China launches rectification campaign on ‘fan circles’ to crack down on cyberbullying and rumor spreading
Published: Jun 15, 2021 04:48 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) launched a two-month "Clear and Bright" campaign on Tuesday to rectify China's "fan circles" as fan clubs' behaviors of cyberbullying and spreading rumors on the internet have adversely affected adolescents' physical and mental health. 

For a long period, sick parts of fan culture have damaged the clean network ecology with some fans irrationally exchanging insults, stalking their idols and disturbing other cultural groups despite the authority's repeated crackdowns on such behaviors. 

The fans of Chinese actors Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo, who jointly starred in the hit TV drama The Untamed, which aired in 2019, have often attacked each other to guard their perspective idols. 

Previously, China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo banned or suspended accounts of fan clubs for encouraging inappropriate behaviors including cyberbullying and improper fundraising and voting. 

A recent irrational act taken by fans to support idols by dumping milk into sewers to scan voting QR codes inside caps of milk bottles to vote for their favorite trainees in a hit variety show Youth With You Season 3 triggered widespread criticism online. 

After the incident, the CAC vowed to take comprehensive measures to crack down on such behaviors in a bid to solve the problem fundamentally. 

Five categories of behaviors are targeted during this "Clear and Bright" rectification including inducing minors to raise funds, excessively consuming and voting, exchanging insults, spreading rumors and invading privacy, and agitating fans to flaunt their wealth and extravagant lives. 

Other behaviors that interfere in public opinions and affect the order of communication include hiring ghostwriters and controlling online comments. 

Meanwhile, the authority will explore and form a long-term working mechanism to standardize the management of fan circles, promote the healthy development of fan culture, and jointly build a civilized and healthy online spiritual home. 

Global Times