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A cartoon made by netizens depicts the images of Di Bar boys and fanquan girls.
Snow, a 30-year-old white collar in Shanghai, opens her Facebook and Twitter in her leisure time as usual, but as a fanquan girl (female fans who promote their celebrity idols in the online world) who used to just wave her glow stick for Japanese or Korean pop star idols, she is checking posts and comments about the Hong Kong situation.
She is one of a number of young mainlanders who taking part in cyber confrontations with the Hong Kong protesters.
Her generation is stereotyped as self-centered and caring less about the motherland and politics.
“I was a fan of Japanese pop boy band w-inds. and South Korean boy band BigBang and now a fan of SK band iKON. I used to pay little attention to news. Last time I followed news so closely was when the devastating earthquake hit Sichuan in 2008.”
Snow, not her real name as she has asked to be anonymous, has several overseas social media accounts for her work. She told Shanghai Daily she felt indignant after seeing those platforms flooded with what she called so many fake and distorted contents. So she decided to join the campaign to hit back.
“I commented on contents published by radical protesters and rumormongers. At first, I tried hard to argue and convince them, but later I found it was in vain. So I just commented ‘Hong Kong is part of China.’ I also shared some fair and positive news and comments from other media.”
"I believe there are peace-loving people who want to know the truth. I believe it's better to tell people what’s really happening in HK than to argue with those reckless angry young people in HK.”
Snow said her life and thoughts had changed since the campaign. “Now I spend some time watching or reading news stories every day and become more patriotic. I regarded the news media as being on a pedestal before, but now I find them more genial.
“I felt like we were care free children because the world was so peaceful. But now I realized the security we have comes from our motherland who has been sheltering us against the wind and rain. There’s a popular saying on Weibo — ‘We don’t live in a peaceful world, but we are lucky to live in a peaceful country.’ Now it’s time for us to protect our motherland in return.”
Snow said every fanquan was very united but only cared for their own idols. However, this time, all fan clubs and some other cyber communities such as Di Bar were joining together for one cause, she said, safeguarding national sovereignty and the Hong Kong government.
Responding to the news that Twitter and Facebook had shut down accounts they believed to contain fake content and were backed by Chinese government, Snow said she sent the posts spontaneously. Although her account had not been blocked, she had learned that one netizen had five or six accounts shut down.
“From what I have seen, most of the stuff put online by mainland young people is patriotic and supporting the HK police, not fake news or lies which are actually produced by ‘angry young people’ and unscrupulous media in Hong Kong. But those two platforms (Facebook and Twitter) do nothing about it. They only target mainland accounts which exposed the violence of protesters. So I should say thank you to them for letting us know US double standards of democracy and freedom, for teaching us a patriotism lesson.
“Now I dare not link my mobile phone number to my Twitter account because I heard Western media are trying to dox us.”