Chinese punished for spreading "rumors"

China is carrying out a broad crackdown on people accused of spreading so-called "rumors" online.

CBS News correspondent Seth Doane says, according to the government in Beijing, 197 people are being punished for spreading "rumors" about China's stock market uncertainty, the devastating industrial explosions in Tianjin and an important military parade in Beijing set to take place on Thursday.

The government's extraordinary effort to silence criticism is part of an ongoing campaign that has been stepped up during the last couple of years.

Critics say it's just another effort by the Chinese government to control the discussion.

Separately, a financial journalist from the most-respected business magazine in the country, who wrote about the recent market collapse, was paraded on state TV Monday to apologize for "publishing the report at such a sensitive time... when it could have adverse impact on the market."

One of the online rumors refuted by the government was that a man jumped to his death in Beijing because of the stock market slump.

Also targeted were people accused fo inflating the death toll from the explosions in Tianjin.

What exactly these peoples' punishment may be has not been specified by officials.

The market panic and the Tianjin explosions were two cases where the Communist party was seen as weak, but Thursday's military parade is a chance to try to be seen as strong -- and to regain control of the discussion.