China's public security minister has vowed to guide management of public opinion on sensitive cases and prevent hyping of such cases, the Ministry of Public Security said in a Tuesday statement.
Chinese State Councilor Zhao Kezhi, also minister of public security, said at a video conference held on Monday that to prevent challenges to political security and social stability, "we should manage them when they are small, and at an early stage," the statement said.
Faced with sensitive cases, the government should also strengthen its guidance of public opinion to prevent escalation and hyping of these issues, Zhao was quoted as saying in the statement released on the ministry's official WeChat account.
When such issues occur, local governments sometimes chose not to respond at all or waited until the last minute after the event triggered widespread public fury, Wang Sixin, a media law professor at the Beijing-based Communication University of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"This has become a new risk that challenges government credibility with the public," Wang said.
Such a situation was perilous and could soon evolve into a crisis that endangered social stability, he warned.
"In the internet era, a quick and effective response is better than no response or even blocking the information," Wang said.
In November last year, a Beijing resident spread rumors on WeChat about a military regiment collectively involved in molesting children in the infamous RYB Education kindergarten child abuse case.
Later the police cleared the rumor and detained the rumormonger.
To maintain social stability, Zhao also vowed at the video conference to intensify management of society in general, enhance patrols of heavily populated areas and crack down on criminal activities.