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Authorities shut influencer’s social media platforms with 30 million followers over fake news

The influencer and her company may face administrative punishment, which ranges from a warning to detention.

• April 15, 2024

The Chinese government has reportedly removed the accounts of a popular social media influencer on TikTok, Thurman Maoyibei.

According to a report published by the BBC on Monday, Ms Thurman fabricated the viral story of a boy and his missing homework books.

The influencer’s accounts on Douyin, Weibo, and BiliBili reportedly disappeared over the weekend.

Police in the southern city of Hangzhou have disclosed the surname of an influencer, who goes by the name of Thurman Maoyibei on social media, as Xu.

Ms Xu has a combined following of 30 million on various Chinese platforms.

Ms Xu and her colleague, Xue, have been accused of producing a series of fabricated videos and spreading them on multiple platforms since 16 February. This information was revealed by the authorities.

The influencer and her company may face administrative punishment, which ranges from a warning to detention.

On Friday night, she posted an apology video for “polluting the internet”.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security has categorised a particular case as a “typical example” of its efforts to combat online rumours.

Although most online censorship is focused on dissident and political content, authorities have also begun to take action against non-political false information in recent years.

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