Chinese online entertainment platform Bilibili announced on Thursday that it will memorialize and protect the accounts of its deceased users upon the confirmation and consent of their immediate family members.
"This is to commemorate those who passed away once lived in the same world with us; that we've seen the same scenery and that we shared both joy and sadness over the same things," Bilibili wrote in the announcement.
The announcement comes after the passing of several popular Bilibili bloggers who posted videos to document and share with audiences their final days fighting cancer. While many have shown sympathy and extended kindness to these bloggers, some have left hateful comments accusing them of "sadfishing" on social media platforms for personal gains.
The issue of cyberbullying often comes to the fore during debates about the negative effects of social media platforms. "Haters are desperate to justify their behavior, so much so that they won't stop even after these bloggers have passed away," was one comment on Zhihu, the Chinese Quora-like Q&A platform.
Although these bloggers didn't pass away directly due to these negative comments, their final days were indeed likely made worse by haters hiding behind their computer screens.
Bilibili thus appealed for users to demonstrate basic kindness and to unconditionally support and respect bloggers who have an illness or have met with unfortunate experiences. "Compassion is a human instinct, the prerequisite of manhood, and the bond of civilization," the announcement states, adding, "The end of life deserves to be respected."
The platform also encouraged users to help those in need by getting in touch with certified institutions per China's charity law, rather than rewarding such behavior via online entertainment platforms.