A Brief Comment on the Governance of Minors’ Network Environment under the Background of Fandom Culture
In recent years, with the continuous development of the entertainment industry and the rise of social media such as TikTok, negative news about bottomless star chasing, mutual tearing in fandom, worshiping money and flaunting wealth has continued to emerge. Along with the younger age trend of the fandom, many chaotic conditions emerge in the process of chasing stars, such as hitting the chart, occupying the comment section, spending too much money, group confrontation, mutual verbal abuse, human-powered search, etc. These have long made “fandom” a negative word.
More and more minors who have not yet formed a complete value concept don’t care to pay IQ taxes for their idols. Their daily operations such as hitting, controlling comment and reviewing popularity have not only caused themselves and their families in financial distress, but also seriously misled the value system of their peers.
According to media reports, in a recently ended internet reality show, the loyal fans of the top 15 players spent about 48 million yuan to buy yogurt for voting. Another star who made her debut through this type of show was supported by fans during the game. Supporting her cost her fans 15.3 million yuan in expenditure.
This kind of blind star-chasing behavior has spread to every corner of the Internet and life. In order to protect the reputation of idols, fans can abuse and slander, start to human-powered search, and even violate human rights, resulting in illegal and criminal behaviors.
In 2018, a junior high school fan of the well-known Tanbi author Mo Xiangtongxiu revealed on the Internet that his or her teacher had expressed dissatisfaction about Tanbi’s novel “The Great Master”. Under the human-powered search and personal attacks from the book fans, this teacher attempted suicide. After that, book fans even began to search the hospital where the teacher were treated. It was not until the cyber police intervened that the cruel farce was stopped.
Such cases abound, and the consequences are often shocking.
UNICEF pointed out that the harm of cyberbullying is serious and far-reaching. This is because it can spread quickly and widely on the Internet, and for all those involved, it is difficult to completely delete this harmful information. Unlike offline bullying, cyberbullying may follow the bullied person anytime and anywhere, leaving them in the shadow of anxiety for a long time.
Compared with other students, students who are cyberbullied are more likely to skip school, and their academic performance is more likely to decline. Their self-confidence would be lower, and they may also face more health problems. In some extreme cases, cyberbullying can even lead to suicide.
In this regard, starting from July 9, 2020, the Cyberspace Administration of China launched a two-month special rectification of the summer network environment for minors, which is named Qing Lang. The special rectification action will focus on seven outstanding issues. It will profoundly clean up harmful information, and take care of illegal website account. It will investigate and expose typical cases, help the ecological network continue to improve, and effectively protect the interests of minors from abuse, so as to “escort” children’s summer online life. Among them, Article 6 of the special rectification stipulates that, focus on rectifying misleading information and behaviors that induce minors to chase stars without a bottom line and tear mutually in fandom; severely crack down on the behaviors of inducing minors to assist in hitting, controlling comments and making large-scale consumption in key areas such as social platforms, trending lists, ranking lists, and recommendation positions of audio and video platforms; vigorously rectify the celebrity topic, the interactive comment link of popular posts incited to instigate the young fan groups to antagonize, verbally abuse each other, and start human-powered search; strictly check and deal with illegal accounts such as professional fans and malicious marketing; thoroughly clean up information that promotes unhealthy values such as comparisons, showing off wealth, extravagant pleasure, and so on.
As the author, I believe that the relevant regulations issued can certainly restrict the behavior of fans and netizens to a certain extent. However, what is more necessary is the action visible to the naked eye. Action here is not only suppressing or stopping, but to give positive guidance to minors on the ideological and moral level.
People in adolescence are in a period of position identity and role confusion. They define themselves as students and children of their parents. This single and dull identity as well as the boring life patterns will make them curious to explore and dabble in other fields. Many teenagers develop hobbies outside of work to reduce the pressure, star chasing being one of them. However, children are only children. The information they are exposed to is narrow, and they do not necessarily have a rational and objective view of cognition. Over time, they fall into the mode of “information cocoon room”. These young fans will be exposed to boundless information, but in fact, they are trapped on an isolated island that can only accommodate the praise of idols, and it is difficult to receive any different information. Doing so will not only lead to individual narrowness, loss of personal judgment, and misunderstanding of the real environment, but may also lead to extreme concepts and opposition and conflicts between online groups.
Therefore, in the process of minors chasing stars, we must lead them to understand the overall situation, respect their interests, and conduct positive guidance. Everything has two sides, the same is true for fandom. The fandom has very strong mobilization and organization capabilities. Especially in some public events, it can quickly show great cohesion on core issues such as national interests. With positive guidance, it can release unimaginable positive energy.
Therefore, we should give full play to the role of idols in self-recognition and improvement in the growth of young people, guide young people to improve their personalities, and encourage young people to learn the skills of idols. At the same time, we must guide children to respect differences and not blindly follow suit. Let the children understand: Even in the aspect of reading, a thousand readers have a thousand Hamlet, and the same is true in the aspect of star chasing. Everyone has their own aesthetics. You can’t just use the Internet because others have different opinions on idols. Verbally and attacked. Faced with malicious attacks, people need to be treated rationally and convince others with reason. If the other party is a arrogant and unreasonable person, don’t argue, just don’t take it to heart.
Children also need to keep this in mind: the Internet is not a place outside the law, let alone a place to dump garbage and emotions at will. Whether in normal life or on the Internet, everyone will take responsibility for what they have done.
Finally, we need to understand that online child protection should be the responsibility of multiple parties. Cooperation among caregivers, parents, schools, government, law enforcement, civil society and the private sector is essential. All relevant personnel must work towards creating a civilized, harmonious, healthy and positive network environment for children. Because what a child does is affected by the surrounding environment to a certain extent, if he is in an environment where there is no rules and unruly and freely venting abuse on the Internet is permissible, he will also be subtly transformed into an unruly netizen. Regardless of whether he is the perpetrator or the victim on the Internet, he will eventually be swallowed by the Internet whirlpool. Purifying the network environment and escorting the growth of children should be urgent.
作者：刘雅静 编辑：招嘉艺 翻译：张研之