33 Weibo users banned from posting messages after insulting and defaming Olympic athlete Wang Luyao
Published: Jul 25, 2021 08:05 PM
Wang Luyao photo:Web

Wang Luyao photo:Web

China’s social media platform Sina Weibo said Sunday it has banned 33 users from posting on the platform for making comments to insult and defame Chinese Olympic athlete Wang Luyao, whose personal post triggered controversy.

Weibo said some users insulted and attacked the female Olympic athlete. A total of 35 comments that attacked the athlete were also deleted, a statement released by Weibo said.

Some 16 Weibo users have been banned from posting on the platform for 180 days and another 17 users for 90 days, according to the statement.

Weibo did not specify Wang’s name in the statement but its decision came after she suffered cyber insults on the platform. Wang, who was placed in high hopes to get a medal, made an apology on her Weibo account after she ranked 18th with a score of 625.6 at the end of the women’s 10-meter air rifle qualifier and missed the final.

“Sorry everyone, I admit I chickened out. See you in three years,” Wang wrote on her personal Weibo with a selfie in black pajama.

The post immediately attracted millions of views and comments in a few hours, with many netizens attacking Wang personally. Wang deleted it hours later in the face of strong cyber insult..

Some people criticized Wang for wasting time posting a selfie rather than practicing, others accused her of being an attention seeker, and some argued that the phrase “chickened out” is inappropriate to be used by a national Olympic athlete. The pettier ones just poked fun at her pajama. 

The 23-year-old won a silver at the World Cup in Munich, Germany in 2019, but missed the podium in her only World Cup Finals and world championship appearances, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

After the incident, many netizens and mainstream Chinese media came out to support her. The hashtag “Wang Luyao still the amazing girl from Zhejiang” hit the top trending topics on Weibo and has garnered 490 million views as of press time. 

The People’s Daily also supported Wang on Weibo, saying “to win or to lose is normal. Train hard and love life is the best portrayal of athletes in the new era. Wang Luyao will achieve better results in the future.”

Some netizens said that the fact that Wang already stood on the Olympic stage is already a great victory. “This is not an era when you must win the medal otherwise you are nothing,” some said.

Imposing punishments on netizens who defame Olympic athletes is a common practice. Police from Japan on Sunday said they have found posts that slandering Olympic athletes are increasing and they will take measures against such behaviors. 

Global Times