Wang Yibo’s (王一博) official work account made a statement on November 25 over his fans bombarding Douban to stealth up their accounts in order to counter anti fans who were leaving bad ratings on Wang Yibo’s work. This all started when fans discovered a great amount of anti fans were leaving one point ratings for some of Wang Yibo’s series. In order to combat the ratings, fans wanted to leave positive reviews and five point ratings for his work.
It’s widely believed that ratings from new accounts don’t get factored into the work. Based on the Douban algorithm, many fandoms engage in a practice called “growing accounts” (养号) to elevate the status of new or existing accounts by engaging and interacting a lot with the app. Some activities fans have engaged in include rating and leaving a short review on five older movies each day, join Douban discussion topics non-related to entertainment, respond to three posts, uploading a daily lifestyle picture on the main page, and more. The belief is that if you’ve successfully grown your account, your ratings will be factored in and comments will show at the top when they’re sorted by popularity for that piece of work.
As this was a collective effort, some fans were leaving poorly written reviews and giving random ratings to other works non-related to Wang Yibo. An editor of a newly released book issued a post complaining about Wang Yibo fans of “growing accounts” on Douban that negatively impacted the performance of her work. Other classic works were also negatively impacted because of this.
Douban released a statement about the recent suspicious activity and complaints they received about the negative impact to the app’s ecosystem and atmosphere. They stated they would be clearing the junk data and blacklisting those accounts’ comments and ratings to be invalidated. They also debunked the myth that “growing accounts” would have any impact on the ratings and also said it was a violation of the Douban community guidelines.
Wang Yibo’s team addressed the incident and said they “extremely oppose behaviors such as ‘growing accounts for scoring’, ‘spamming comments’, and more that disrupt the ecosystem and order on the platform.” They asked everyone to respect each work, each creator, and the rules of the platform. They also asked that the comments be left to readers, viewers, and movie fans to share their sincerity and passion, which would be respect for the work, themselves, and others.
Many fans already expressed their apologies and claimed they didn’t know of the unexpected adverse results of their actions. They explained they were just doing this to protect Wang Yibo’s work and fight off anti fans.