounding a "wedding convoy", which would seem to back up their story, the men will be detained for five days in accordance with the relevant laws, the paper reported.
The government is saying that the presence of the police at the event was purely coincidental as they were returning from training, according to Reuters.
What can't have done the two men's cause any good is the fact that the online clip they posted soon attracted a huge number of hits, and, presumably, the attention of the Chinese government, which is known to have teams of employees who patrol the internet looking for illegal content.
The arrests highlight once again that China is prepared to stand Cnut-like and almost alone among world nations in its stubborn attempts to stem the free flow of information online.
In the face of social media and the huge surge in popularity of Twiter-like micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, the government recently released strict guidelines for reporters forcing them to personally verify any information posted online, or risk criminal prosecution for false reporting.
Days before that, the Chinese authorities forced over 30 major technology companies in the country, including Baidu, Lenovo and China Telecom, to agree to tighter online censorship in order to reduce the spread of "harmful information".
The choice facing web firms in the largest internet market in the world by population is becoming increasingly stark.
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