The National Radio and Television Administration calls for Strict Controls on “Idol” Programs

idol producer
Idol Producer, a 2018 Chinese reality boy group survival show. (Source: Sohu)

After a one-month special investigation and rectification of online shows, the National Radio and Television Administration on Tuesday proposed strict controls on so-called “idol cultivation programs”, while focusing on the management of talent shows by monitoring the setting of voting procedures.

The notice also pointed out that it is necessary to resolutely resist unhealthy tendencies such as blind worship, traffic supremacy and money worship. The responsibility of online show production and broadcasting organizations needs to be more explicit, the authorities added. It’s of great importance to strengthening the positive guidance to the fan group and the governance of paid posters and anti-fans members.

This move has triggered a heated discussion among Weibo users. One said: “Strongly support it! In essence, many online celebrities with a huge fan base are supported by capital.” Another netizen argued: “There should be no such programs. Our idols should be scientists, astronauts or athletes.” Some netizens expressed concern about what they see as young people’s abnormal values.

On the evening of August 2, the Office of Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission confirmed it shut down more than 150,000 negative and harmful pieces, over 4,000 illegal accounts, and more than 1,300 “seriously troubled” groups. 814 unhealthy topics have been eliminated, and 39 mini-programs suspected of fund-raising and traffic-driving have been taken down.

Recently, major Internet platforms have successively issued announcements to address issues in their fan groups, focusing on cracking down on inducing minors to idolize a star and making extreme comments.

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On the evening of August 1, Tencent said it has always advocated a rational approach when it comes to popular web stars to create a healthy online environment, while Weibo announced it permanently closed 990 illegal accounts. On July 31, Kuaishou said it disposed of 290 illegal videos and 110 illegal accounts. On June 14th, Douyin said that it would crack down on mindless idolization and eliminate harmful information to clean up the network environment.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that since the opening of the Tokyo Olympic Games, the topics with the highest attention and discussion on various social media have basically focused on Olympic athletes. Several days ago, a trending topic on Weibo – Olympic Games revised our aesthetics- caused a heated discussion. With flawed skin, strong bodies and unyielding eyes, these athletes stand far apart from the public’s usual ideas of beauty and bring new values to the fore.