China’s ‘Immoral’ Celebrities Could Be Banned From Livestreaming

A notice from the country’s media regulator suggests public figures who get caught with drugs or prostitutes could be barred from streaming, but some are worried about its vague wording.

In a year where livestreaming has boomed thanks to quarantine and home-isolation policies made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic, several scandal-plagued Chinese celebrities have quietly resurfaced on the lightly regulated online medium.

Their return to the public eye may be short-lived.

Last week, China’s National Radio and Television Administration issued a notice on the management of livestreaming platforms. Among the various stipulations involving online tipping and real-name registration was one that called for bans against “illegal and immoral artists.”

News of the notice, which suggested the possibility of lifetime livestreaming bans for certain celebrities, has received over 1.3 million likes since it was shared Wednesday on microblogging platform Weibo by Xiake Dao, or “Island of Chivalrous People,” a popular blog run by party mouthpiece People’s Daily.

The comments section under the post quickly became a battleground, with justice-seeking users calling out celebrities they felt were deserving of bans. Others, meanwhile, questioned the notice’s vague wording and lack of a clear standard for what might constitute “immoral” behavior.

“Does tax evasion count? Does not paying back loans count? Does taking drugs count? Does cheating count?” read the most popular comment under the post, referring to various celebrity scandals from recent years.

Over the next few days, other media chimed in with their own takes on the issue. The current affairs magazine China Comment, for example, argued that, rather than let social media be the de facto judge and jury, a legal standard should be established for what counts as “immoral.” Continue to read the full article here


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone