China looks to crack down on cyberspace activities with bad influence

China's thriving online fans clubs are facing regulations from the authority as the government aims to stop anything that has a bad influence on the public.

According to a report from the South China Morning Post, on Tuesday, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said in a statement that it is pursuing a two-month campaign to discipline online fan clubs, aiming at putting an end to the problems arising from these platforms.

The CAC will crack down on a number of activities, such as inducing minors to contribute money to their idols, conducing online abuse or doxxing, stopping activities that encourage fans to flaunt their wealth, manipulate comments on social media, making up topics online to hijack public opinion, as well as using bots to increase traffic data related to their idols. When to comes to implementation, CAC said it will shut down accounts and disband social media groups that may have bad influence, as well as punish internet platforms that failed to correct these activities or even indulge them.

Online fan clubs could have millions of passionate followers supporting a popular celebrity such as a film star. Although the members of these fan clubs usually do not involve in politics, they instead engage in opinion wars against rival groups to ensure their idols receive positive news and social media coverage.

This is not the first time that the CAC hopes to regulate these online fan clubs. On 9 May, it warned that a clampdown would take place amid increased online bullying and violence, instigation of boycotts and doxxing. Meanwhile, these online fan clubs also report to internet authorities that a rival group’s idol was involved in alleged misdeeds and offensive statements. Tencent, Xiaohongshu, Douyin and its sister app TikTok have already responded to CAC as they pledged to clamp down on offensive online fan club activities.

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