Nanjing police fired their social media editor who had spread a rumor claiming an app launched by the State-backed People's Daily newspaper was phishing for user's personal information.
The app "In Military Uniform," launched to celebrate the army's 90th anniversary on August 1, generates images from selfies that show how the user would look as a PLA soldier donning uniforms from different eras.
The employee, an editor of the official Nanjing police Weibo account, warned in the post on Monday that the app was a phishing program disguised as State-media. "It's IP address is actually in Canada," the post read.
The police department apologized for the post later that day, explaining their social media editor has been misled by an online rumor that claimed the app was run by a "foreign organization."
"Sorry, [we were] wrong from the start," read the post. "The editor who was misled by the fake news was dismissed."
People's Daily also commented Monday on Weibo, saying the app was safe and would not glean private information from users. The paper has since contacted authorities to further investigate the rumor.