A man who claimed to be a member of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in an attempt to increase his following on social media has been detained by the police in South China's Guangdong Province, local media reported Saturday.
The 25-year-old man surnamed Zhong will be detained by local police in Tangjia, Guangdong for five days for "fabricating false facts and spreading rumors online" in defiance of the Public Security Administration Punishments Law, said the Guangzhou-based news portal ycwb.com.
Zhong was taken in for questioning by police after the city's department of public security on September 12 found that he had identified himself on the Tieba online forum as a member of IS, an Islamist group that has seized control of parts of Iraq and Syria and claimed responsibility for terror attacks around the world, said the report.
However, the official investigation found that Zhong had been working in Zhuhai since graduating college three years ago and has no record of criminal behavior or overseas travel.
Police could find no evidence he had been involved in planning terror attacks or had ever contacted IS.
According to police, the post in which he claimed to be a member of IS, which garnered more than 500 views, was simply a way for him to get more attention for his micro blog.
Zhong has confessed to the crimes of which he was accused, said ycwb.com.
In July, a Net user surnamed Wei from Anyang, Central China's Henan Province was detained for four days for spreading rumors about a non-existent flood and mass brawls involving hundreds of people out of personal anger, according to the Henan-based news portal dahe.com.
The report also noted that due to how quickly information can spread online, rumors can easily infringe upon the rights of citizens and society, as well as bring about public panic and threats to national security.
Rumormongers can be sentenced to up to seven years imprisonment for spreading fabricated information online, China Central Television reported in October 2015.