China's internet regulator, Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), has banned the online media from basing news reports on social media content and directed them to verify the news before publishing it.
According to a notice issued by the CAC, news websites have been directed to accredit their sources and are banned from fabricating stories or distorting facts.
The regulatory body has also punished some major websites this year including sina.com, ifeng.com, 163.com and Tencent, which have "fabricated" stories.
In one of the cases, a journalist from the Caijing Magazine wrote a story in February based on fabricated online content, describing a village in northeast China where the residents do not respect the elderly and women are considered promiscuous. The story went viral.