Zanilia Zhao Liying (赵丽颖) became another celebrity to suffer the negative consequences of fan groups’ misbehavior online. After triggering a wave of collective boycotting on idol agencies and production studios, all her major fan groups were banned on Sina Weibo on August 23. Sina Weibo held Liying’s studio liable for failing to react timely in managing fans’ misbehavior, and has temporarily the studio’s account for 15 days.
Fan Groups Banned
In June, Central Cyberspace Affairs and Commission launched a large-scale mission known as the Qing Liang operation to crackdown on the disorderly conducts of online fan communities. Among their findings, Liying’s large fan bases including Zhao Liying Global Fan Support Club (赵丽颖全球粉丝后援会) with 2.59 million followers, Zhao Liying Weiba (赵丽颖微吧) with 2.34 million followers, Pang Ying Fei Dao (胖颖飞刀) with 2 million followers, Zhao Liying Official Blog (赵丽颖吧官博) with 708,000 followers, and more were found involved in instigating boycotting and fandom fights.
Many were apparently displeased with the possibility of Liying being paired up with Legend of Fei <有翡> co-star Wang Yibo (王一博) again for the upcoming workplace drama Wild Bloom <野蛮生长>, and publicly announced that they would be rejecting all forms of their cooperation. These fans refused to listen to celebrity agencies and spread hate across the Internet, which not only placed pressure on the studios and their partners, but also fueled toxic fan culture and cyberbullying among youth.
Such malicious behavior was identified to have seriously violated platform regulations and management, which led Weibo to have 3770 posts removed and 1830 accounts banned. Among them, 100 highly offensive accounts were permanently banned, and 309 accounts closed.
Liying’s Studio Hopes For a Fandom Culture Full Of Love
In response, Liying’s studio released an official statement regarding the banning of fan groups. They wrote, “It’s a wonderful thing to like someone. From becoming an actor’s viewer to becoming a fan and walking the flowery path together. It’s a fateful relationship worth cherishing and being grateful for.”
They also clarified Liying’s understanding of the profession of actors by expressing, “As an actor, being able to meet a favorite character is a fateful moment. Interpreting a role well is a process of learning and growth. I hope that there can be trust between an actor, studio, and fans.
Lastly, the studio raised their hopes for positive and supportive online fan communities. “We call on fans to build an encouraging and loving world. Be positive and constructive while sharing mutual interests together, so it can be a journey full of happiness and growth.”
Despite attempts to restore order to fan communities, Liying’s studio was deemed have intervened in the chaotic situation too late. Weibo decided to slap a warning by temporarily suspending the actress’ studio account.
This article is written by Minna for JayneStars.com.