Since the police detained Kris Wu (吳亦凡) on suspicions of sexually assaulting minors, rabid fans flooded social media and continued to protest his innocence. They blamed the victims, tried to raise bail money, and even discussed ways to help him escape from jail. Seeing celebrities hold massive influence as distorted fan culture gains traction, as exemplified in Kris’ scandal, the Chinese government intervened to delete a massive number of social media accounts and discussions.
Although he once had 50 million followers, Kris’ official Weibo and studio accounts have suddenly disappeared. The Weibo groups that fans created have also been suspended. Due to the serious allegations Kris is facing, many believe Weibo deleted the accounts based on the government’s request.
Popular idols have a large influence on the beliefs and behaviors of their fans, prompting many companies to exploit this to generate lucrative profits in billions. Labeling this type of influence as unhealthy, the Chinese government hopes to crack down on the recent phenomenon of crazed fan culture to yield a clean and upright cyberspace for society.
The Cyberspace Administration of China has closed down and fined 4,000 accounts that have been deemed to be in violation of their rules. The specialized team leading the initiative has already deleted 150,000 posts that have been deemed to be a negative influence. They have also closed down 1,300 groups and stopped discussion of 814 topics.
The National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) used a month’s time to investigate and crack down on online variety shows. It censored shows that are too focused on profit, those that create too much hype, and those that promote fan culture. The government will soon release clear policies to help strengthen its control over the production of online variety shows.
Many netizens praised the government for its work in governing the entertainment industry. Many encouraged them to thoroughly investigate artistes, because there are likely others like Kris who abuse their celebrity power.
However, some netizens criticized the government’s actions by stating the problem is not the fans, but the accounts that capitalize on fans. The government only eradicated accounts that do not have powerful backing, instead of addressing the influential forces.
This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.