30/08/2011 14:57 BST | Updated 30/10/2011 05:12 GMT

Xinhua News Agency Calls For Curb On 'Social Threat' Of Internet

China's official news agency has called for a crackdown on the spread of "toxic rumours" on the internet, in the latest sign of the government's desire to rein in the country's rumbustious and fast-growing microblogs.

"Concocting rumours is itself a social malady, and the spread of rumours across the internet presents a massive social threat," Xinhua said.

It is the latest in a series of state media reports about the dangers of information spread via microblogs. A leading official also warned of the need to "strengthen administration" on a recent visit to Sina, which runs the hugely popular Weibo service, China's domestic rival to Twitter. The firm last week suspended user accounts for spreading rumours.