Online insults, offline human flesh, addresses exposed, cell phones exploded... While netizens are "surfing" and speaking freely, more and more people are suffering from "social gang fights".

In the cyberspace where information is difficult to distinguish between true and false, after social events have triggered a wave of public opinion, how to not create disasters in the name of justice has become an issue that needs to be considered urgently.

"Social gang fights" without threshold

  In 2016, a program called "Human World" recorded the story of Zhang Lijun, a mother-to-be who was suffering from cancer. This 26-year-old mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after 5 months of pregnancy. She refused the doctor’s induction of labor. It is recommended to insist on receiving treatment after giving birth.

As a result, he missed the best treatment time and left the world shortly after giving birth.

  This embarrassing "old news" has recently triggered a huge wave of public opinion.

On April 10, a Weibo account posted an accusation that Zhang Lijun’s husband Han Shijun remarried less than a year after his wife’s death. What is even more irritating is that their children were also adopted by relatives.

This news has repeatedly appeared on the hot search list of Weibo, and the comment area of ​​related Weibo has appeared in the comment area of ​​"Ching Ming just passed... Isn't her husband afraid of nightmares?" "Self-movement is a disease, more terrible than cancer", etc. The confused party was criticized by the entire network.

  Soon, the incident ushered in a reversal.

Some of Han Shijun’s relatives and friends refuted rumors on Douban, Weibo and other platforms: Han Shijun did remarry, but it was only two years after his wife’s death; the child was not adopted and was brought up by his father.

The grief and indignation party decided to hold the rumors accountable at all costs.

  At a time when social platforms are highly developed, such "social gang fights" based on online public opinion events are not uncommon.

The reporter of Banyue Tan sorted out a number of public opinion hotspots in 2021 and found that there were many cases of incidents that caused large-scale cyber violent reversals, which proved the bias and absurdity of the attackers.

Jiang Wei, an associate professor in the Department of Journalism at the School of Letters, Liaoning Normal University, believes that under the anonymity of social platforms, some netizens will have a mentality of not blaming the public for social events. A stone is difficult to be locked and held accountable, and there is no way to punish everyone."

Punishment stick "holds up and down"

  Analyzing multiple cases in 2021, the "social gang fights" that occurred in cyberspace have three characteristics:

  ——It's difficult to trace the source, and it's difficult to verify. The "marketing account" adds fuel and vinegar to fuel the flames.

Taking the Zhang Lijun incident as an example, the reporter found that under the Weibo entry "Zhang Lijun in the world", the information starter could no longer be found, and the content of the blog post on the popular Weibo with a huge amount of comments was just a simple text description. No corroboration of her husband’s adoptive son was given.

  In online "social gang fights" incidents, marketing accounts are always indispensable.

Jiang Wei said that, in order to capture traffic, many marketing accounts would not hesitate to add to the news.

In the Zhang Lijun incident, because of the large-scale forwarding and interaction of the marketing account, the term "Zhang Lijun in the world" rushed into the hot search on Weibo and quickly fermented on the entire network.

  ——Social platform forwarding channels are unobstructed, and news is spread in a fission manner.

The reporter of Banyuetan found that the one-click forwarding channels between social platforms are smooth, and some netizens will forward them out of curiosity or "justice" when faced with news with sensational headlines and surprising facts.

After the false information has been spread virally, more and more people who don’t know the truth have joined the party, and they have been "upgraded online", causing harm.

  ——Illegal acts are difficult to punish, and the governance of dissemination of false information on the Internet is "relaxed".

The Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s judicial interpretation on handling criminal cases such as defamation using information networks stipulates: “If the same defamatory information is actually clicked, viewed more than 5,000 times, or reposted more than 500 times, it shall be deemed The defamation behavior is serious, and it will be detained for less than 5 days or a fine of less than 500 yuan."

  The Banyuetan reporter found that in many cases where the parties were subjected to "social gang fights" due to online slander and rumors, no relevant persons responsible have been punished.

"In addition to the fact that the source of the information is difficult to trace, it is also related to the mentality of the victims. After being violently online, most people will choose to calm down and do not want to spend time and energy for this." said Liao Weimin, a professor at the School of Humanities and Communication at Dongbei University of Finance and Economics. This not only fails to provide justice for oneself, but also allows more people to act recklessly on social networks, which will adversely affect the governance of cyberspace.

Source governance, forming a deterrent

  As my country's efforts in cyberspace governance increase, it is necessary to introduce more operability and deterrent methods for "social gang fights" that cause harm to individuals based on false information.

Maintain civil rights in cyberspace and avoid malicious guidance of netizens from the source.

  First of all, ensure that the punishment mechanism for spreading rumors and spreading rumors on the Internet can be implemented to account subjects or individuals.

The platform should increase penalties for account subjects who maliciously spread rumors.

Take Sina Weibo as an example. At present, for some false information that has been refuted and caused actual harm to the parties, the account "Weibo Anti-Rumor" will be punished and publicized for a period of time.

For accounts that have not been changed after the ban period has passed, they should also be directly banned and penalized, and the marketing account has no bottom line to disrupt the order of cyberspace.

  At the same time, due to the huge amount of information in cyberspace, it is difficult for the cybersecurity and informatization department to investigate and rectify every account subject suspected of maliciously guiding public opinion through false information.

"Many online'social gang fights' are based on gender, urban-rural differences and other issues of particular concern to netizens. After a social incident involving related issues occurs, just a little instigation will produce large-scale cyber violence, which is not conducive to cyberspace governance. At the same time, there will also be hidden dangers in social governance." Liao Weimin suggested that the Internet information department should take the initiative to punish a group of accounts and individuals who spread rumors and spread rumors in response to social events, and make them public in a timely manner to form a deterrent.

  Third, local media should respond quickly to hot events in public opinion and assume responsibility.

The characteristics of network communication determine that false information will often appear.

After the occurrence of suspected public opinion hotspot incidents, local media should follow up in a timely manner, verify the situation, update relevant progress, and respond to the concerns of netizens.

  Source: "Ban Yue Tan Internal Edition" Issue 5, 2021

  Original title: "There must be a deterrent to deal with "social gang fights""

  Half a month to talk about reporters: Sister Liang, Yuqi Zhang