The Chinese government — and many of its supporters — say over and over that social stability is the most important thing in China. To get that stability, they says, the government must control as much as possible — and especially control the media.
The problem is that the people quickly learn not to trust what ever is reported and put more faith in rumors. So the following episode from China should not surprise anyone.
Parents lynch bookseller over abduction fear
Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:02am EDT
BEIJING (Reuters) – A mob of angry parents lynched a book salesman and badly injured four of his colleagues after rumors spread that the men were part of a human smuggling ring, the official Xinhua agency said late Monday.
The attack at the Chumen Primary school, in prosperous eastern Zhejiang province, occurred in the early morning as the group handed out leaflets about a lecture to be given nearby, the agency quoted a police official as saying.
After gossip spread that a gang was trying to ensnare the young pupils, parents surrounded the group and set upon them until police intervened. One man died in hospital and the others were undergoing treatment, Xinhua said.
So fear and gossip got a person killed. Maybe a system of open communication and a trustworthy media could have saved that life.