According to Xinhuanet, two Beijing citizens were detained after supposedly fabricating and spreading fake news regarding horrific resurgence of CCP-virus cases in the Xinfadi Market. Mr. Tan sent a message to Mr. Wu through Wechat that “Of the 8,300 people tested in the Xinfadi Market, 5,800 tested negative, and the rest 2,500 were positive cases. The positive rate was horrific”. Mr. Wu then shared the news with acquaintances in multiple Wechat groups. Consequently, both men were arrested in police custody.
This incident related to the news published by CCTV.com regarding CCP-virus update on the Xinfadi Wholesale Market. At the press briefing on June 14, the government officials of Beijing Fengtai District claimed to have conducted nucleic acid testing at full steam. They had coordinated with two testing agencies and established 5 testing sites. Great doctors were brought together to the front lines to conduct testing. The government aimed to set up 24 testing sites and test all 46,000 residents in the neighboring residential compounds. First round of testing results were in as at the time of the press briefing. Of the 8,186 samples collected, 5,803 throat swabs were tested and the results turned out negative.
The news headline written by CCTV.com was misleading. The headline stated that 8,186 people from the Xinfadi Market participated in nucleic acid testing and 5,803 throat swabs were tested negative. The implication of the statement was the remaining 2,383 people tested positive. As a result of this, the calculated positive rate of 30% was a terrifically high number. Therefore, the message sent by Mr. Tan was a reasonable interpretation of the news headline. Mr. Tan showed no intention to make up numbers and spread disinformation.
Readers of CCTV news should not be responsible for the misinformation reported. Multiple countries have introduced or are in the process of establishing laws to fight fake news, aiming to stop people from spreading misinformation or disinformation online that could harm the society. The laws target people who knowingly spread misinformation. As per discussed above, Mr. Tan and Mr. Wu did not intend to fabricate any news. CCTV, on the other hand, deliberately emphasized the high number of negative CCP-virus cases with its “eye-catching” headline. They intentionally wrote that statement to demonstrate its CCP-virus situation under control.