China’s new ‘denying a rumor’ platform identifies fake news

China is stepping up its fight against disinformation spreading online.


Piyao, a platform hosted by the country’s Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission and state-run media Xinhua, was launched Wednesday to bust rumors and fake news disseminated across the internet.


The move comes as official data showed a whopping 6.7 million reports of fake news in July. News broadcasted on Piyao will come from various channels including state-owned and party-controlled media and government agencies, according to Reuters. It will also employ artificial intelligence to identify disinformation.


Not only can internet users report bogus stories, they can also find out if something online is authentic or not based on the resources provided on the Piyao platform. The website also publishes announcements from the government and authorities, expert opinion, advice on how to identify disinformation as well as legislation, among other things.


In addition to a website, Piyao (which translates to ‘denying a rumor’) is also available as a mobile app and has social media accounts on Weibo and WeChat. Responses on Weibo to the Piyao platform have been positive, with many commenters expressing support and some saying this should have been done long ago.



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Piyao isn’t the first platform in China aimed at fighting fake news. Weibo set up an official account that identifies and lets its users report disinformation. In 2015, Xinhua also worked with relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Agriculture to establish an association that checks food-related rumors.