Social media platform bans accounts slandering Ethiopian air crash victim

The scene of the crash. Fabien Muhire

Multiple accounts that used vicious language to slander and defame a Chinese victim of the Ethiopian Airlines crash were banned on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform, according to a statement released by the platform on early Tuesday morning.

The crash on Sunday killed all 157 onboard, including eight from China.

A senior student, 22, from a college in East China’s Zhejiang Province, was mourned on the comment area of her last post on the platform.

However, some personal abuse was hurled against the woman because of her wealth, saying she deserved to die because she was rich enough to fly to Africa to see giraffes.

The student’s last post was made from Shanghai Pudong International Airport on Saturday.

She said she was going to Africa to see giraffes and would be meeting her friend there.

The insults caused massive rage online, and the Committee of Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee said in its Weibo account that respecting the deceased is a basic act of decency and any abuse is a violation of human dignity and morality.

The banning of these accounts was welcomed online.

Wang Gaofei, CEO of Sina Weibo, explained on Tuesday in a post that 99 percent of comments had been respectful but certain accounts picked out and amplified the 1 percent of malicious comments to attract attention and provoke netizens to attack each other.

The plane’s black box has been found and brought back for testing by Ethiopian airlines staff, according to CCTV news.

Source: Global Times

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