China to crack down on online fan culture in light of recent celebrity scandals

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China to crack down on online fan culture in light of recent celebrity scandals
China aims to target online fan clubs that spread misinformation on celebrities.Unsplash
  • China is pushing ahead its campaign to help rectify the toxic online fan culture.
  • The country’s cyberspace regulator will take action against those who spread misinformation about celebrities.
  • It will also take down discussion channels that spread celebrity scandals.
China’s cyberspace regulator plans to crack down on the online celebrity fan culture in light of the recent scandals involving some of its biggest celebrities. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said it would take action against information spread about celebrities in these online fan clubs, and even shut down discussion channels that talk about celebrity scandals.

This crackdown on online fan clubs comes amid Chinese celebrities getting caught in major scandals, recently, like Canadian-Chinese pop star Kris Wu, and actor Zhang Zhennan, according to a report by Reuters. What China aims to do is to curb the spread of “harmful information” on celebrities, and also shut down discussion channels that spread these scandals. Online fan clubs and popular social media platforms like Weibo are usually where these scandals come to light.

In addition to this, the CAC said it will also work on improving regulations for the promotion of celebrities online by banning lists that rank celebrities by popularity. It basically wants to promote a healthy online presence for celebrities. The CAC even plans to take action against what it feels is financial exploitation of fans who purchase merchandise of their favourite celebrities, or fans who are charged to vote for their favourite idols in online variety shows.

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This is actually part of the CAC’s ongoing campaign against online fan clubs. In June, the CAC launched a two-month special operation targeting these online fan clubs over concerns of bullying and abuse. These fan clubs have also been accused of “cheating the rankings of their idols on charts” spreading rumours, and destroying the online environment. The CAC also expressed concerns over how this toxic environment affects the mental health of minors.

China had also asked popular internet companies to exercise social responsibility, the report added. Last month, Weibo took action by removing a list that ranked celebrities by popularity. Streaming platform iQiyi also decided to drop the third season of its popular talent show “Youth with You”.

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