In a devastating turn of events, the untimely demise of a 26-year-old popular Chinese influencer, known online as “Zhongyuan Yellow Brother,” has rocked China’s online community.

In a tragic turn of events, the online community in China is reeling from the premature death of a popular 26-year-old influencer known as “Zhongyuan Yellow Brother.” This heart-wrenching incident marks the second death in a month involving excessive alcohol consumption during livestreaming, shedding light on the dark underbelly of the toxic livestreaming culture where streamers stop at nothing to grab eyeballs.

According to Chinese media reports, the influencer died after engaging in a livestreamed binge-drinking episode. The incident, which unfolded in the early hours of June 2nd, raises poignant concerns about the perils associated with livestreaming dangerous alcohol consumption even with strict regulatory bans on streaming platforms.

This distressing incident comes merely a month after the influencer had participated in the funeral of another prominent online figure, “San Qian Ge,” whose own tragic passing was attributed to excessive drinking during a livestream.

The 26-year-old Zhongyuan Yellow Brother has died after a livestreamed binge drinking session. (pic: Internet)
The 26-year-old Zhongyuan Yellow Brother has died after a livestreamed binge drinking session. (pic: Internet)

The online space, where the boundaries between reality and entertainment often blur, had become a platform for “Zhongyuan Yellow Brother” to showcase his exploits to a sizeable audience. With a staggering 176,000 followers on one of his social media accounts, the influencer captivated viewers with a series of eyeball-grabbing videos flaunting his audacious alcohol-fueled feats. The content included imbibing copious amounts of liquor, beer, and various alcoholic concoctions, accompanied by attention-grabbing headlines like “Too hardcore, too fast” and “Finished in seconds.”

These recordings painted a disconcerting picture of a man seemingly unfazed by the perils of excessive drinking. Engaging in perilous stunts, such as setting alcohol-soaked tissues ablaze before downing copious amounts of liquor in rapid succession, he flirted with danger for the sake of online spectacle. In one particularly alarming clip that circulated widely, he inadvertently set his own trousers on fire while igniting a glass of alcohol, eliciting concerns about the safety risks involved.

Regrettably, the story of “Zhongyuan Yellow Brother” echoes the tragic trajectory of “San Qian Ge,” who met a similar fate after livestreaming a hazardous drinking episode just weeks earlier. The influencer’s demise had evidently affected “Zhongyuan Yellow Brother” deeply, as he attended the funeral as a close friend. Witnesses recount a somber atmosphere during the funeral proceedings, with “Zhongyuan Yellow Brother” expressing remorse and a commitment to curbing his own alcohol consumption.

As the news of “Zhongyuan Yellow Brother’s” tragic death reverberated across social media platforms, questions arose regarding the role and responsibility of livestreaming platforms in such incidents. Last June, the National Radio and Television Administration, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, promulgated the “Code of Conduct for Online Streamers.”

This code explicitly prohibits streamers from engaging in activities like smoking or excessive drinking that could potentially encourage negative behaviors among young viewers. However, each time after his account was flagged in one platfrom, he would create new accounts on different platforms to livestream similar contents.

Legal experts have also weighed in on the matter, highlighting the complexities surrounding the responsibility and accountability of those involved. Lawyer Deng Gang from Guangdong Fazhi Shengbang Law Firm told Southern Metropolis Daily that while “Zhongyuan Yellow Brother” bore personal responsibility as an adult fully aware of the risks associated with binge drinking.

However, other participants in the binge drinking challenges might be held responsible if they fail to fulfill necessary duty of care when the participant clearly shows signs of excessive drinking.

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