Two under investigation for spreading rumors about lockdown
Two men are under investigation by Shanghai police for allegedly spreading rumors about the whole city being put under lockdown amid a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speculation that Shanghai will immediately enter a seven-day lockdown or that the city will be locked down for four days went viral on social networks on Tuesday evening.
Local authorities dismissed the rumors on Tuesday night.
A 38-year-old man surnamed Zhang and a 42-year-old man surnamed Yu were identified as initiators of the fabricated rumors, police said on Wednesday.
The two allegedly spread the rumors in WeChat groups to their colleagues and neighbors, which then led to their further and wider circulation.
Their act, police said, had a very bad social impact.
The two could face the criminal charge of fabricating and deliberately spreading false information, according to police.
Police are advising residents to refer to official information about pandemic control measures.
Those who fabricate rumors and spread unverified information could face criminal punishment, they warn.