Weibo to rectify behavior in entertainment, sports, gender equality
Published: Jul 24, 2020 12:18 AM

File Photo: VCG

Social media platform Sina Weibo vowed on Thursday to curb hatred-advocating speech, targeted at hostile words and cyber attacks in entertainment, sports, gender equality and other areas, a move the platform claimed would “effectively maintain the platform’s order.”

The announcement was made by Sina Weibo on Thursday. It gives a definition of hatred-advocating behavior as speeches that organize, incite, or guide people to discriminate, harass, slander, insult or hate an individual or group; or that interfere with the process of publication, performance, and broadcast of literature, films, and television programs through Weibo and in other ways.

Weibo’s official account wrote in the statement that for a period of time, the lack of rules and methods for governing group violations has caused difficulty in administration of the community. 

Weibo lacks the necessary intervention and management methods in administration, especially among fan groups in the fields of celebrities, sports and games, and in governance of personal attacks and unfriendly speech regarding gender, animal protection, religion, race, and region.
Weibo vowed to launch a two-month targeted rectification program. Any violators’ accounts will be closed, or they will be banned from publishing content. 

Sina Weibo, one of the largest and most active social media platforms in China, has long been a hotbed for hatred speech. 

The rule came after a fierce cyber clash between fans of Xiao Zhan, a Chinese actor with 26 million followers on Weibo, and fans of Archive of Our Own, or AO3, an overseas fan fiction site which was reported by Xiao's fans and was made inaccessible in the Chinese mainland due to fan work published on the site that they strongly oppose. 

The incident later attracted large-scale public attention, with more fans and other netizens getting involved, resulting in a large conflict that bred cyber-based violence among all involved parties, of which a great proportion are underage. 

Early last week, in response to the Cyberspace Administration of China’s campaign to clear up the internet environment for minors during the summer holidays, Weibo vowed to curb extreme fan culture.

The newly published statement signals Weibo’s further step toward directing young fans to better express their affection and support for idols. 

Global Times