China targets celebrities and fan groups in new month-long online abuse cleanup campaign

China’s Cyberspace Administration (CAC) on Tuesday launched a month-long “clean cyberspace” campaign, which it said would target online abuse, “chaos” in celebrity fan groups and the “cult of money”, among other problems.

CAC made the announcement on its official WeChat account on Tuesday, saying it will take a close look at content platforms and campaign ads during the Spring Festival period.

The objective is to “repair the mess on the Internet, curb the spread of an unhealthy culture”, “create a healthy, festive and harmonious online environment for Internet users, especially minors during the Spring Festival”, indicated the CAC in the press release.

China first launched a crackdown on its booming entertainment industry last summer, targeting celebrity behavior and fan groups, and signaled that close monitoring would continue.

The Spring Festival period, also known as the Lunar New Year, is one of the biggest festivals in China and is marked by a week-long holiday.

The CAC said it would focus on cyberbullying and the spreading of online rumors, as well as any online behavior that could be considered a lavish lifestyle, encouraging the cult of money or superstition.

It will also strictly prevent “illegal and unethical” celebrities from hosting online events that could help them make a comeback, he added.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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