Chinese social media platforms say no to users’ clout-chasing behavior on jet crash tragedy
Published: Mar 22, 2022 12:27 AM
Webpage of China Eastern turns black and white after the plane crash. Photo: VCG

Webpage of China Eastern turns black and white after the plane crash. Photo: VCG

Leading Chinese social media platforms Weibo, Douyin and Kuaishou said they will suspend or terminate clout-chasing accounts that made fun of the crash of China Eastern Boeing 737 flight or used it as a publicity stunt for marketing purposes.

Jun Zhengping, an account affiliated with Chinese People's Liberation Army on Weibo, supported the banning of those clout-chasing social media accounts, saying on Tuesday that the misfortune of compatriots should never become a source of jokes or rumors, or an object for marketing.

Jun Zhengping said such clout-chasing behavior will not only cover the truly useful messages but hurt the families of the victims for a second time. It urged netizens to support the rescue and investigation process with rational discussions. 

China's Twitter-like platform Weibo said on Monday evening that a total of 25 accounts have been either blocked from posting for 30 day or permanently terminated for gloating and ridiculing the tragedy according to the Weibo Community Convention and other related regulations.

The platform released a statement, saying that while most netizens were following the development of the accident and prayed for the victims, some users mocked or ridiculed the disaster or made other improper remarks about the tragedy, which the platform resolutely opposes and will seriously deal with.

Weibo reminded netizens to participate in discussions and deliver opinions rationally and to avoid publishing content that lacks empathy or spreads false information.

Chinese version of TikTok Douyin and another short-video platform Kuaishou also warned users to post related information based on truth and objective principles. 

For the clout chasers who are trying to make fun of the accident or engage in cyberbullying, once detected, the platform will block their accounts from posting or permanently shut them, according to the statements from both Douyin and Kuaishou on Monday.

The rescue operation is still underway after a China Eastern Boeing 737 carrying 132 people crashed in mountains earlier on Monday afternoon in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Chinese President Xi Jinping said no efforts should be spared in the search and rescue work. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and State Councilor Wang Yong led a team to the crash site on late Monday to guide the rescue work and investigation of the cause of the accident.

Global Times