More than 60% of the interviewed college students want to be an online rumor "crusher"

The news that a math problem by Wei Dongyi, a teacher at Peking University, had been solved by a second-year junior high school student, aroused the interest of Hao Yuanyuan, who was studying at a university in Shaanxi. When searching for the relevant information of this Peking University teacher, he accidentally found that "Harvard University invited Wei Dongyi to enroll" was actually a rumor. When he first saw the relevant news, Hao Yuanyuan didn't think much about it, but he felt that this Peking University teacher who carried mineral water and white steamed buns and had his brain full of wisdom wealth was even more awe-inspiring. Until he saw Wei Dongyi personally refute the rumors, he realized that this was probably a joke by the rumor-mongers to use Wei Dongyi to win traffic.

Junisonlin, who attended a university in Hunan Province, was once panicked by online rumors. "On the summer vacation after the college entrance examination, I saw that some netizens spread rumors that 'the college entrance examination papers have been leaked, and there may be a retake', although the first reaction was not to believe it, but still caused a little anxiety."

The era of social media is wrapped in "explosive" information, and the convenience of "everyone has a microphone" has also brought the side effects of online rumors that are easy to quickly generate and spread. China Youth Daily and China Youth School Media launched a questionnaire survey for college students across the country on issues related to online rumors, and a total of 2911,86 valid questionnaires were collected. The survey results showed that 95.72% of the respondents noticed the existence of online rumors, including rumors about social hot events (79.64%), rumors about a certain individual (24.61%), rumors about public emergencies (87.35%), rumors about a social institution or organization (35.34%), rumors about a certain group of people (46.<>%), and so on.

More than 40% of respondents have been negatively affected by online rumors

Zhao Mo of a university in Henan knows the sadness of being "slandered" by online rumors. She once saw a celebrity get caught up in a hot event that many people rode up online. "There is nothing wrong with the star itself in this matter, but many people scold it very badly." Zhao Mo, who really couldn't stand it, couldn't help but express her views in the comment area, and some netizens quickly turned their emotions to her, posting articles criticizing her and even insulting her under her comments. What she didn't expect even more was that it didn't take long for the star's fans to also attack her, saying that she was a "black fan", claiming that her comments attracted more attacks from the star. Someone specially posted a screenshot of her comment on the Internet, telling more netizens that she was a "black fan", causing more and more people to attack her personal account. Because of a comment, Zhao Mo, who was falsely rumored as a "black fan", said that he was just a "pure passerby" who loved to fight grievances, felt very wronged.

Even if he is not a rumor-monger, Cheng Jinjin from a university in Tianjin feels that the rumor is not far away from him. For example, setting off salt to buy hot "salt water gargling can prevent the new crown", "netizens will fall into the trap of online rumors if they are not careful." "In her view, online rumors are full of harm, and a targeted rumor may cause great public opinion pressure on the person being fabricated, causing them to produce emotional and even psychological problems;" Rumors about diet and living habits such as "this habit makes you live to ninety-nine" will also bring misguidance to the masses who lack the ability to distinguish information, and even cause anxiety.

As online life accounts for an increasing proportion of people's lives, online rumors are affecting every netizen to a greater or lesser extent. According to the survey of young school media, 43.39% of respondents have been negatively affected by online rumors. Among them, 10.07% of the respondents themselves had been rumored and physically and mentally harmed, 37.48% were anxious and afraid due to online rumors, and 73.34% thought that browsing rumors wasted their time. In addition, respondents realized that online rumors will cause certain negative impacts on society and others, such as causing harm to the rumor-mongers (82.76%), causing public mood swings and anxiety (68.02%), disrupting social public order or causing economic losses (66.78%), and unjustifiably occupying public resources (64.27%).

32.18% of the respondents had actively participated in debunking rumors

Liu Jinqiao, who attended a university in Beijing, recalled that a friend of his was plagued by online rumors in high school. This woman is beautiful, and some people spread her gossip. He has seen point-pointing points about this female classmate in the circle of friends, as well as some yin and yang weird comments. Once a friend discussed with him: "Is she not very disciplined in her private life?" Always watching her walk with some boys. Hearing this, Liu Jinqiao immediately retorted: "I know her and know that she is not that kind of person." Although he knew that his words would not necessarily help debunk the rumors, he still wanted to do everything he could to reduce the spread of rumors.

With the development of some activities and education to resist online rumors, some young people have begun to consciously participate in the action of dispelling rumors. According to the survey conducted by the youth school media, 32.19% of the respondents have actively participated in the refuting of online rumors, including passing the refuting information to their family and friends after seeing the official rumor refuting information (65.21%), reprinting it through the Internet after seeing the official rumor refuting information (55.92%), publishing questioning views or directly refuting rumors through the Internet after discovering that the authenticity of the news is doubtful (42.48%), expressing doubtful views or refuting rumors to friends around them after discovering that the authenticity of the news is doubtful (41.52%), etc.

Jiang Qialei, associate professor of the School of Journalism and Communication of Tsinghua University, deputy director of the Intelligent Media Research Center and doctoral supervisor, encouraged netizens to participate in debunking rumors as much as they can when they realize that some information is rumors. "The spread of rumors requires a certain process to have an impact, which is not immediate, and even not directly visible to many netizens. However, rumors can cause many negative effects, such as online violence, economic losses, harm to physical and mental health or personal safety. Some netizens may feel that a rumor has nothing to do with themselves, as long as they are not involved in the rumor, they do not need to do anything extra. But if it goes on like this in the long run, it will form a 'broken window effect', that is, in the face of undesirable phenomena in the environment, if everyone allows them to exist, it will get worse and worse, and to some extent, it will promote rumors and rumors. Jiang Qiaolei suggested that when netizens perceive that the information may be distorted, they can give feedback to the platform or the media, or call on other netizens not to spread rumors and wait for official information, or they can also transmit verified official information to friends, relatives, and even netizens around them, "do their best to resist rumors." ”

When it comes to boycotting online rumors, some interviewees want to start with me. 16.18% of respondents realized that online rumors existed, and would choose to forward them after seeing the official rumor refuting information; 45.48% of respondents will forward official refuting information when the rumor involves public interest or is related to people around them. 82.82% of respondents are willing to learn more about how to recognize online rumors; 63.38% of respondents said they would not easily believe inflammatory speeches, images or videos on the Internet; 53.21% of respondents will encounter information first find reliable sources; 32.84% of respondents will take the initiative to stop spreading information when they see rumors around them and do not understand the situation; In addition, 31.05% of the respondents want to participate in activities to resist online rumors and spread relevant knowledge.

Jiang Qiaolei said that some young friends have a more active subjective willingness to resist online rumors, and they can start from several aspects. "Rumors are often impactful and relevant, and when encountering this information, you first need to cultivate your own information verification ability, and first think about where this information comes from and how true it is." Jiang Qiaolei introduced that in the current diversification of channels for obtaining information, the public needs to realize that in the era when every individual, even artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT has participated in information production, many of the information circulating on the network is unverified, the source is unknown, and the authenticity is doubtful, so when encountering relevant information, especially more sensational and seemingly important information, it takes a little time to screen. "According to the methods you have, you can go to official institutions and authoritative media to inquire and obtain verified information."

Every netizen is not only a recipient of information, but also a participant in its dissemination. "The ease with which information is forwarded and disseminated makes it very easy for information to circulate through the network, as do rumors. Therefore, when you see information that you can't be sure of, first of all, don't rush to forward and conclude, because a casual retweet and comment may become a way for rumors to spread, so everyone should start with me to avoid the spread of rumors. On this basis, do some critical thinking, bid farewell to information 'take-ism', slowly form their own judgment after detailed understanding and analysis of relevant events, and even prevent rumors from further negative impact through understanding and analysis of events, with the help of channel feedback or reporting provided by media or online platforms. Jiang Qiaolei said.

Dispelling online rumors requires a multi-pronged approach

"To eliminate online rumors, it is not enough to rely on the power of netizens." Jiang Qiaolei believes that from the social level, it is necessary to have corresponding punishments and warnings against rumors and rumors that have a negative impact, let the public understand the relevant laws through various forms of law popularization, and also need to match and follow up new laws and regulations in real time for the emerging means of online communication and content production; Government departments, schools and the media also need to publicize not to spread rumors, and how to protect their rights and interests when encountering rumors; Official institutions and professional media that can grasp and verify information need to release accurate information in a timely manner, and at the same time make good use of the all-media matrix to completely smash rumors.

With the continuous development and evolution of new things such as the Internet, the relevant laws are also following suit. At present, the Civil Code of the People's Republic of China, the Law of the People's Republic of China on Administrative Punishments for Public Security, and the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China all provide corresponding provisions on the punishment and sentencing of rumors and rumors, and the Interpretations of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Handling Criminal Cases Involving the Use of Information Networks to Commit Defamation and Other Criminal Cases and the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Safeguarding Internet Security also provide corresponding interpretations on the handling standards for online defamation and rumors.

According to a survey conducted by the youth school media, 16.49% of the respondents have a good understanding of the legal responsibilities required for online rumors and rumors, and are familiar with the relevant provisions; 27.31% of respondents understand some terms; 44.35% knew that there were relevant laws and regulations, but were not very clear about the specific provisions; 10.61% of respondents do not know much about relevant laws and regulations; 1.24% of respondents were unaware of relevant laws and regulations.

Jiang Qiaolei pointed out that the legal punishment of popularizing the harm of online rumors and spreading rumors to the public requires a variety of vivid and accessible methods. "Simple legal provisions are abstract and difficult for the public to understand, and in the absence of relevant cases, it is difficult for ordinary people to think about the social impact of spreading rumors." Therefore, the actual cases can be used as materials, integrated into media reports, community and school legal education, and through telling the real events, the harm of rumors and the consequences of rumors can be truly felt. ”

Zhao Mo began to realize the negative impact of online rumors after watching the movie "Search". The story tells the story of a woman who did not give up her seat to the elderly in the car, was photographed and posted online, and the malicious attack on her and the Internet rumors caused by subsequent events broke out. The story ends with the heroine being unable to endure the cyberattack. The clear and vivid film made Zhao Mo quickly realize how harmful rumors and rumors are, and online rumors cannot be spread unscrupulously.

Regarding how to improve the public's ability to distinguish online rumors, the suggestions made by respondents included carrying out media literacy education for netizens, such as online classes, organizing bloggers to disseminate relevant knowledge, etc. (77.33%), setting up media literacy-related promotion activities, lectures and courses in communities and campuses, primary and secondary schools (61.77%), strengthening warnings from governments, media, and online platforms, suggesting that netizens may have rumors on online information (64.07%), and encouraging netizens to use tools to identify rumors, such as information search, Seek authoritative sources, etc. (50.36%). In addition, 42.25% of the respondents believe that some rumors are difficult to distinguish for the public, and it is still necessary to officially refute the rumors as soon as possible.

A classmate of Liu Jinqiao was rumored on social platforms that he had an infectious disease, and it was not until the classmate checked that there was no problem, and he also donated blood and received a blood donation certificate, and the rumor was quelled. Liu Jinqiao tried to complain about the person who posted the rumor through social networking sites, but did not get feedback from the platform, and the "rumor post" was not cleaned up or labeled as a rumor. In his view, the complaint channels set up by online platforms need to be improved and improved.

Jiang Qiaolei introduced that online rumors often come from unofficial channels, such as ordinary social media accounts, and online information platforms should participate more actively in the response and governance of rumors, and discover rumors in a timely manner and reduce the negative impact of rumors through more accurate information verification and screening capabilities. "The network information platform can provide netizens with regular reminders and warnings through technical means. For example, when the platform identifies a piece of information with doubtful authenticity and has a large impact, it can prompt 'the source of relevant information is not clear, the authenticity is doubtful, please forward with caution' when netizens forward it, or remind users that the information they publish may have rumor-mongering and rumor-spreading risks, and need to be vigilant, and so on. Jiang Qiaolei said that when the platform encounters a large amount of information suspected of being rumored, it can make users aware of doubtful information through a kind reminder, and in the long run, it can also help users develop the habit of making judgments before publishing and forwarding. The platform can also apply some methods to help netizens identify information from the source, such as marking the source of information more obviously, so that netizens can see at a glance whether the information comes from authoritative sources or ordinary users on a flat web page to help netizens make judgments. ”

(At the request of interviewees, Zhao Mo and Liu Jinqiao are pseudonyms in the text)

Zhongqing Daily / China Youth Network Reporter Bi Ruoxu Intern Reporter Luo Xi Intern Fan Zijing Source: China Youth Daily