Chinese Celebs Are Taking Unruly Fans to Court for Defamation

A first-of-its-kind report revealed that this year, more than 100 stars filed lawsuits against individuals for posting false or malicious information online.

Chinese celebrities have had enough of keyboard warriors spreading false and malicious information online — so they’re taking them to court.

Of the 1,075 disputes on reputational rights filed at the Beijing Internet Court between January and November this year, 125 were initiated by celebrities, according to a new report released Thursday. This marks the first time the internet court has published such data since it was established in September 2018.

Most cases involved defamatory posts about the celebrities on social media platforms, including microblogging platform Weibo, popular messaging app WeChat, and review site Douban. A majority of the defendants were college students, while a “small proportion” were unemployed or hadn’t revealed their occupations, according to the report.

“We realize that the involved youths usually have poor legal awareness, and most of them feel they can get away with their actions,” the report said. “Even when their online comments are inappropriate, they (feel like they can) hide behind the sea of data and avoid being discovered or held responsible.”

As China’s celebrity culture has expanded, so too have the armies of fans who use social media platforms to elevate the status of their beloved stars. For instance, Wang Junkai, the lead singer of China’s popular boy band TFBoys, has millions of fans and fan clubs voluntarily spending their time and money boosting his star power. Continue to read the full article here.


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.