Online violence: Loss of life is just a line in the news

The emergence of the Internet and social media has enriched people’s lives. Originally, people only used social media to share their lives, but unconsciously, social media has become a network space where people constantly quarrel and publish hate speech and extreme remarks. Cyberspace offers people the freedom to discuss and express their opinions freely, but it is now being abused to spread hate speech, post violent messages, and make disparaging comments of all kinds (Castaño-Pulgarín et al., 2021). There is a growing awareness of the scale of the problem, with 80 percent of people in the EU having experienced cyberbullying online and 40 percent having been attacked or threatened on social media (Castaño-Pulgarín et al., 2021).

Case Study: A mother in Wuhan jumped from the 24th floor to end her life on Children’s Day.

Figure 1: The mom and the son

In the past few thousand years, China has been in the feudal era, and women have been excluded from social work (Liang, 2022). People expect women to be good wives and good mothers after marriage, which leads to the low voice of women (Liang, 2022). Due to the ideological development of modern society, Chinese women have more space to display their abilities, have more opportunities to show their strength, and have a certain right to speak in society (Liang, 2022). However, on social media, there are still great malicious intentions towards women. The following incident is a case of what happens to women on social media and what the consequences of these injuries can be.

On May 23, 2023, a very sad incident happened in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A primary school teacher ran over a student and killed him (Koetse, 2023). The student was trying to pick up the paper plane that fell to the ground, and the teacher did not notice it, so the child was crushed by the car (Koetse, 2023). The teacher stepped on the brake consciously for the first time, but after two or three seconds, he drove again, resulting in the death of the student (Koetse, 2023). The focus of the incident should be on the responsibility of the primary school teacher and what the school should do, but when the student’s mother appeared in the media, the trend on Chinese social media was all about the mother who had just lost her son.

Figure 2: The hate comments

The mother said in an interview with the media that she does not need any compensation; she only wants the school to take appropriate measures, and the teacher needs to apologize to his son to the whole of society (Koetse, 2023). Ironically, the news has sparked discussion on social media not about justice for the poor mother but about a series of judgements about the mother’s dress, makeup, and facial expression (Koetse, 2023). They viciously judged the mother on the Internet for being too calm in interviews with the media and not showing any signs of being a mother who has lost her son. Some people said she was not even sad about her son’s death because she was wearing makeup (Koetse, 2023). Some even gloated that the mother’s job was in the sexual service industry, saying that a person like her would not raise a good son but would be better off dead (Koetse, 2023). Many of these crazy remarks hurt the mother’s heart. She may never understand how heartless these people are to be able to write such vicious words so casually on the Internet. Even so, the mother kept staying at the school gate, trying to get a response from the teachers and the school (Koetse, 2023). The public opinion on the Internet is not calm but more violent.

Figure 3: The social media account of this mother after her son died

On June 1st, Children’s Day, when parents should spend time with their children, there was shocking news (Koetse, 2023). The mother who just lost her son chose to jump from the 24th floor on this day (Koetse, 2023). The mother made this choice not only because of the pain of missing her son but also because of the countless online users who said sarcastic words and used the most despicable language to slander the mother (Koetse, 2023). Normal people would be so pitied of this incident, but these crazy people turned their attack on the father of the child, who they believe pushed the mother of the child from the 24th floor so that he could marry the next beautiful wife (Koetse, 2023). As you can see from this whole incident, these people do not even have the most basic empathy and instead use their dirty psychology to speculate on the subject and post vicious comments online. Cyber violence can be said to be the most terrible weapon in this society because anyone can publish their opinions, even if these vicious remarks have caused serious consequences. Since the law is not responsible for the public, they do not need to pay any price to take a person’s life at will. Such sad things have happened many times, but internet violence is still emerging in an endless stream. How to reduce the occurrence of such incidents is something the country, media, social media platforms, and people need to consider.

Cyberbullying, no matter the gender

Figure 4: Guangzhou subway case

Gender has always been a sensitive topic on the Internet, and online violence against women is often through appearance or sexually-related harassment, but this does not mean that only women experience this type of online violence (Herry & Mulvey, 2022). It is a good thing that women’s status improves their awareness of protecting themselves, but if some people take advantage of people’s support for women and publish misleading content on social media, it will only make the confrontation between the genders more serious. An Internet influencer posted a video on TikTok in which she felt that a middle-aged man was secretly taking pictures of her on the subway in Guangzhou, and she asked to check his photo album (Courtois, 2023). The man agreed to her request, and the woman did not find any candid photos, but instead of apologizing, she posted the man as a mosaic of insulting words on social media (Courtois, 2023). The fact that the internet celebrity has 80,000 followers indicates that she has a certain influence, but despite the fact being clear, she still insulted the middle-aged man online (Courtois, 2023). Her behaviour is to treat an innocent person as a criminal and post it on social media. Such behaviour is not the equality that women really hope to get, and such behaviour will further aggravate the conflict between genders in society. In this society, online violence does not discriminate between men and women, and there will be people who post hate speech regardless of gender, so what people really need to care about is how to be more rational on the internet and have their own judgement on anything rather than what others say. If people want to express their thoughts, they should focus on the essence of the matter and not distance themselves from what they really care about because of their gender. People should be aware that victims of cyberbullying are not limited to one particular gender, and everyone has the right to a safe, respectful, and inclusive online space.

People should enhance their sensitivity to online violence

Social media and community sites are the most frequent places for online violence, so different platforms are increasingly focused on how to detect and remove hate speech. Facebook has been using AI in recent years to enhance the moderation and regulation of user-posted content (Sinpeng et al., 2021). In addition, more and more scholars and civil organizations are joining to improve the monitoring of hate speech (Sinpeng et al., 2021). There are positive examples as well as negative ones., a social news and community site, has become a center of anti-feminist activism, with people using its features, design, and algorithms to secretly spread the culture on the site (Massanari, 2016). Therefore, the sensitivity and importance of the platform for online violence and hate speech are also very important. Almost all social media platforms have a reporting mechanism where people can report bad comments, and if the platform finds that there is indeed bad influence, it will delete it, and in some serious cases, it will ban users from commenting for three days. These measures will certainly make the speech environment on the internet a little better, but they will only improve it, not fix it. These penalties are still too light for those who post hate speech. They may think that because others have sent it, they can also send it, but it is possible that someone has lost a precious life because of this sentence. Whenever someone chooses to commit suicide because of cyberbullying, there is always a comment under such news: “Why is she or he so vulnerable that she or he would commit suicide in such a small matter?” The knife did not fall on these people, so they never knew the pain. If the nation does not actually punish such hate speech severely, these people will still post malicious comments everywhere on the internet. All people should be sensitive and serious about cyberbullying, and they should realize that their words and deeds on the internet can have a huge impact on others. When everyone’s sensitivity to cyberbullying increases and everyone feels that this is not a small thing, the phenomenon of cyberbullying can slowly decrease until it disappears.

The harm of online violence should appear in People’s Daily life

The tragic consequences of cyberbullying should not just appear on the news and then people say “What a pity” in the comments section, which is meaningless. The harm of cyberbullying should appear in people’s daily lives, whether it is at bus stops, subways, or billboards. Some stop hate speech and online violence slogans can be placed every few months to warn people of the harm of such behaviour. Let people notice at any time, anywhere, even if they may not care at first, but with the passage of time, such awareness will be deeply engraved in people’s minds. Watching TV series, movies, and reality shows is people’s daily entertainment. At this time, the information will spread to people’s minds unconsciously and be remembered. A famous example is the 15th movie of Detective Conan, The Quarter of Silence. Detective Conan is a very famous manga and anime. It has a large number of fans and an unusual influence. The movie was a great success, but people were more impressed by Conan’s words to his friends than by its exciting action scenes and brilliant reasoning. In this film, two friends of Conan quarrel over some trivial things, and they almost say irretrievable words to their good friends under the influence of emotions. This famous line was said by Conan in order to stop the two boys.

Figure 5: The sentence that Conan said to his two friends.

This sentence has influenced many children and young people, letting them know that words are a double-edged sword, which can make others happy or become an invisible blade in the hearts of others. This is a simple truth, but through the influence of film, these principles can be easier to accept and more deeply remembered and practiced by people. This is a very good way, and hopefully, in the future, the country will increase its education in this area and make the concept of stopping cyberbullying a daily one.


Online violence and hate speech are always wrong and greatly undermine the harmony of society. Cyberbullying is a phenomenon that not only occurs in women but also in men. If there is controversial news on the internet, first of all, people must clearly know that a lot of the information on the internet is not true. The parties should exercise calm judgement and have their own thoughts rather than easily write comments like he is male, so he is deserved, or she is female, so malicious speculation that she is engaged in sex-related industries. These should be the cyberbullying behaviours that the whole society should jointly resist. If everyone works hard for a civilized and harmonious network culture, one day such sad news will disappear.


Castaño-Pulgarín, S. A., Suárez-Betancur, N., Vega, L. M., & López, H. M. (2021). Internet, social media and online hate speech. systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 58, 101608.

Courtois, M. (2023, July 28). The creepy men who film women on China’s subways – and the case that sparked a backlash. Worldcrunch.

Dajie, R. (2023, June 6). Wuhan mother jumps to suicide after, more cruel details. Wangyi Website.

Herry, E., & Mulvey, K. L. (2022). Gender‐based cyberbullying: Understanding expected bystander behavior online. Journal of Social Issues, 79(4), 1210–1230.

Koetse, M. (2023, June 11). From reckless driving to cyber bullying: Wuhan mother jumps to death after son gets run over by teacher’s car. What’s on Weibo. mother-jumps-to-death-after-son-gets-run-over-by-teachers-car/

Liang, X. (2022). Gender equality in chinese new media. Proceedings of the 2022 International Conference on Sport Science, Education and Social Development (SSESD 2022), 495–502.

Massanari, A. (2016). #Gamergate and the fappening: How reddit’s algorithm, Governance, and Culture Support Toxic Technocultures. New Media & Society, 19(3), 329–346.

Saya01. (2015, March 21). Anime & Manga Quotes. Tumblr. -words-are

Sinpeng, A., Martin, F., Gelber, K., & Shields , K. (2021). Facebook: Regulating Hate Speech in the Asia Pacific. Facebook Content Policy Research on Social Media Award: Regulating Hate Speech in the Asia Pacific.

Xiguang, X. (2023, June 9). Sichuan University female master slander one man  secretly take her photos on subway, after he proving innocence is still exposed by this woman! Wangyi Website.

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