Some of the wild speculation has been removed from the popular social media platform Weibo. But a lot of rumors promoted by the government are widespread in the real world, rattling foreign food imports and demonstration of the growth of the power of the rumor in China.
“In the end we are left with a conflict of nationalist sentiments and conspiracy of thought, fed by the official media statement,” said Florian Schneider, director of the Leiden Centre of Asia in the netherlands.
“The party and the state have already paved the way and provided the accessibility to communication resources for the citizens to now interpret the crisis through a nationalist lens.”
The new outbreak of Beijing, has been discovered in one of the largest in the region of the sea and vegetables on the markets. The total number of cases detected since June 12 hit 183 on Friday, although authorities insist that the second wave of the epidemic is now under control.
The frames of the Xinfadi market first said that the virus has been detected on cutting boards used to prepare the imported salmon. This soundtrack has been reported by the state-owned tabloid Global Times, which has focused on the manner in which the news of the outbreak have been imported from abroad — and certainly not locally acquired.
The officials of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have since sought to dispel the rumor, noting that there is no trace of coronavirus has been detected on the salmon outside the market. But, at the time, it was too late. Chinese social media has been swimming in the theories on how the virus has been exported from Norway in the pieces of frozen salmon.
Many social media users have even started to speculate that the pandemic, which began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan may have been imported from a foreign country.
These theories support the government argues that the virus may have come from outside of China, and have helped push back against the US president Donald Trump labelling of Covid-19 as the “virus in China”.
“Coronavirus found on the salmon: that is to say, the first case in Wuhan is also not the wild meat but the seafood is imported? Who had first accused the Chinese of eating the meat of wild animals?”, has requested a user called Mydad Chinese micro-blogging website Weibo.
After the state-run media highlighted the fears that the importation of fish may be contaminated, salmon has been allowed out in grocery stores and restaurants in Beijing. The frozen fish has been removed from several foreign food store in Beijing, Thursday, when many stores in the China on the online market place Taobao have stopped selling the salmon.
Social media in China is closely monitored by the authorities of China and posts attacking the government, or deemed too sensitive are often quickly removed.
But the conspiracy theories that have exploded in the wake of the latest outbreak of coronavirus have been left alone on the platform.
“In general, it is the increase in China,” King-wa Fu, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong, Journalism and Media studies Centre, said the spread of conspiracy theories on the Chinese social media.
“But coronavirus is unprecedented, and this type of information tends to circulate in times of uncertainty — and not only in China but in the whole world.”
The latest outbreak has seen much of the line of speculation to take a strong nationalist tone, sometimes even cling to the conspiracy, propagated by activists of the right in the united states.
A Weibo post shared on Sunday has been for the purpose of Mr. Gates. The post has been deleted, alleged that the virus could have leaked from a Chinese laboratory backed by Microsoft co-founder.
The masons have also been attacked on Weibo. A number of positions over the course of the last week blamed the mysterious fraternal organization as the source of the outbreak.
Weibo user Gufengdumian said: “Both Wuhan and Beijing epidemic began in the food markets. The offeror has taken advantage of these crowded places and careless attitudes. Those terrible Masons in the U.s. are determined to eliminate the Chinese.”
In the united states, right-wing bloggers have accused Mr. Gates, but in China investor George Soros is also believed to be the origin of the spread of the virus.
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“Bill Gates has been criticized to death for the coronavirus. Why doesn’t anyone suspect Soros?” Weibo user Chouniuba requested last week.
Zhao Lijian, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, has promoted the theory that the virus may have been intentionally transplanted to Wuhan by the american army. That has led to fevered speculation on social media about the source of the virus.
“Unfounded speculation about the origins of the pandemic has not begun with Zhao, but the case of his eye-catching tweets reveals how the China of the evolution of the propaganda tactics have interacted with a mutilated information, social media’s conspiracy theory, and underlying us-China tensions, thus allowing high-profile misinformation about the crisis of the public health,” researchers from Stanford University Vanessa Molter and Graham Webster wrote in a report this year.