BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Though many Chinese enjoy the convenience brought by the Internet, it is critical that they bear in mind social responsibility and basic moral principles to stop the Internet from becoming a virtual realm of abusive language and rumors.
At a meeting on Saturday, Chinese Internet celebrities were urged by a senior official from the State Internet Information Office to set better examples of appropriate Internet behavior and play a more constructive role in promoting virtuous and moral activity online.
The government expects these celebrities to uphold law and order, set an example of protecting the legal rights of citizens, and denounce any activities that harm the reputation and interests of others.
The Internet has become a major platform for people to obtain all kinds of information and socialize with others. However, recurrent online rumors, cyber-manhunts and bullying are increasingly compromising the credibility of online information and netizens' privacy.
It is not as if some occult hand is going to reach down to curb rumors and harassment online. Every Internet user needs to exercise good judgement and have a clearer sense of social responsibility.
On the Internet, the more responsibilities users assume, the greater freedom they will enjoy.
Cyber safety and productivity is also part of the agenda for the three-day China Internet Conference 2013, which kicked off on Tuesday.
Well-known Internet entrepreneurs, government officials and experts from related fields have gathered at the conference to explore ways of enhancing the cyber environment and providing a better online experience for the country's 591 million Internet users.
Net users vary in personality, but they need to find common ground for regulating their words and actions to prevent the Internet from decaying into a virtual realm of rumors, slander and contention.
These bottom lines should include self-discipline, rationality, morality and respect for others.
"Only by securing the bottom lines can freedom of speech be truly honored, and rational and peaceful public discussion ensured," said an editorial carried Tuesday by the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
Like all Internet users, Internet celebrities should take these bottom lines seriously, because the large number of followers they have on social networks has enabled them to exert notable influence on public opinion.
On Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, China's two leading social networks, the current number of accounts followed by at least 1 million people has reached 3,300, and there are about 200 accounts with at least 10 million followers.
The people behind these popular, wide-reaching accounts have a responsibility to deliver more positive messages to netizens and help restore the Internet's credibility and integrity.