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China's Human Flesh Search Engine

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the google-is-mine dept.

Privacy 248

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times has an interesting article about Human-flesh search engines — renrou sousuo yinqing — that have become a phenomenon in China: they are a form of online vigilante justice in which Internet users hunt down and punish people who have attracted their wrath. The goal is to get the targets of a search fired from their jobs, shamed in front of their neighbors, or run out of town. It's crowd-sourced detective work, pursued online — with offline results. 'In the United States, traditional media are still playing the key role in setting the agenda for the public,' says Jin Liwen. 'But in China, you will see that a lot of hot topics, hot news or events actually originate from online discussions.' In one well known case, when a video appeared in China of a woman stomping a cat to death with the sharp point of her high heel, the human flesh search engine tracked the kitten killer's home to the town of Luobei in Heilongjiang Province, in the far northeast, and her name — Wang Jiao — was made public, as were her phone number and her employer. 'Wang Jiao was affected a lot,' says one Luobei resident. 'She left town and went somewhere else.' The kitten-killer case didn't just provide revenge; it helped turn the human-flesh search engine into a national phenomenon. Searches have also been directed against cheating spouses, corrupt government officials, amateur pornography makers, Chinese citizens who are perceived as unpatriotic, journalists who urge a moderate stance on Tibet and rich people who try to game the Chinese system."

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Sounds like 4chan's Anonymous scientology raids (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368718)

and "Anonymous is not your personal army" seems to have held up pretty well against gaming.

Re:Sounds like 4chan's Anonymous scientology raids (3, Informative)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368974)

and "Anonymous is not your personal army" seems to have held up pretty well against gaming.

And do not forget the anonymous' rescue of Dusty [wowowow.com] .

Why can't we all get along? (1, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368720)

... amateur pornography makers, Chinese citizens who are perceived as unpatriotic, journalists who urge a moderate stance on Tibet and rich people who try to game the Chinese system."...

Because we don't want too, thats why.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368804)

Because we don't want too, thats why.

And really, why should we? [chimpout.com]

Re:Why can't we all get along? (4, Insightful)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368816)

...... amateur pornography makers, Chinese citizens who are perceived as unpatriotic, journalists who urge a moderate stance on Tibet and rich people who try to game the Chinese system

This is the online version of denouncing people to the Thought Police in 1984. Just a reminder that China is still very much a totalitarian state.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (4, Insightful)

bahbar (982972) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368836)

It's more than that, It's the people _becoming_ the Thought Police.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369000)

Amen.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (4, Informative)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369364)

re-read the book if you think that is a valid statement.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369462)

Re-read?

not really (3, Insightful)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368838)

sounds pretty anti-authoritarian-mob justice to me...

totalitarian states usually want the monopoly on exacting punishments.

Re:not really (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369032)

Not completely - the goal is to completely brainwash people so that each accuses her or his neighbor of violations against the law. Divide et impera at its best. I come from Eastern Europe and this was practiced massively there. The motion is set by rules that control thinking and everyone stepping over whether for good or bad has her head cut off. Unfortunately, this is our innate stupidity and inconsistency as human species and many people over the ages were taking advantage of that - read Machiavelli. The clever people organize these "witch hunts" though it often backfires. Look at the French Revolution, the same ideas. Everyone is guilty of something, hence everyone can be punished in a Richelieu-an fashion.

Re:not really (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369432)

Not completely - the goal is to completely brainwash people so that each accuses her or his neighbor of violations against the law.

Occam's razor at work. They didn't hunt down the kitten killer because they were angry, they did it to further a big fucking secret conspiracy!

BTW, where can I join them?

Re:not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369480)

It looks like you did not even read the summary to the end, much less TFA... For shame. I'd expect that from a 7 digit ID, but a 6 digit ID?!!!! What's this world becoming? I should set the human search engine on you!

Re:not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369732)

They hunted the kitten killer for two reasons - one that it was a horrible and outrageous act well outside accepted social norms (fortunately) and they wanted to have a scapegoat for their own transgressions they considered less severe. As such it is a pathological action. We have judges to determine guilt, and it is better to fight in courts even when there is a gaming of the judicial system ongoing than to organize pogroms or witch hunts like in China.

Now going back to Eastern Europe - you were eliminated by your own "friends" and people you knew if you were not accepting learned hopelessness put on you by rich "communist" elite . That was the brainwashing part. You were different - perhaps optimistic - you were immediately put amongst troublemakers and a hunt proceeded on all levels.

Re:not really (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369106)

how strange it is - on one hand a totalitarian system being undermined by people's wrath on the other there the same 'movement' if you will is just a modern version of lynching practice, inaccurate and rather brutal usually. I guess this is what happens when all other breaks installed in the society stop functioning or is it another case of mass hysteria like 'commies are coming' in US back then.

Re:not really (2, Interesting)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369660)

sounds pretty anti-authoritarian-mob justice to me...

or authoritarian mob justice

totalitarian states usually want the monopoly on exacting punishments.

Clearly you've never heard of the Basij [wikipedia.org] , or any of the many other "patriotic" volunteer groups. When you have groups brought up in your ideology, whatever that ideology is, you're going to have large segments of that society (the conservative segments that is) to support that ideology because their natural tendency to support the status quo, support the hierarchy, support the nation, (i.e. patriotism and the fear of the other)

Actually this sounds quite a bit like, Texas's own,Repent Amarillo [littlegreenfootballs.com] (A self described, "Army of God," or in Arabic "Hezbollah.")

Re:Why can't we all get along? (3, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368844)

Hyperbole much?
This is nothing but Chinese /b/tards. Bord teens to 30 somethings, who still live with their parents, as is the norm in China, going after very VERY soft targets.

Nationalism is a disease not at all unique to China.

---
Ministry of misuse and overuse of Orwell's novels.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (1)

ectotherm (842918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369544)

Anything that is put online can be searched, and potentially misused. Whether or not the searcher has good or bad motives matters little. Bottom line: be careful of what you put online. One of the reasons I hate Facebook, MySpace, etc. is because they generate HUGE volumes of human stupidity. People put all kinds of information online, and then are surprised when it bites them in the ass. The family that was robbed after putting their Hawaiian vacation plans on Facebook is a classic example. I am glad that this cat killer lady got her "karmic adjustment"- people like that "need killing." But people need to realize that the Internet is not this big "anonymous" world where all information and misdeeds are untraceable. The World Wide Web is fast becoming like a small, mid-western town where everyone knows or can find out everyone else's business...

Re:Why can't we all get along? (1)

nicodoggie (1228876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369588)

Well, I think even without facebook, etc. humans still generate the same amount of stupidity. It's just more apparent since we can see it online.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368912)

Seems more like those lynch mobs.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (-1, Troll)

dnwq (910646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369014)

It's a reminder that China is totalitarianism because its people prefer it that way.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (2, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369024)

Not exactly. This appears not to be an action of the Chinese government but of its citizens. The attacks on 'unpatriotic' people are probably unintended side-effects of government propaganda, just as right-wing 'patriots' in the US killing people is an unintended side-effect of Fox News. I think you can be damn sure the Chinese government has no desire to kick off another cultural revolution.

This just makes it more scary in a way.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (2, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369690)

Another unintended effect of Fox News, is left-wing 'bleeding-hearts' assuming all those right-wing 'patriots' are influenced by Fox News.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369748)

Another unintended effect of Fox News, is left-wing 'bleeding-hearts' assuming all those right-wing 'patriots' are influenced by Fox News.

This made me wonder who is buried in Grant's Tomb.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (4, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369054)

Then so is the UK (making the assumption you're from there based on username) which has its fair share of witch hunts organized by the tabloids (Jade Goody, the anti-vaccination insanity, the pediatrician assaulted by confused pedophile hunters, etc...) In fact it might be more totalitarian since the Chinese incidents aren't guided by a central authority like the UK ones but are grass roots initiatives.

What a selective quote (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369268)

Odd that you just happen to leave out the corrupt goverment employees being hunted. Showing that this is a citizens effort, not a government one.

In the west, we the people just let the bankers get away with the hardship they caused. Like in Iceland. Not one of the bankers has been arrested.

No, this has nothing to do with dicatorship. And americans love this idea, it is the basis of the superhero.

Re:Why can't we all get along? (1)

SplinterOfChaos (1330441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369440)

Are people being punished for thinking things, and only thinking, or kicking cats to death? Thought crime is more: i thought of masturbating and got arrested an hour before i was able to get home and commit the crime.

I don't really think it's fair to put this form of totalitarianism, and the one we see in this story together as one. What scares me about this story is not thought crime, but privacy. And isn't this possible in the states, too? And to some degree, don't we already do shit like this in the states, too?

Re:Why can't we all get along? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369714)

And to some degree, don't we already do shit like this in the states, too?

Of course we do. Except that instead of invoking a form of vigilante justice, we have mothers cooperating with daughters to play pranks on innocent children who end up dying from shame. I, for one, welcome our new vigilante overlords.

dude (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369564)

i know the moronic big brother meme is popular here, but when you are confusing top down control with bottom up vigiliantism, you've truly destroyed all sense of credibility with this completely intellectually bankrupt idea

the 1984 meme has gotten to the point where "something bad happened in society" (--insert creative reasoning--) "therefore, we are becoming orwellian"

folks: orwell wrote a pleasant fiction a long time ago. it was good criticism of totalitarian societies at the time. like: ussr. not democracies (you know, governments accountable to voters?) like the uk or the usa. (also reference "animal farm")

so it made its way into a lot of high school reading curricula as a tool, ostensibly, about the dangers of totalitarian states. but in some amazing turn around, according to some sort of high school stoner logic, mixed with a lot of pink floyd i suppose, it became a critique in people's minds of the democracies they lived in

whu?

1984 bears no relation to reality in modern democracies. repeat: 1984, orwell, big brother bearsa NO RELATION to reality unless you live in an autocracy. please stop confusing science fiction with reality in western societies

if anything, this sort of vigilantism in this story is proof of LITTLE brother: for example, rodney king. that you are "oppressed" by your fellow citizens with cell phone cameras. and in fact, the STATE is hemmed in and hamstrung by citizens with cameras (a la rodney king). how does that fact jive with orwell's fiction?

1984, orwell, big brother: it would all make sense if the state had a monopoly on technological advance. it doesn't. as such, 1984, orwell, big brother: failed, dead meme, useless way of thinking about your world. please get over your fanboy reasoning. your braindead. stop citing orwell and 1984. it is NOT instructive as to the real world you live in unless you are in a GENUINELY authoritarian state. and even then, such as this story, its not even totally the case! just look at iran and twitter too

STOP CITING ORWELL PEOPLE PLEASE. IT FAILS

thanks

Re:dude (4, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369788)

1984, orwell, big brother: it would all make sense if the state had a monopoly on technological advance. it doesn't. as such, 1984, orwell, big brother: failed, dead meme, useless way of thinking about your world.

Thanks. Here I was thinking that 1984 was a commentary on the human condition. I completely missed the point that unless all the conditions and technology were exactly the same, my world and Orwell's world had zero in common.

I guess I can discrd all the insights into human behaviours in the Iliad and the Odyssey because people don't carry swords anymore.

And my copy of Herodotus is right out.

In principle it could work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368742)

but in a US style society which values individual interests over those of society, things could go bad very quickly.

First rule (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368756)

First rule of renrou sousuo yinqing:
Don't mention renrou sousuo yinqing

Also:

Mob rule? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368760)

Sounds like mob rule to me.

Re:Mob rule? (4, Insightful)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368786)

Sounds like mob rule to me.

Well, as H.L. Mencken once said - the purist form of democracy is the lynch mob. True enough. Ironic that China should be criticized for becoming too democratic.

Re:Mob rule? (1)

ZDRuX (1010435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369242)

I was thinking the same.. am I the only one thinking of this as a good thing?.. (At least in part)

Re:Mob rule? (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369704)

You don't even need a plurality to lynch someone.

What we're seeing here isn't really all that surprising. Public response not mediated by the traditional media? That's a direct result of not having a free press. Vigilantism? That's a direct result of people feeling that the rules don't secure them from a threat.

Lynch mobs are all about people taking matters into their own hands when the government can't. In the US, local authorities often turned a blind eye to lynchings because they were in sympathy with the mob, and covered up the crime later, but weren't ready to dirty their own hands. Lynchings didn't happen in the antebellum days when blacks were officially slaves.

That's what you need for a lynching. You need enough people to give each other cover, and you need official indifference. Local government is notoriously corrupt and lax in China.

Re:Mob rule? (4, Interesting)

psycho12345 (1134609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368796)

Agreed, this sounds like perfect expression of the Tyranny of the Majority. Thankfully they cannot organize into a political party, with all the problems that causes, ie Nazi Germany. Oh and Godwin

4Chan (4, Insightful)

badran (973386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368772)

This is 4Chan made in China.... or dare I say ChinChan...

Re:4Chan (4, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368896)

The difference being the Chinese are motivated by a sense of moral justice (at least on the surface) instead of a nihilistic quest for lulz. Frankly I like the 4chan way better, seems more honest.
It's also interesting that similar behavior has spontaneously developed in 2 parts of the world with a very different culture, it may indicate the way future internet-centric societies will further develop. Oh dear god IS "4chan the Future of Human Consciousness?" [hplusmagazine.com]

Re:4Chan (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369114)

The difference being the Chinese are motivated by a sense of moral justice (at least on the surface) instead of a nihilistic quest for lulz. Frankly I like the 4chan way better, seems more honest.

Oddly (or perhaps not), cat abuse seems to bring out a sense of moral justice even in 4chan: see "Kenny Glenn The Animal Abuser". [encycloped...matica.com]

Re:4Chan (4, Informative)

the_one(2) (1117139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369118)

The difference being the Chinese are motivated by a sense of moral justice (at least on the surface) instead of a nihilistic quest for lulz. Frankly I like the 4chan way better, seems more honest.

They are also motivated by their love for cats.

Re:4Chan (0, Flamebait)

Burz (138833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369180)

And to some extent littlegreenfootballs and freerepublic, America's culture warriors.

The Human Flesh Search Engine (4, Insightful)

ZirconCode (1477363) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368774)

Also known as Mature Bullying

Re:The Human Flesh Search Engine (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369190)

Or "vigilantism"

Re:The Human Flesh Search Engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369320)

You mean "adult bullying". There's no such thing as mature bullying.

Personally, I'm dubious that there's any such thing as "mature".

Unless we're talking about cheese, of course. Mmmmmmm, mature Cheddar.

Re:The Human Flesh Search Engine (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369736)

Getting old is required. Growing up is optional.

I wonder if.. (2, Insightful)

Talar (1245824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368778)

any in flesh searches that is not approved by the government would be as successful as the one to hunt down the moderate Tibet journalist.

God bless America (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368780)

At least over here the internet mob justice is willing to affirm that it's not anyone's personal army.

Re:God bless America (3, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368818)

The masses of idiots who are willing to gang-stalk undesirables are known as neighborhood-watch groups, H.O.A. members, Citizens-on-Patrol groups, the "private security" industry, and other mindless but well-paid yuppie doggies.

They are the exact opposite of "not your personal army" and they'll report anybody who mentions "mudkips" to be child pornographers.

Re:God bless America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368952)

mudkips

Reported.

Re:God bless America (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369042)

Gave 'em to some of my classmates when I was 16. Pity the fools who still have 'em.

This reminds me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368802)

...of the find-a-person sites common on the US Internet around 10 years ago. They were frequently promoted with banner ads and I tried one of their free trials once to find an astonishing amount of info on someone close to me (address, car and mortgage info).

I wonder if we have any here that connect an online ID with a person's name?

But who verified it was really her?! (5, Insightful)

elFisico (877213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368810)

While the public might be a good detective, it certainly is a bad judge. Given the current technology (need I say photoshop?) a picture or a video can be faked by e.g. a malicious stalker who is after destroying a persons reputation. Posting the results of such a witch hunt without the accused having the possibility to respond to the accusation and defend hirself violates a basic human right.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (0, Flamebait)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368846)

*engrish* What is human right? Me kungfoo you! */engrish*

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368854)

You make it sound as if "the public" is a single entity but it isn't. If each of those people were convinced by the evidence that she was guilty, then it's kind of like a trial by your peers. Except better, even. You could remove the 100 people who are outliers (on both sides of the case) and still have a considerable number of detective/judges. That's something you can't do with a 12 person jury.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (5, Insightful)

dalutong (260603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368908)

Yes, but in court you have to provide evidence. And you can refute that evidence. So it becomes rational. Groupthink is not rational. And very very dangerous. And you can't remove the 100 people who are outliers (people who would be taken off a jury because they are prejudiced). Those might be the people who use the information to harass someone they don't like.

For instance, what if a group decided to "out" all the gay people in a town? They'd start their investigations and post the names online. That's wrong in and of itself. But an outlier might then decide to use that information for violence.

And that's why we have a judicial system.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (3, Funny)

shashark (836922) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369170)

Groupthink is not rational.

Right, and that's why we have Jury System.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369300)

That's why we have judges and lawyers.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368934)

Yes, because surely everyone involved in these incidents takes the time to fully and fairly evaluate all the sides to the story as well as what would constitute a measured response. I mean, that's how mobs work, right?

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369026)

What about the right to a legal defender?

Part of the idea of the organized justice system is that you have the right to be defended in court, even if nobody in the world thinks that you deserve to be defended.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369786)

To the point where someone who was witnessed by many people attempting to blow up a jetliner is subsequently referred to as "the alleged" or as taking actions "supposedly".

Due process is a great thing, don't get me wrong. It does, however, create great opportunity for criminals to avoid justice.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (1)

elFisico (877213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369164)

The problem is that those "judges" remain anonymous. I concurr that 100 people stepping out and publically stating "My name ist such-and-such, I am fully convinced that this evidence is real, is not faked and thus the accused is guilty and I accept the full consequences if my judgement is wrong" would be superior to most jury-trials. But this doesn't happen, therefore that anonymous finger-pointing is wrong.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (5, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368938)

It's discussed in TFA: a corrupt local official was hunted down for attempting to pull a small girl into a bathroom, actual eyewitnesses were not sure the situation was so clear cut. The whole reason we have courts is because mob "justice" is rarely that.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369140)

a corrupt local official was hunted down for attempting to pull a small girl into a bathroom

Is that physically pull (like in grab her arm, and forcefully pull her in, while she's shouting and screaming) or just statutory pulling (nicely asking her whether she wants to have some fun, please join me in my stall)?

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369398)

What is the difference? Both are utterly horrible!

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (3, Informative)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369346)

Where in the article does it say that the government official was taking the girl to a bathroom? The person who dubbed the video assumed that he was doing this, though the staff at the restaurant thought different. Section reprinted below:

THE PLUM GARDEN Seafood Restaurant stands on a six-lane road that cuts through Shenzhen, a fishing village turned factory boomtown. It has a subterranean dining room with hundreds of orange-covered seats, an open kitchen to one side and a warren of small private rooms to the other. Late on a Friday night in October 2008, a security camera captured a scene that was soon replayed all over the Chinese Internet and sparked a human-flesh search against a government official.

In the video clip, an older man crosses the background with a little girl. Later the girl runs back through the frame and returns with her father, mother and brother. The subtitles tell us that the old man had tried to force the girl into the men’s room, presumably to molest her, and that her father is trying to find the man who did that. Then the girl’s father appears in front of the camera, arguing with that man.

There is no sound on the video, so you have to rely on the Chinese subtitles, which seem to have been posted with the video. According to those subtitles, the older man tells the father of the girl: “I did it, so what? How much money do you want? Name your price.” He gestures violently and continues: “Do you know who I am? I am from the Ministry of Transportation in Beijing. I have the same level as the mayor of your city. So what if I grabbed the neck of a small child? If you dare challenge me, just wait and see how I will deal with you.” He moves to leave but is blocked by restaurant employees and the girl’s father. The group exits frame left.

...

While Netizens saw this as a struggle between an arrogant official and a victimized family of common people, the staff members at Plum Garden, when I spoke to them, had a different take. First, they weren’t sure that Lin had been trying to molest the girl. Perhaps, they thought, he was just drunk. The floor director, Zhang Cai Yao, told me, “Maybe the government official just patted the girl on the head and tried to say, ‘Thank you, you’re a nice girl.’ ” Zhang saw the struggle between Lin and the family as a kind of conflict she witnessed all too often. “It was a fight between rich people and officials,” she says. “The official said something irritating to her parents, who are very rich.”

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368944)

Go on discussing things you fools! What has to happen has to happen...and so these discussions...so why do I call you fool. Coz you thing world should work as you think...and what you think is right...NO! Same applies to me...just pass your time discussing! Ha ha

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (2, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369354)

>>While the public might be a good detective, it certainly is a bad judge.

Indeed. The whole Chinabounder fiasco is a good example of how witch hunts can go bad.

Essentially, Chinaboundder (an English guy) kept a blog about the Chinese women he slept with (all of age, consensual, etc.) A Chinese professor called out a witch hunt on him (I guess what the OP is calling a flesh search engine) and he had to go into hiding.

Because in China, you see, you don't talk about the women you sleep with. It's perfectly fine to have a mistress. You just don't talk about it.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369744)

No, it's more of a feeling of "ownership" of the women, IE a certain group of Chinese men feel they "own" Chinese women and don't want the "others" sleeping with their property.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (3, Insightful)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369816)

I'm sorry, but personally I don't think it's a terribly good example, for several reasons.

1) First of all, I myself think that chinabounders behaviour is in bad taste. Now I wouldn't go after him in any way, but It doesn't exactly make me feel sympathetic towards him either.
2) He put it online himself. He basically told the entire world what he was doing, knowing fully well that somebody could take an issue with it. The internet is not your safe haven where you can do anything you like without consequences, at least not if you don't even attempt to remain anonymous. (ok, I don't know the details of this case, but that is what it sounds like to me).

Of course it is still wrong for the witch hunters to do anything *illegal* to chinabounder - but if he tells the entire world what he is doing, he should not be surprised if somebody gets offended and "retaliates" in a *legal* manner.

If the witch hunters do illegal things (aka crime), then that is not a problem with the idea of a witch hunt, but those criminal persons need to be jailed.

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369616)

This is exactly why someone should put a picture of Mao on it. :o)

Re:But who verified it was really her?! (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369778)

Public is not the only factor here, it is just one of the methods of interaction between society and individual, it works in combination with real judicial system and system of public support on the group level: some people try to ostracize you, another group will try to encourage and protect you.

If somebody kills the cat lady, there will be a real trial with a real judge. If somebody vandalizes her home, there will be a real trial with a real judge. If somebody just calls her names on a street: tough luck, but she still can survive.

I do not understand why with such evidence she was not tried in court? Does not China have laws against cruelty to animals?

How is this unique to China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368870)

We've been doing this in the USA (and Europe) for at least a decade now. Almost every time a video of animal abuse appears online, people track down the person, contact their employer, drive by their house, threaten and abuse...

What about this story makes it unique about China and not just pointing and saying "look at those silly yellow fascists"?

What? (4, Funny)

tarscher (1000260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368878)

Searches have also been directed against amateur pornography makers
This thing should be banned immediately

modern mass gathering (4, Insightful)

Krokz (1568895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368922)

It looks to me like modern mass gathering. We all know what a charismatic leader and with a few pugilistic punch lines can do to the mass mob. You are innocent until proven guilty and this is a one sided witch hunt and strongly against peoples right to privacy. It is a good thing in some cases, but bad in most.

Cultural Revolution 2.0 (5, Insightful)

dflock (316013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368928)

Great - the Cultural Revolution 2.0 - along with vigilantism, denouncements & public humiliation. Awesome, just what everyone needed; yay China. Sigh.

Re:Cultural Revolution 2.0 (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369840)

I'm not sure I understand why you think public humiliation in cases where people do despicable things is bad.

Yes, i know this site (1)

larrrk (1061450) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368966)

reddit

It happens in the US, too. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31368968)

After local newspapers wrote self-described wolf woman severed a lost dog's head [mysanantonio.com] , a US-based human flesh search engine posted IM logs, IRC logs, and phone calls [encycloped...matica.com] with the suspects about the incident along with the suspects' personal information [encycloped...matica.com] .

Oblig. Simpsons (2, Funny)

VincentFreeman (1175087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368982)

Skinner: Oh, there's no justice like angry-mob justice.

Lenny: I'm gonna burn all the historic memorabilia.

Moe: I'm gonna take me home a toilet.

Willy: Well, there'd better be two.

http://www.snpp.com/episodes/4F06.html

It's not just in China (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368994)

There's been similar cases in the Western world too. Not to the same extent, but it has happened. This is our future, where privacy has gone the way of cavemen and dinosaurs.

Coming soon... (3, Funny)

tnmc (446963) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368998)

"She's a witch!!"

It's called a lynch mob.... (2, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369002)

...and it's nothing new, even if the tools and techniques are modern.

Re:It's called a lynch mob.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369134)

They're not even that modern. The author/artist of sexylosers apparently faced a similar issue something like 10 years ago after breaking up with a girlfriend in Japan. Suddenly he was facing crowd sourced harassment, particularly fierce because he's not Japanese. It forced him to change where he worked, lived, and even the name/host of his web comic.

China Vigilantes Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369028)

I've seen the no effective anonymous at work. Then came the chinese botnets, job was done. I gather on social networking and vigilante justice level they are also more effective than US kids sending pizzas and cartboard boxes.

Crowd sourced political executions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369204)

Now instead of crushing people with tanks and being internationally embarrassed
they can use a bunch of sock-puppet bloggers to go out and incite a mob against
anyone they like... sweet!

ever onwards back in time (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369230)

Well, things are progressing, as age-old human desires and idiosyncracies get adapted and ridden along modern technologies. Really nothing new and yet still astounding.
However, it'll get a lot more interesting, when there's an economic incentive for tracking down people and performing certain....actions: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Assassination_politics [wikimedia.org]
Given the degree to which people are conditioned to respond in Pavlov'ian fashion for gaining a material benefit the old and formerly philosophical question question of 'How much is a human life worth?' may at last be answered...

This is ancient (2, Informative)

cruachan (113813) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369236)

Nothing new in concept here, although the implementation is updated :-), The Chinese have been using similar systems of group responsibility as far back as the Qin dynasty (200BC or so). Bao Jia is a later (~1000AD) derivation that might be considered related to what's going on here too (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baojia_system)

And what's more interesting (1)

cruachan (113813) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369250)

Is that the lynch mob went after someone killing a kitten. That's new certainly something new and implies that the west's cultural obsessions with animal welfare and cuteness are taking hold.

Re:And what's more interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369450)

No it's because she didn't eat it after killing it.

isn't this just.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369262)

... The chinese equivalent of 4Chan and anonymous?

Proof of concept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31369270)

I'm not convinced with this lady stomping on kittens story. Can we test this search engine further with Lord Mandelson's photo?

Re:Proof of concept (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369442)

I'm not convinced with this lady stomping on kittens story.

Me neither. It makes the intestines leak which gives a bitter taste, plus you can choke on the bits of bone.

History running in circles (1)

geegel (1587009) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369310)

We've got all these technological advances, all these wonderful new toys, but all we can do is reinvent the frigging lynch mob.

This isn't unique. (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369314)

How is this any different from collaborative e-stalking?

This has been done before, at least here in the US. The most recent example I can recall was one woman being accused of "threatening" to murder her ex-boyfriend using mortuary lab equipment (article here [slashdot.org] ), when the sole evidence for this accusation was from a Facebook status update. Additionally, while China has their "BBS"es, we have Facebook, which is essentially human flesh-search made (sort of) easy. This would have catalyzed the manhunt against the husband in the article, since him and his ex-wife would have most likely been Facebook friends, and people could have collected information from using whatever was on his profile (unless he kept quiet on it, something not many people do).

This should be spammer enforcement (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369584)

One of the problem with spam laws is that the enforcement of laws is so weak compared to the number of people spammers make miserable and the time and resources they steal--o boo, hoo, they declared bankruptcy and had to serve two years in prison. What really needs to happen to high-profile spammers is that they need to be dragged from the courtroom where they have been found guilty and then dragged to their deaths before cheering, spitting mobs and film crews. Maybe display the corpses in gibbets outside of their ISP's office.

Yes, mobs are terrible, but laws without teeth lacking the ability the cross boarders suck too.

Example of usage by Chinese ultranationalists (3, Informative)

Anonymous Bullard (62082) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369596)

After the March 2008 Tibetan uprising across the three provinces of Chinese-occupied Tibet during which a few Chinese (both uniformed and settlers) were killed and a dozen more died while hiding when Chinese-owned shops were set alight and over two hundred Tibetans were killed by the Chinese army and paramilitary and over two thousand Tibetans simply went missing (dead or kept in horrendous secret prison camps) there were demonstrations across the world featuring mostly freedom-supporting foreign nationals and occasionally angry Chinese Communist Party-organized "fen qing" [wikipedia.org] defending Chinese imperialism and colonialism in Tibet.

During one rare demonstration at the Duke University featuring both sets of campaigners, a young Chinese student Grace Wang, who also had Tibetan and Western friends and who had mastered the art of respectful debate, tried in vain to mediate between the two groups of protesters. Here is a quote from the Washington Post article ("Caught in the Middle, Called a Traitor") on what happened next [washingtonpost.com] :

At the height of the protest, a group of Chinese men surrounded me, pointed at me and, referring to the young woman who led the 1989 student democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, said, "Remember Chai Ling? All Chinese want to burn her in oil, and you look like her." They said that I had mental problems and that I would go to hell. They asked me where I was from and what school I had attended. I told them. I had nothing to hide. But then it started to feel as though an angry mob was about to attack me. Finally, I left the protest with a police escort.

Back in my dorm room, I logged onto the Duke Chinese Students and Scholars Association (DCSSA) Web site and listserv to see what people were saying. Qian Fangzhou, an officer of DCSSA, was gloating, "We really showed them our colors!"

I posted a letter in response, explaining that I don't support Tibetan independence, as some accused me of, but that I do support Tibetan freedom, as well as Chinese freedom. All people should be free and have their basic rights protected, just as the Chinese constitution says. I hoped that the letter would spark some substantive discussion. But people just criticized and ridiculed me more.

The next morning, a storm was raging online. Photographs of me had been posted on the Internet with the words "Traitor to her country!" printed across my forehead. Then I saw something really alarming: Both my parents' citizen ID numbers had been posted. I was shocked, because this information could only have come from the Chinese police.

I saw detailed directions to my parents' home in China, accompanied by calls for people to go there and teach "this shameless dog" a lesson. It was then that I realized how serious this had become. My phone rang with callers making threats against my life. It was ironic: What I had tried so hard to prevent was precisely what had come to pass. And I was the target.

I talked to my mom the next morning, and she said that she and my dad were going into hiding because they were getting death threats, too. She told me that I shouldn't call them. Since then, short e-mail messages have been our only communication. The other day, I saw photos of our apartment online; a bucket of feces had been emptied on the doorstep. More recently I've heard that the windows have been smashed and obscene posters have been hung on the door. Also, I've been told that after convening an assembly to condemn me, my high school revoked my diploma and has reinforced patriotic education.

Could apply to others... (1)

GNUPublicLicense (1242094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369638)

... for instance, those who code systems, or supervise the developement, of all the naugthy and dangerous systems for internet control...

i've seen that video (2, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31369756)

what's impressive to me is that even in china, where they pretty much eat anything "everything with 4 legs except the table" they are repulsed by simple cruelty

in other words, animal rights activists: there is a code, understandable by all meat eaters, that eating meat is not cruelty, its simple sustenance. meanwhile, the divide between that understanding, and the simple understanding that needless cruelty to animals is disgusting is stark, clear, and universally understood. common chinese repulsion to that video, the same people famous for eating dogs, civet cats, whatever, they are equally repulsed at that video as your average morrisey listening mopey animal rights activist in the west

animal rights activists: people are repulsed by cruelty, universally and fundamentally, and they understand the difference between the need for sustenance and unnecessary vile behavior. and they genuinely are two different things. sorry: meat is not murder

and frankly, hound that fucking bitch and the cameraman too

if you've seen that video, even the most law and order obsessed amongst us would be grabbing the pitchfork and letting out a throaty cry for some mob vigilante justice on that bitch

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