Multiple controversies have marred the ongoing 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. The mega event has been subject to concerns related to human rights abuse issues, cost, censorship, environmental impact, espionage, rising cases of coronavirus (COVID- 19), to the sports wash.
Today, in a bid to suppress ‘illegal’ chatter and abuse of athletes, social media giants in China including Weibo and Douyin deleted tens of thousands of posts.
In a post by Weibo on Tuesday, it was mentioned that some netizens were “creating trouble.” He added “[These users] attacked the athletes with irony and insulting language and spread false information…we encourage netizens to watch the competition calmly.”
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A Reuters report mentioned that Chinese Twitter-like platform Weibo has taken action against around 2,300 user accounts and removed more than 73,000 offensive posts since Feb. 6.
Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, said on Wednesday it intercepted or cleaned up 6,780 related videos or comments and banned 331 user accounts.
Other platforms such as social networking forum Douban and video-sharing site Bilibili have also issued similar statements about their efforts.
While Chinese netizens are praising athletes like Eileen Gu and Su Yiming, there have also been criticisms.
Zhu Yi, the figure skater who renounced US citizenship in 2018 to compete for China after falling during her Olympic programs, has faced a backlash.
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The South China Morning Post reported that the hashtag “Zhu Yi fell” became the top trend on Weibo on Sunday after the 19-year-old American-born figure skater.
“There are always winners and losers in competitive sports, but anyone who fights for it is a true hero. This platform urges everyone not to sarcastically attack athletes over accidental mistakes,” said Weibo Wednesday.
(With agency contributions)