Seven baselines

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The Forum of Social Responsibilities of Internet Celebrities held on Aug. 10, 2013.

The "Seven Baselines" (七条底线) refer to the consensus on seven principles reached and followed by Chinese celebrities to increase their social responsibility and create positive energy through their online words and actions.

On July 21, 2013, Wu Hongfei, lead singer of rock band Happy Avenue, posted a fake bomb threat on her Twitter-like Sina Weibo account, claiming to put a bomb under a government building and a residential committee in Beijing. The fake threat was posted the morning after wheelchair-bound Ji Zhongxing had set off a bomb inside Beijing Capital International Airport on July 20, luckily only injuring himself. Yi was formally arrested on July 29 and could face three to 10 years in jail.

Although Wu deleted the bomb threat post within 20 minutes, she was still detained by Beijing police and placed under criminal detention on July 23. Wu's penalty was later changed to administrative detention, a much lighter punishment. She was released on Aug. 2 after a 10-day administrative detention and a 500 yuan (US$81) fine.

The incident triggered hot debate online regarding the online words and actions of celebrities and the social responsibility and influence they bear. On the afternoon of Aug. 10, 2013, sponsored by the State Internet Information Office, Chinese celebrities convened at the new CCTV Broadcast Centre in Beijing for a forum on the social responsibility of celebrities online.

Participants agreed that celebrities should bear more social responsibility and disseminate positive energy through the Internet. A consensus was reached to respect the following "Seven Baselines:" first, the legal and regulatory baseline; second, the baseline of the Socialist system; third, the baseline of national interest; fourth, the baseline of citizens' lawful rights and interests; fifth, the baseline of social and public order; sixth, the baseline of moral customs; and finally, the baseline of truthful information.

On Aug. 11, 2013, an article published by state-run Xinhua News Agency pointed out that, "Abiding the 'Seven Baselines' is the responsibility of every Internet user and also an effective guarantee for enabling the Internet to become an ultimate platform full of truth, trust, tolerance and soundness." On Aug. 14, the Beijing Internet Association issued a proposal for the overall industry and all Internet users to abide by and stick to the "Seven Baselines."