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What's the buzz

Updated: 2013-12-16 07:23
( China Daily)

A recent online report that said a Chinese woman threw herself in front of a foreigner's motorbike with the intention of extorting money from him triggered netizens' fury against the woman. Later, it was learned that the foreigner had indeed knocked down the woman, but a photographer who happened to be passing by took photographs of the foreigner and the woman arguing and uploaded them on the Internet with a made-up description of the incident despite not being a witness to the accident. Since online information plays a very important role in our lives, we need to make sure we know the truth before we start believing in everything that is posted online. The following are the reactions of China Daily's mobile news readers to the incident:

We need to objectively judge online reports. Some online reports on burning issues are indeed based on facts but others, to attract public attention through more "clicks", tend to ignore the truth. While uploading news on the Internet, the posters (and websites) may not necessarily be biased but could unwittingly, to serve their own interests, report an incident the way they perceive it. Therefore, people should exercise discretion before passing a judgment on an incident that they read or watch on a website or blog.

PIAOMIAO, Wuhan, Hubei province

There is no denying that Chinese people tend to blindly follow the crowd. Without even stopping to think who is really to blame, they start criticizing one party or the other. Even if they realize later that they had been wrong all the way, they find a way to ignore the fact, which shows that they rarely have an independent opinion of their own. Evidence is always needed to prove whether something is right or wrong.

MIGNON, Hengyang, Hunan province

I used to believe in all the reports that I read when I was a student. But after graduating from college and coming to understand the way society functions, I have chosen not to believe in everything I read or see on the Internet. Since what we see or hear online may not necessarily be the truth, we have to use better judgment to decide which is factual and which is not. Also, sometimes personal emotions are mixed in news reports, and we should be wary about it.

A READER, Qingdao, Shandong province

Online reports are a double-edged sword. On the premise of disseminating authentic information, the Internet has been accepted by people across the world to keep pace with the latest incidents and developments. But if a reporter has made baseless speculation about an incident with no sound reason, he/she will only mislead the public, and the effect can be contagious. Therefore, readers should be aware that not all news is true. And for that, they should use informed judgment.

A READER, Changsha, Hunan province

Reports on social media networks could be both real and false, and we need to screen such information and choose what to believe in by using better judgment. Compared with media outlets at the national level, which exhibit a much higher degree of objectivity, reports spread through the websites or blogs are prone to be confusing, making it difficult to distinguish right from wrong. What I post on my weibo is more about the people and things around me, which, though, not necessarily balanced is closer to the truth. The distorted online report on the Chinese woman and the foreign motorcyclist calls for stricter supervision of online news reports.

LIANGYANG, Zhengzhou, Henan province

(China Daily 12/16/2013 page9)