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Livestream hosts to get patriotic education

By Zhang Yi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-02 09:03


An online celebrity reacts for her followers via a livestreaming app in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. [Photo by Miao Jian / For China Daily]

Livestreaming website Douyu has said it will provide patriotic education to its hosts after closing an account on Thursday because of a video that joked about the Nanjing Massacre and the occupation of Northeast China by the Japanese army.

Footage of host Chen Yifa making fun of a painful moment in national history against the background music of a Japanese song spread rapidly via social media.

Police ordered the website - which is based in Wuhan, Hubei province - to strengthen its management.

Chen - who broadcasts under the name Chenyifaer - is a well-known song and video game streamer on Douyu. She has about 11 million followers on the livestreaming platform and about 5 million followers on Sina Weibo.

Netizens found that Chen had also made extreme remarks on her Sina Weibo posts in 2010 and 2011, including insulting Chinese veterans.

Chen apologized on Tuesday afternoon. She said in a statement that the video clip was a slip of the tongue when she was streaming in 2016 and pledged that she will fulfill the social responsibility of public figures in the future.

Douyu banned Chen's account and reported it to related authorities for further treatment, the company said in a statement on Tuesday night.

It added that it will organize visits for streamers to revolutionary sites and historical museums, and that such activities will become regular to help them remember and truly understand history.

The company said the video was from 2016 and that in the past two years it has had the strictest content review in the industry and welcomes supervision from the public.

Yuan Gang, deputy CEO of Douyu, told China Daily in May that livestreaming can be delayed for 20 seconds to allow for better reviewing, and the algorithm for content monitoring is being improved.

Pi Yong, deputy head of the Cyberspace Governance Research Institute at Wuhan University, said that harmful or illegal content is a universal phenomenon on livestreaming sites, and content review remains no easy job for operators because there are a large numbers of streamers active at any moment.

Zhang Xiaoqiang, a professor of journalism at Chongqing University, said the operators should at least ensure that the streamers are aware of the regulations that govern online content before they register, and pay close attention to the streamers who have large followings because they have greater influence.

"A tip-off system may work well," he said. "Both the regulators and operators should encourage the public to report harmful content, because the number of users is rising quickly, making it extremely difficult to track everyone."

It is also important to raise the media literacy of netizens, especially for minors, and schools should pay more attention to teaching them right and wrong.

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