JCC  Vol.7 No.3 , March 2019
Research on the Prevention and Control of the Internet Rumor from the Perspective of the Self-Media
Author(s) Xingzhi Zhou1*, Huihui Feng2
Abstract
With the rapid development of Internet science and technology, the self-media industry is rising gradually. As an important way of information dissemination, more and more self-media platforms are established and the main body of information communication becomes more complex. The self-media not only brings convenience to people’s life but also brings some negative effects. The self-media has more remarkable characteristics in information dissemination. The birth of self-media makes the network appear more suspicious information that cannot be effectively verified. Internet rumors fly all over the sky, which has caused certain influence on the stability of the society. The prevention and control measures of online rumors from the perspective of self-media are studied in this paper for creating a healthier network environment. Firstly, the concepts of self-media and Internet rumors are briefly summarized. Then, the main characteristics of Internet rumors from the perspective of self-media are analyzed. Finally, the prevention and control measures of online rumors, including strengthening supervision, improving the quality of self-media, and strengthening public identification of rumors, are proposed.

1. Introduction

Wang has held the view that rumors exist in every era of civilization. The rumors in the middle ages are regarded as rumors in the era of listening and spreading, while the rumors today are called the rumors in the era of digitalization and networking [1] . The prevention and control of rumors has always been a social problem. To deal with Internet rumors, the traditional coping mode of the government has lost efficacy. An internal control mechanism is required to implement the control of rumors [2] . In the era of self-media, the spread of rumors is accelerated by fission and spreads widely. Once the rumor is further developed, it is difficult to refute, which will have a great impact on the lives of people or even rise to the social and political problem [3] . Therefore, scientific, reasonable and effective measures must be taken to strictly control online rumors and create a healthier and more civilized online environment for people. The prevention and control measures of online rumors from the perspective of self-media are studied in this paper. The concepts and characteristics of self-media and Internet rumors in present studies are integrated, and the prominent characteristics of Internet rumors are analyzed based on theories and rumor facts. Finally, measures for prevention and control of Internet rumors are proposed based on the above studies.

2. The Basic Understanding of Self-Media and Internet Rumors

2.1. The Concept of Self-Media

The so-called self-media is a new type of media expression, the core of which is manifested in “self”. Self-media is also known as personal media and citizen media, that is, in the modern Internet age, everyone can be self-media, to use a variety of network platforms, self-media platforms, to create their own personal brand and disseminate various types of information to different social groups. In the current network, the most frequently used self-media platforms include WeChat public accounts, Weibo, Headlines Today, BaiJia account, and Tencent QQ and so on. The emergence of self-media enriches the way people receive and disseminate information, and at the same time, makes all kinds of information come into view [4] .

2.2. The Basic Outline of Internet Rumors

Internet rumor, compared with the general rumor, mainly spreads on various network media. Such rumors have no actual basis, which are some false information to be verified. Generally speaking, these Internet rumors will have certain aggression, which has brought bad influence to the society. The types of online rumors are various, including some public affairs, personal attacks, defamation of public figures, and some false incidents which subvert traditional concepts, and so on. The truth and falsehood of most online rumors can hardly be identified, and will also have certain impact on people’s minds, and even lead to some serious social problems. Consequently, the serious blow and reasonable control should be carried out on the Internet rumor.

3. Analysis of the Characteristics of Internet Rumors from the Perspective of Self-Media

3.1. Rumors Spread Faster and Wider under the Environment of Self-Media

Self-media has a strong openness, providing a very broad platform for the dissemination of various types of information. The speed of information communication on these platforms is much faster than that of traditional media. On the platforms of self-media, rumors are created more frequently, and the spread speed of rumors on self-media platform is promoted by the continuous spread of rumors among people, which gives rise to all kinds of rumors in the media environment and has brought great harm to the life of the people and the stability and development of the society. The wide coverage of the Internet and the global forms of communication have led to the rapid development of rumors in the self-media environment, with unpredictable impacts on people [5] .

3.2. Under the View of Self-Media, Internet Rumors have Low Controllability and High Randomness

At present, with the rapid development of Internet science and technology, the new media environment promotes the development of self-media. Self-media-related subjects can publish various kinds of information content at will on more network platforms, and such information is continuously diffused under the influence of human beings. Trying to eliminate and control these online rumors is as difficult as looking for a needle in a haystack. Although people have implemented a variety of ways to control and manage online rumors, they still have a very weak ability to control Internet rumors because of the characteristics of rumors and the Internet.

3.3. Under the Environment of Self-Media, the Main Body of Internet Rumor Communication is not Clear Enough and has Strong Concealment

As self-media is prevalent, everyone can register as self-media on different network platforms. Self-media is just a form of various medium. As the main carrier of information dissemination in the new era, anyone can become self-media and publish all kinds of information on the network platform. Many self-media platforms have low requirements for publishers, which gives more opportunities to many rumor disseminators [6] . It is very difficult to determine the main body of Internet rumor dissemination in the society, which brings great challenge to people in controlling the Internet rumor in order to deliberately conceal their identity.

3.4. The Recognition Degree of Internet Rumors Is Low, Which Has a Great Influence on the Masses

Generally speaking, publishing all kinds of information content on the Internet has almost no restrictions on publishers of self-media, which is a kind of environment where the threshold is very low and the speech can be published at will. Some people are not responsible enough for the information and photos they post on the Internet and use a variety of information that has no real basis to confuse the masses. As known by everyone, as one of the communication platforms of self-media, the efforts of information dissemination of Weibo are very strong, and there are a lot of influential public figures on it. Some public figures transmit some of the propagated information, which will cause a great sensation and bring great influence to the social groups. As many of the information published on the network need to be verified, many people are deceived by the Internet rumors, and cannot judge the truth and falsehood of all kinds of information published by the media effectively [7] . For this kind of phenomenon, relevant departments have responded with certain disinformation behaviors, but it is still very difficult to control.

4. Research on the Prevention and Control Path of Internet Rumors from the Perspective of Self-Media

In the field of media, various rumors emerge in endlessly, which will bring people certain negative influences. In order to maintain social stability and create a healthier network environment, effective measures must be taken to manage and control rumors online.

4.1. Enhancing the Supervision and Control of Rumors Online

Internet science and technology has become a part of people’s life, and is inseparable from people’s acquisition of all kinds of important information. Some online rumors have brought people very serious physical and mental damage, and even threatened the lives of some people, resulting in a serious social phenomenon. To this kind of situation, the government and the relevant department must raise the legal weapon, adopt the compulsory measure, and strengthen the supervision and control of the network rumors [8] . Studies have shown that the harm of online rumors can greatly be reduced if the government and other relevant authorities release rumor refuting news timely when online rumors appear [9] . In order to bring people a healthier network environment and promote the harmonious and stable development of society, Internet rumors should be managed and controlled through various ways. Therefore, the government and relevant departments should first know the various serious negative effects caused by Internet rumors correctly, and adopt strict and mandatory management measures to lay a good foundation for the control of Internet rumors. Secondly, the legal measures should be used effectively to improve the governance of rumor, so that the rumor disseminator can be punished by the law. The country should combine the development of all kinds of self-media, formulate the relevant legal system, take legal measures to strictly supervise the information dissemination of the self-media, improve the legal system constantly, and make the network environment more purified. Finally, for some important information, the government should implement an open and transparent system and give the people certain right to know, so that people have a full understanding of the spread of rumors and processing progress. In addition, a certain early warning mechanism should be constructed to discover and predict the development direction of rumors in time, and thus, the control of rumors can be improved.

4.2. Improving the Literacy and Standards of Self-Media Publishers

The emergence of the self-media has provided a broader platform on which anyone can disseminate free speech. As the receiver of information, people are also the transmitters, creators and publishers of information. The spread of some online rumors is closely related to their own cultural literacy and comprehensive ability as well as their ideological understanding. Some ideas are not sound, and the content of the information spread on the network platform by people who are cynical is bound to bring great ideological influence to the masses and cause social unrest [10] . According to a survey, most self-media publishers are not highly educated, and most of them have published rumors actively or passively. The main reason for releasing rumors is that the quality and cognition of the publishers are not enough, and the secondary reason is driven by material interests [11] . Therefore, improving the quality and standards of self-media publishers can prevent the occurrence of online rumors to some extent.

Hence, people must recognize the influence of self-media publishers on Internet rumors, and the literacy and standards of self-media publishers should be enhanced. Only on this basis, can more rumors be stopped effectively and the harm caused by online rumors can be reduced. In terms of this, the government and relevant departments should step up publicity efforts to promote the legal awareness of the masses of the people, guaranteeing that self-media publishers release all kinds of positive, real information resources within the scope permitted by law and should be responsible for the important information released. In addition, it is necessary to improve the ability of information publishers to distinguish the authenticity and falsehood of information content. It is needed to strictly prohibit the publication and dissemination of all kinds of bad information, handle and delete all kinds of bad information in time, and maintain the health of the network environment.

4.3. Strengthening the Relevant Law Enforcement and Severely Cracking down on the Rumor-Makers

The country should establish the relevant legal system, and for some people who release rumors on the network, it should strengthen the law enforcement and severely crack down on them combined with the rumor type. At present, in the national laws and regulations, for those who damage the state power and reputation, and deliberately fabricate facts and spread false information, there is a corresponding punishment. However, some studies have pointed out that due to the continuous evolution of Internet, the existing laws and regulations have been unable to keep up with the situation of cracking down on rumors, leaving many legal loopholes, which also encourages the idea of self-media publishers to spread rumors [12] . Therefore, it is urgent to step up law enforcement. With the continuous development of Internet science and technology, the rapid development and spread of Internet rumors have brought great impact and damage to people. Therefore, law enforcement departments should enhance law enforcement, and impose corresponding penalties on them based on the types of rumors spread by rumor-makers and the degree of injury they bring to the people. Hence, these rumor-makers can bear certain legal responsibilities and feel ashamed of making rumors, so as to prevent the emergence of rumors.

4.4. Strengthening the Public’s Ability to Distinguish the Authenticity of all kinds of Information

In addition, the public figures have different understandings of the rumors generated by their own thinking and cultural literacy. As the ancients said, “rumors stop at the wise man.” Many rumors continue to spread because people do not have a correct understanding of them. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the public’s ability to distinguish the authenticity of all kinds of information, discover online rumors in a timely manner, and take effective measures to prevent the continued spread of rumors, reduce the occurrence of rumors, and avoid all kinds of unnecessary harm caused by rumors.

5. Conclusion

In a word, in this era of wide Internet coverage, all kinds of information from the self-media environment spread very fast, and the type of information dissemination has a great impact on people. The birth of Internet rumors makes the network environment more complex, and also brings a test to people’s ability to judge. All kinds of injuries caused by Internet rumors are unpredictable. Therefore, effective measures must be taken to maintain the network environment and prevent the spread of all kinds of rumors. The government and relevant departments should constantly improve law enforcement, while citizens should strengthen their ability to identify rumors, thereby creating a healthier and better network environment jointly and promoting the stable development of society.

Cite this paper
Zhou, X. and Feng, H. (2019) Research on the Prevention and Control of the Internet Rumor from the Perspective of the Self-Media. Journal of Computer and Communications, 7, 1-7. doi: 10.4236/jcc.2019.73001.
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