Chapter 30: The War of Words on Weibo!
As his parents were taking an afternoon nap, Zhang Ye was surfing the net in his room. After logging in to his newly registered * account, there was a verified label on his avatar. This was a verified account that the radio station had applied for him, for work purposes. The verification details were, “Beijing Radio Station’s Literature Channel’s ‘Late-night Ghost Stories’ Broadcast Host Zhang Ye”. Every radio anchor host had a platform to communicate with their audience. By promoting their programs and maintaining their image, that was also a part of their work.
This world’s social media platform did not distinguish between or . There was only one, called Weibo. It was pretty much the same; however, there were some tiny differences in the details. For example, there was no way to display one’s location. The reason was probably to protect one’s privacy.
“Hello, Teacher Zhang.”
“Teacher Zhang, I really like your program.”
“’Ghost Blows Out the Light’ is too good. Your poems are also too classic!”
“If you need any sort of work done, please contact mobile number 1348763733!”
“Haha, Teacher Zhang is also on Weibo? I’m Xiaofang. Please add me as a fan.”
There were private messages, @ messages and comments, totaling about 30 of them. There were advertisements, colleagues from the radio station and listeners.
Upon seeing his fan count, he only had about 200 people. After all, he had just registered, so he could not have many fans. It needed a long period of operation. Zhang Ye picked a few comments to reply to. He also followed a few colleagues. As he browsed through this world’s Weibo, there were not many major differences, so he did not find it unfamiliar. This was a very important promotional platform, so Zhang Ye treated it seriously. After giving it some thought, he decided to post his poems, “Flying Bird and Fish”, “A Generation”, the title-less “If you are living well, then the skies are clear” and the “The Song of the Stormy Petrel” that he had never publicly released.
His fan count immediately rose!
There were countless numbers of people rebroadcasting it!
“Let the tempest come strike harder? Wow!”
“’The Song of the Stormy Petrel’ is so well written! I like it!”
“I already thought “Flying Bird and Fish” and “A Generation” were classic enough, but after seeing “The Song of the Stormy Petrel”, I feel full and delighted. This passer-by shall become a fan!”
“If you are living well, then the skies are clear? This is written so beautifully!”
“Teacher Zhang has released another new poem? Awesome! I’ll prostrate in front of you in full admiration!”
He even saw some bigwigs leaving comments. For example, there was the famous producer Hu Fei from Central TV. He had rebroadcasted for Zhang Ye, “I first liked Zhang Ye’s novel, as ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ was too original. It is totally different from the usual supernatural novels. Later on, I saw Teacher Little Zhang’s two poems. I greatly fell in love with “A Generation”. It felt like it was written for our generation. Today, after seeing “The Song of the Stormy Petrel”, this should be a prose. Having lived for so long, I have seen at least a few hundred, if not a few thousand prose. But this is the first time that I have realized that prose can be written in such a graceful and powerful manner! I also know the Vice Editor, Old Ya, from the Beijing Times. I agree strongly with what Old Ya said that in a few hundred years, people might no longer have computers or cell phones and may even forget the dazzling celebrities of the past, to the point of forgetting things our generation think is unforgettable. But the two poems, “A Generation” and “The Song of the Stormy Petrel” will never be forgotten. I believe they will be passed down over as a heritage, one generation after another!”
Naturally, Zhang Ye had to reply as he modestly answered, “Thank you for Teacher Hu’s affirmation. I’m not that noble or great as you described. I just randomly created those.”
Hu Fei gave an astounding approval, “Talent is probably innate. Some people might work their entire lives to no avail. Some people have it the moment they were born. Teacher Little Zhang is just 23 years old? My son is 22 this year, almost the same age as you. However, Teacher Zhang is already so cultured, while my son is playing on the phone all day. Sigh.”
People began to comment.
“My daughter is the same. She’s playing with her cell phone all day.”
“Right, young people nowadays cannot be separated from their cellphones. Even while they are eating and talking, they would still hold onto their phones.”
Upon seeing this, Zhang Ye left a comment. He used a popular online phrase in his previous world. “The furthest distance in the world is not the distance between the flying bird and fish. It is that you are playing with your phone, even when I stand in front of you.”
“Haha! I’m dying of stitches!”
“Teacher Zhang is too cheeky!”
“I never expected Teacher Zhang to be so humorous! He’s a ghost story host and also a poet, so I thought he would be a particularly serious person!”
“That was a godly reversal!”
Central TV’s producer Hu Fei was also overjoyed as he posted a smiley emoticon, “In a while, I’ll show this to my son!”
With Zhang Ye’s lead, many netizens began to spontaneously post modified versions of Zhang Ye’s “Flying Bird and Fish”. For example, there were statements like, “The furthest distance in the world is not bringing toilet paper to the toilet.” In the end, “A Generation” was also not spared. There were all kinds of versions, such as, “The dark night gave me black eyes, but I use them to watch movies.” If other poets saw their poems being defiled beyond recognition by others, they would be furious. However, Zhang Ye did not. Not only was he not angry, he even modified his works along with the netizens. His level of self-mockery was high, which won the favor of many netizens.
“Teacher Zhang is really approachable!”
“This is what a cultured person should have!”
“+1! Supporting Teacher Zhang’s creation of more masterpieces!”
At the same time.
Today, Tian Bin was also not working. After his program was robbed from him, he would basically be resting for three days a week. He had nothing to do at work. In an upset mood, Tian Bin would drink alone at home. As he drank, he surfed Weibo. He, too, saw Zhang Ye’s interaction with the netizens and saw his fan count increasingly rapidly due to him being so well-liked. In just a day, he had several thousand fans. It was nearly about to exceed Tian Bin’s 20,000 fan count. Seeing this, how could Tian Bin feel happy? He nearly flew into a rage!
Producing works without a script?
Every word he says is classic?
Tian Bin never believed Zhang Ye had this ability. He also bore a grudge, so without switching his Weibo account, he used his official, verified Weibo account to post a message, “Some people may be able to jump for a moment, but they cannot jump for life. Do not be a villainous person intoxicated by success. Do not use underhand techniques, or you will end up suffering!” He did not indicate who he was speaking about, but anyone who had eyes knew that he was scolding Zhang Ye. This was because after Zhang Ye was officially verified, the VIP introduction for Tian Bin’s Weibo had changed into “Previous ‘Late-night Ghost Stories’ Broadcast Host”.
Tian Bin had his fans, too. Some people liked Zhang Ye’s style of broadcasting, but there were also people who liked Tian Bin’s program. Upon seeing Teacher Tian post that comment, many of his fans immediately understood who Tian Bin was referring to. Immediately, they answered the summoning call and went on Zhang Ye’s Weibo to begin cursing!
“Using underhand techniques?”
“So this was how Zhang Ye got his position!”
“Teacher Tian is right. I do not like Zhang Ye’s program. It’s practically rubbish!”
On the other side, Zhang Ye was still unsure of the situation. He had just went to grab a cup of water, but when he returned, he saw lots of criticism on his Weibo!
“Zhang Ye, you dumb pig!”
“Calling for a boycott of Zhang Ye!”
“What a rubbish program! Quickly stop broadcasting it!”
“Right! Let Teacher Tian Bin resume his hosting of ‘Late-night Ghost Stories’!”
After Zhang Ye traced it to Tian Bin’s official Weibo account and seeing the comment left by him, he immediately sneered with anger. You are looking for trouble, aren’t you? You dare to say I’m a villainous person?
Before Zhang Ye responded, his fans and some bystanders had rushed to Tian Bin’s Weibo to return their tirade!
“How can there be such a cheap person under the Heavens?”
“Publicly scolding his colleague on Weibo? Who is the villain here?”
“Isn’t it because of Teacher Zhang’s literacy skills being better than yours that caused the result of him replacing you? If you aren’t happy about it, win the program back yourself. Can you only curse at someone behind their back?”
“What a joke. And there’s so many people chiming in? Are you all a bunch of people who like to curse?”
At this moment, the producer Hu Fei, who had exchanged some words with Zhang Ye on Weibo, helped speak out for Zhang Ye, “People should have some bearing in their conduct. One shouldn’t pull someone down just because someone is better than you. What a joke. Anyone with any smarts knows what is going with a glance!”
The two sides began to set off a war of words!
Weibo immediately bustled with activity!
“Son, come eat some fruit!” Mom shouted from outside his room, after waking up from her afternoon nap.
Zhang Ye had no mood to eat, “I’m not eating. I’m busy.”
Mom pushed the door open and entered, “What’s the matter? Eat first, before you busy yourself.”
Zhang Ye stared at the computer, “I can’t eat. A colleague is using his verified account to scold me on Weibo. His actions are too horrible. I need to deal with it.”
Mom was also enraged, “Who dares to scold my son? This little son of a bitch! But don’t you scold back at him. He may not be right, but we need to make sure of the repercussive effects. After all, your status is no longer the same.”
“I got it. Go back.” Zhang Ye saw Tian Bin post another comment.
Tian Bin, “A person with questionable character is useless, no matter how talented he is!”
Zhang Ye sneered and replied, “How is my character questionable? Can you please talk about it Teacher Tian!?”
Tian Bin took on an enigmatic tone in his words, “You really do not know?” Alright then. Hehe.
Zhang Ye, “Do not use these mysterious words to mislead everyone. Tell me what I did wrong; I want to know, too!”
Tian Bin scoffed, “You know very well what sort of character you have!”
Zhang Ye angrily said, “I really do not know. You can say it straight out. I have always done things with a clear conscience. By using this vague tone, aren’t you showing the lack of confidence in your words?”
Tian Bin, “Hehe. A villainous person is a villainous person.”
Beijing Radio Station.
There were many people working in the Literature Channel’s office today.
A midday program’s DJ suddenly shouted, “Hey, quickly look at Weibo. Something has happened! Tian Bin and Zhang Ye are fighting!”
“Ah? What happened?”
“They are fighting? Let me see!”
“Aiyah! Teacher Tian is…”
“What is Tian Bin doing? How can he say such things!”
“And he is even using his verified Weibo account. This will give off a bad vibe. The listeners will even wonder what’s going on if they see this!”
A few old comrades in the station were very displeased. Wang Xiaomei frowned, while Xiaofang was enraged!
“I’ll let the Leader know!”
“Who is going to call Tian Bin and Zhang Ye? Tell them not to fight! Quickly delete their Weibo comments!”
Ring, ring, ring. A phone call came in.
Zhang Ye saw the number and it was Teacher Feng from the “Old and Young Story Club” segment. Upon picking it up, he heard Teacher Feng say, “Little Zhang, quickly delete those messages on Weibo. Director Zhao has got wind of the matter. He’s already going crazy and wants you to stop immediately. Anymore of this will be detrimental to the station. Someone has already approached Tian Bin, too. Quickly cool down. We can talk about this in the office tomorrow!”
Zhang Ye said angrily, “I’ve been scolded by Tian Bin and his fans all day. I have not said a single swear word or slanderous comment, right? You want me to cool down? Did I say too much? I was just getting Tian Bin to explain how my character was lacking. Why am I a villainous person? Do I have any other problem?”
Teacher Feng said, “Look at your temper. Are you being nasty with me? Kid, cool down. I’m not saying you are wrong, I’m just asking you to endure it.”
“Teacher Feng, it isn’t my intention. Alright, I got it.” Zhang Ye said without any qualms. Amongst all the broadcasting hosts in the Literature Channel, his impression of Teacher Feng was the best. He was a veteran, but he had no airs. He was kindly to everyone, so Zhang Ye naturally would not get angry with Teacher Feng.
“That’s good. Calming down is the best.” With that, Teacher Feng hung up the phone.
However, just after he threw down his phone, Zhang Ye sneered at the computer. Although he had promised Teacher Feng to cool down, he did not have any plans to doing so. Delete my Weibo comments? Remain silent? That Tian has already said so much; how could I remain silent!?
Tian Bin’s fans were still attacking him.
“Look, Zhang Ye is no longer speaking?”
“Hehehe. This is because he’s trembling from the scolding!”
“An idiot is an idiot! How dare a rookie rob an elder’s position!”
“I really feel helpless for Teacher Tian! Why did he have to encounter a person who did not know where he stands!”
“Everyone, carry on scolding! Keep refreshing! Do not have any scruples! Let’s get justice for Teacher Tian!”
Tian Bin also fanned the flames from time to time to incite the people’s emotions. He could not swear, but he could stir up his fans to curse!
Some of those who cursed at Zhang Ye did not know the truth. They thought that Teacher Tian had some grievance due to Zhang Ye. A large number of them were just following the crowd. The internet was a more open platform. Some people just liked to curse, so they would ignore everything else and curse first, without knowing the truth. After all, Zhang Ye would definitely not curse back at them, as he was a public figure. He had to take note of the effects of his words. This made those people, who were joining in the fun to curse, become more unbridled in their attacks. They felt good about being able to curse at someone who had better achievements than themselves!
Don’t dare to curse back?
Indeed, if it was any average radio host, they would definitely not do so. However, Zhang Ye was not any average person. They did not understand Zhang Ye’s temperament at all!
Cursing at him for no reason?
Stepping over his head time and again?
He knew deeply what the internet was like. There was no reason behind today’s matter. They were just cursing for the sake of cursing. The matter was not settled by who was being more reasonable, as it was meaningless in trying to be reasonable. Everything was determined by strength! Everything was determined by who was more fierce in their combat prowess! Alright! I’ll do a good job cursing with you today! Isn’t it just swearing? You really think I don’t know how!? That I’m afraid of all of you?
* is a social platform in China, known as micro-blogging. Weibo uses a format similar to its American counterpart Twitter.