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China’s Web Users May Face Jail Time for Posts That Defame

China said authorities could jail web users for as much as three years if they post comments deemed defamatory, in a legal interpretation that defines punishments for people who violate government Internet controls.

People face imprisonment if the defamatory rumors they post online are read by more than 5,000 people, reposted more than 500 times or cause the subjects to hurt themselves, commit suicide or “experience mental disorders,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Xinhua cited an interpretation released yesterday by the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.