Criminal detention of Luo Changping safeguards basic values of society: Global Times editorial
Published: Oct 08, 2021 09:18 PM
A poster of the film the Battle at Lake Changjin shows in a cinema. Photo: VCG

A poster of the film the Battle at Lake Changjin shows in a cinema. Photo: VCG

The Sanya Public Security Bureau, South China's Hainan Province, announced on Friday afternoon that Luo Changping, an online influencer, has been put under criminal detention. This is the price Luo should pay for using puns to defame a company of Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) whose soldiers were frozen to death during the battle at Lake Changjin in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. 

Luo has apparently violated the Law on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs and the Amendment (XI) to the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China. Our society has offered protection to heroes and martyrs' right of reputation and right of honor. Insulting them is no longer a mere violation of personal rights, but a breach on the social order and interests supported and protected by state power. 

Luo is supposed to have some knowledge about laws. He once promoted the judicial investigations of specific corrupt senior officials. However, although there was already the case of Labixiaoqiu, an online celebrity sentenced to eight months in jail for defaming martyrs, Luo still challenged society's common respect for CPV martyrs, humiliated them and challenged the law in such a foolish way. Therefore, Luo's case is very typical. 

Luo probably knew he was doing something "risky." But he greatly underestimated the seriousness of the Law on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs and made misjudgments about the mainstream value orientation of the society. 

He might think his insult to the CPV company would gain applause from at least a certain group of people, which would protect him from the public opinion. It's obvious he didn't expect that he quickly drew criticism from almost the entire internet after he published his post. Many voices also emerged demanding him be subject to legal liabilities. Facing the unexpected public opinion situation, he hastily made a short public apology on Thursday night. 

Given Luo's performance, we believe he was eager to show off himself while at the same time his values had serious deviations. After he gained fame through fighting corrupt officials, he began to strengthen his public image of liberalism and gradually moved away from mainstream values. Such a deviation led to a decline in his influence in the online public opinion field. He was supposed to make adjustments, but he chose to garner attention in an extreme way by making improper remarks. This is perhaps the biggest psychological motive behind his insulting remarks against martyrs. 

It must be said that a considerable number of online commentators who are against mainstream values attempt to garner attention by provoking the public's shared sentiments and consensus. They boast they are different because they "have thoughts" and "dare to speak." Some celebrities out of inflating individualism have put their personal desires of showing off themselves above public interests and uttered extremely irresponsible remarks to challenge public order until they violate the law. 

In order to build momentum and protect themselves, those people are inclined to echo and support each other so that they could form a force in the public opinion field. Some people even act in concert with overseas hostile forces against China in the public opinion field, which has aggravated the public opinion complexity and harmed national interests. This is particularly unacceptable to the mainstream Chinese society. 

Back to Luo. He had a bad fall this time, but it was not accidental. It's hoped Luo's fall could serve as a warning. 

Defaming martyrs has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Martyrs, especially heroes in modern times, not only have made fundamental contributions to the country, but also their spirit has been engraved in the spiritual order of the entire nation, becoming a very important part. Infringing upon martyrs' reputations is tantamount to challenging the spiritual order of the whole country and nation. This is the reason why those people must be punished by law. 

We hope that Luo will be the last public figure that violates laws related to the protection of heroes and martyrs.