Sep 07, 2015
A pop star apologised and deleted an online post showing her baby twins' crawling that she sent on Thursday, trying to end a verbal assault by some netizens who said it was inappropriate to show scenes from her personal life on a day marking victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).
The debate－centred on the question of whether celebrities are indifferent to important national events－went on during the weekend. Seemingly more people said netizens should respect others' freedom to express themselves online.
It all started when Christine Fan, a singer from Taiwan, tweeted a photo of her twins crawling on all-fours on a baby play mat.
Criticism flooded in minutes after she sent it. Some netizens questioned why she was flaunting family life while turning a deaf ear to the nationwide excitement over the victory parade.
Fan, 39, often posts family snapshots on Sina Weibo, where she has more than 47.7 million followers.
Fan tweeted on Friday night that she was sorry the photo had made so many people unhappy.
That statement, and the original post that triggered the controversy, were both deleted later.
"I feel there is no need for Fan Weiqi to apologise, as it's her freedom to share photos of her children online whenever she wants," said Xia Yuting, 31, an executive at a State-run company in Beijing, who also has a baby.
Dong Guanpeng, dean of the Academy of Media and Public Affairs at Communication University of China, said: "Cyberbullying is not new in China. Some netizens tend to think the worst of people and start personal attacks on someone without giving the victim a chance to explain."