China bans April Fools' day as Internet overflows with jokes

Reports that swear they're not April Fools' pranks claim China has banned April Fools' day, citing annoyance and incompatibility with the "western tradition." April Fools' day is, of course, a day for unabashed suspicion — it's also fun, and companies have fully embraced it to release all sorts of amusing (and sometimes incredibly frustrating) jokes. China will have none of that, though; the nation's state-run news agency has stated that April Fools' isn't inline with its "cultural traditions, or socialist core values."

The full statement, posted by China's Xinhua news agency, reads: "April Fools' Day is not consistent with our cultural tradition, or socialist core values. Hope nobody believes in rumors, makes rumors or spreads rumors." Furthermore, it was hinted that people could face stiff penalties for carrying out a prank that in some way blemishes or makes fun of the nation's communist party.

As pointed out by the Washington Post, China took steps to stop the online creation and spreading of rumors a few years ago, threatening to throw people in jail for three years if they posted things that weren't true online, and those things then went viral. It was yet another move on China's part to tighten its grip on social media and make sure "online rumors" didn't lead to any sort of social unrest.

It's not surprising China wants to ban such jokes, though, given that it's not that great at spotting them. A few years ago, an Onion article — the downfall of many Facebook users — claimed Kim Jong Un had been voted the sexiest man alive. China's Communist Party, not realizing it was satire, ran a massive spread on the dictator, praising and congratulating him for the award.

SOURCE: Washington Post