BTS’ fan club accounts suspended under campaign against irrational idol-chasing behaviors
Published: May 21, 2021 07:15 PM
K-pop boy band BTS Photo: AFP

K-pop boy band BTS Photo: AFP

China's Twitter-like Weibo announced on Friday it has banned 10 accounts of fan clubs from posting for 30 days. The accounts were suspended for encouraging inappropriate behaviors including cyberbullying and improper fundraising and voting.

At least seven of the 10 suspended accounts were created by Chinese enthusiasts of South Korean hit boy band BTS and its members, the Global Times discovered. The most popular account named "BTSBAR" has had more than 1.2 million followers as of Friday.

The latest post that BTSBAR tweeted on Weibo before being banned was on Thursday afternoon, in which it shared information for BTS' recent performances and activities, and the links to some voting pages. A vote for the most sociable [entertainment] star will end on Friday, it said, reminding BTS fans to vote for the band.

Many Weibo users applauded the ban, saying they have got bored of the constant friction and arguments between fans, and their money-wasting voting and fundraising for celebrities.

"Days earlier, Chinese fans collected more than 6 million yuan ($0.93 million) to celebrate the birthday of a BTS member," a user with the ID "small bird is so cute" wrote. Her words were later confirmed by several other users including the BTS fans, who said some of the money was spent on "happy birthday advertising" on digital screens.

Weibo issued the ban to answer the government's call for regulating the idol industry and building healthy online environment for fans, said the social media platform's administration on Friday.

Earlier this month, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) launched a campaign named "Clear and Bright" to combat "irrational behaviors" of fan clubs and the resulting chaos in the entertainment industry.

The campaign was launched following a recent milk-wasting scandal, which involved a domestic variety show where trainees competed to become famous. To support and vote for their favorite trainees, many fans reportedly scanned the voting QR codes inside caps of milk bottles, only to dump the milk into sewers.

The chaos existing in online fan clubs, such as abusing each other, spreading rumors, cyber manhunt and improper consumption, are among the prominent problems on today's social media, CAC official Zhang Yongjun said at a press conference on May 9.

Authorities will further study on the behavior of online fan clubs and require social media platforms to regulate the clubs, guiding the teens and young people to chase their idols rationally, Zhang noted.

Global Times