NetEase to Provide Counseling Services for Depressed Music Fans

In response to a concerning trend of bleak, even suicidal comments, the streaming platform has said it will enlist experts to provide 24-hour psychological care, as well as crack down on attention-seeking frauds.

One of China’s most popular music-streaming platforms has been overwhelmed by sad vibes — so much so that the company behind it has vowed to recruit more than 10,000 volunteer counselors to reach out to users leaving depressing comments.

NetEase Cloud Music, which has tens of millions of users in China, said Monday that it will invite experts and volunteers to provide 24-hour online service for users in need of psychological comfort. The initiative is a direct response to a growing number of users leaving disconsolate comments below their favorite songs and albums.

“My 4-year-old sister put candy in my antidepressants,” read one upvoted comment beneath “Under the Sea,” a Chinese ballad. “I awoke from a nightmare in which I killed someone at 1:26 a.m. Now it’s 1:25 a.m. and I’m holding a knife,” read another user’s comment under Billie Eilish’s 2018 single “You Should See Me in the Crown.”

Both comments received hundreds of likes, but they’re certainly not unique. Variants of them — with a different age for the sister or a different time on the clock — can be found elsewhere on the site. The phenomenon has triggered a public outcry, and led to the platform being darkly dubbed “NetDepressed Cloud Music.”

Some online have suggested the large number of bleak comments are only aimed at grabbing attention, while others are worried there may really be lots of people using the site who suffer from depression.

In Monday’s announcement, NetEase Cloud Music also said it would further regulate the “protocols for leaving music reviews” by cracking down on “fabricated” comments and “malicious acts” such as verbal attacks. Violators, the site said, will be banned from commenting, or could even have their accounts shut down.

“We encourage everyone to express themselves honestly, but we also object to those seeking to catch eyeballs through fabrication, plagiarism, and verbal abuse, as this causes misunderstanding and harms people who actually have depression,” NetEase Cloud Music wrote. Continue to read the full article here


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.