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Mob Rule on China's Internet

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the now-that's-web-2.0 dept.

129

Alien54 writes to mention an International Herald Tribune article about the growing phenomenon in China known as internet hunting; Using the web to track down individuals who have violated social more or broken the law. From the article: "In recent cases, people have scrutinized husbands suspected of cheating on their wives, fraud on Internet auction sites, the secret lives of celebrities and unsolved crimes. One case that drew a huge following involved the poisoning of a Tsinghua University student - an event that dates to 1994, but was revived by curious strangers after word spread on the Internet that the only suspect in the case had been questioned and released. Even a recent scandal involving a top Chinese computer scientist dismissed for copying an American processor design came to light in part because of Internet hunting, with scores of online commentators raising questions about the project and putting pressure on the scientist's sponsors to look into allegations about intellectual property theft."

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Is this what happens... (4, Interesting)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449158)

Is this what happens when you keep people from looking at porn all day? Perhaps it represents the amount of time that intelligent people 'waste' discussing politics.\ Or has the Internet awoken community interest, and those discussions are just the first steps to a more open society.

Re:Is this what happens... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449172)

I'm pretty sure it's the lack of porn.

Re:Is this what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449263)

This just represents what happens when people don't spend all day reading Slashdot.

Re:Is this what happens... (1)

Epicanthics (837303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449641)

You can get Slashdot in China, and anyone who knows how to look for porn can get that, too. They filter out pages with specific words mentioned like falun gong, and fake a 404.

Re:Is this what happens... (3, Informative)

packetmon (977047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449309)

A more open society, or a more open social network online? ... I wonder if some of these articles aren't just fantastic stories created by someone that made a cluster of pissed off Chinese want to go Kung Fu someone's ass. Anyhow, I was just reading about cyberpsychology which is interesting... (off topic... yup) Do we communicate more openly and honestly in cyberspace, or are we more apt to hide our true feelings and personalities? How accurate are our beliefs about how others see us can we effectively view ourselves through other peoples eyes? This chapter will explore ways that social perception in cyberspace can be better understood by applying psychological principles, research, and theory. There are three major sections. The first is an examination of the nature of computer-mediated communication CMC as viewed by several prominent theoretical models, outlining how these models assess possible sources of accurate and inaccurate perceptions online and the impact of perceptions in cyberspace on everyday face-to-face social relationships. Next, the chapter explores the role of relevant cognitive processes in the development of online perceptions, including the activation of stereotypes, self-confirmation of attributions, and the instantiation of social identity. The final section examines the problem of accurately knowing how others perceive oneself in cyberspace versus in face-to-face interactions. http://www.vepsy.com/communication/volume2.html [vepsy.com]

Re:Is this what happens... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449395)

Is this what happens when you keep people from looking at porn all day? Perhaps it represents the amount of time that intelligent people 'waste' discussing politics.\ Or has the Internet awoken community interest, and those discussions are just the first steps to a more open society.

It's actually what you get when 1.5 billion bored people get on the internet and find there's nothing really all that interesting, but, hey, you can find the names of family, old school chums and that prick who used to kick you in the shins, years later ... now is their time to be reacquainted with you and the other 14,999,984 chinese on the internet...

Re:Is this what happens... (1)

informatico (978356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449505)

I would mind people doing things like this less if it was just from an investigative angle (kinda of like Wikipedia, except they aren't confinded to articles but go out looking for facts etc.).

Things like this tend to get out of control though when people jump to conclusions / and because it's so easy to fall into group think when mobbing around on emotional issues.

Hey! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450107)

You say that as if we here on Slashdot have never lynched a spammer.

Speaking of which, is Ralsky still getting the junkmail he deserves, or has he moved recently?

WikiJudge? (3, Funny)

ajs (35943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449176)

I can just see it... "today, a man was sentenced to death after a jury of his p33rz found that he was 'fscked up.'"

Re:WikiJudge? (5, Funny)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449470)

1st they came for the n00bs
and I did not spe4k out
because I am ub3r.

Then they came for the f4gs
and I did not spe4k out
I'm no f4g.

Then they came for the h4xx0rs
and I did not spe4k out
because I dont need h4xx0rs, I have 1337 skillz.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
excpet for us h4rdc0res who went and raided Molten Core all day happily ever after.

Re:WikiJudge? (1)

JAYOYAYOYAYO (700885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15451111)

hilarious!

Re:WikiJudge? (1)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15451681)

Excellent. I want that on a T-shirt.

Re:WikiJudge? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449690)

Where "fscked up" means not visiting 4chan often enough... *chuckle*..

recycle memes (-1, Redundant)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449180)


In communist China, the internet searches you!

It is social "mores" (0, Offtopic)

silverbolt (578120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449185)

Always used in plural, not singular.

Re:It is social "mores" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449221)

SEPLLING NAZI ALURT

Well.... (2, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449200)

Others denounced the university for not expelling him, with one poster saying it should be "bombed by Iranian missiles." Many others, meanwhile, said the student should be beaten or beheaded, or that he and the married woman should be put in a "pig cage" and drowned.
Well, they definitely sound ready for blogging! Too bad the story says the government has just blocked Technorati.

Actually, the most interesting bit in there was about the plagiarism case. Too bad they didn't provide more detail -- I hadn't heard about that angle before.

Re:Well.... (1)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449293)

Blogging is wonderful. Owww, I just got bit by a mosquito. mo...squi... to... RAAAWWRRR I feel...
http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/outrage.gif [toothpastefordinner.com]
Honestly, don't people have better things to do with their lives than argue about things that happened well over 10 years ago and that didn't affect their own lives at all? Oh, that's right, it's the internet.

Just like a jury of your peers! (4, Funny)

nickgrieve (87668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449209)

What could possibly go wrong? Because you know, everything you read on the internet is true.

You say Tomato I say... (0, Flamebait)

packetmon (977047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449226)

You say China... I say America. How is this different from what the NSA warrantless surveillance [wikipedia.org] in the United States?

Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (1)

squarooticus (5092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449276)

Can you, for example, please point out where the forced-labor camps in the US are?

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (2, Funny)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449299)

Can you, for example, please point out where the forced-labor camps in the US are?

http://www.walmart.com/cservice/ca_storefinder.gsp [walmart.com]

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449303)

*ahem* [walmart.com]

</badjoke>

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (0, Offtopic)

packetmon (977047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449321)

We're talking technology here but since you brought it up... Read on [govexec.com] ... Brad Miller, the manager of communications and government affairs for the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association, said FPI's actions have forced such steps. "We find ourselves today with a prison-factory program where the bureaucrats running it may have learned more than they have taught from some of those they imprison -- more about strong-arming their way through life than meeting the needs of customers with quality service." Who are you fooling?

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (2, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449328)

All the Wal-Mart jokes aside, I suggest you Google on "US prison labor" and spend a while reading what comes up. It's not as bad as China ... (yet) ... but it's pretty grim.

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449930)

It isn't exactly forced labor, though I wouldn't mind seeing hard labor make a comeback.

Prisoners get paid anywhere from 4 to 50 cents an hour, which means they are the cheapest labor to be found in the U.S.

BTW - Having a prison job like that is normally doled out as a privilege for those who behave themselves.

What's scary is the idea of privatized prisons turning into a defacto labor camp so that the operators can make more money. I'd rather see abuse, corruption and/or fuck ups happen in the hands of State or Federal Gov'ts than under private corporations.

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15451239)

What is even more frightening to me, at least in my capacity as student of medical ethics, is the practice of using the United States prison population for medical experimentation. No it isn't as bad as Aushwitz, but rewarding good behavior in the US prison system with infecting prisoners with diseases so the disease progression may be studied, or administering drugs of questionable safety for similar reasons even when participation is technically "voluntary" I consider to be extremely ethically questionable.

In my opinion, the risk involved in medical trials is not something that a prison inmate can be considered competant to consent to. The very nature imprisonment is such that inmates will assent to things that a person in their right mind would not ordinarily assent to. Consider "We'll give you a shot every day for five days, you'll have a rash, and there's 0.1% you will be permanently blinded, but at the end we'll give you enough money to buy a pack of cigarettes, will you agree?" Is that ethical? Is an experiment even vaguely like that ethical?

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449366)

Can you, for example, please point out where the forced-labor camps in the US are?

"A chain gang is a group of prisoners chained together to perform a menial or physically challenging labor, such as chipping stone, often along a highway. This system (and the term for it) existed primarily in the United States, and has been phased out in most of, but not all of, the country. Some states are reintroducing chain gangs, although perhaps in a less oppressive form."

- Wikipedia

I might have suggested that portion of the US in Cuba, but with warrentless arrest for a time without limit, lack of representation or any real form of public scrutiny I don't really know that forced labor goes on there, do I?

No, we're not like China. . .yet, but all the elements that would allow us to be like China are already in place. It merely takes implimentation.

KFG

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (1)

Epicanthics (837303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449662)

If the people in the camps were genuine criminals and not poitical prisoners, what's wrong with making inmates help pay for their cell? It's whose in jail that's the problem in China, not what they're doing there. The former is authoritarianism, but the latter is being tough on crime.

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449670)

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450559)

google for civilian inmate labor program

sorry about the AC, busy now, don't want to follow the thread or do a long post, but yep, they exist and there are plans for more of them. Forced labor, manufacturing or ag, used in direct competition with regular legal labor, as a for-profit enterprise. Some are on military bases, others are run by private contractors subbed to run prisons as a for-profit business.

Re:Yeah, the US is really comparable to China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450812)

The whole country is a forced labor camp! I have to work all these hours just to pay my taxes so the money can go to someone who doesn't work at all (bums, politicos, etc.)

Re:You say Tomato I say... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449316)

Well, for one thing, it's private parties doing it, not the government.

So in other words, America is where you worry about a totalitarian, monolithic government prying into every detail of your private life (and possibly using what it turns up as an excuse to ship you off to a secret prison) and China is where you worry about vigilantes and lynch-mob frontier justice. We really are living in Bizarro World.

The Enemies of Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449235)

Who are the real enemies of freedom? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez8inXRov7A [youtube.com]

Wait... (3, Funny)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449240)

So let me get this straight... China has some kind of anarchic version of the internet, where users post whatever they want, and are free to band together to form loose coalitions organized around common interests?

Where can we get one of those?

Re:Wait... (1)

l5rfanboy (977086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449311)

Of course I'm sure the reality is different than as reported, the ideals presented in TFA are exactly what the internet was born to be, and in many opinions, was supposed to be.

I just wonder where it/we went wrong.

Re:Wait... (1)

overbaud (964858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449718)

No. China has developed an imitation internet using sweat shop labour. Chinese officials have described it as 'very very authentic' and are marketing it under the 'you want? you buy? all original!' slogan.

Feeling less sorry for the Chinese today (2)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449249)

There is often discussion here about how the Chinese people are oppressed by their government and that we need to take steps to give them technology to route around censorship and to eventually topple their totalitarian government. Now, I'm getting the impression that they're a bunch of busy bodies and snitches that have exactly the government that they want.

Shhh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449300)

Ancient Chinese secret!

Re:Feeling less sorry for the Chinese today (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449458)

I dont remember who said that peoples have the goverment they deserve...

Re:Feeling less sorry for the Chinese today (1)

patmc (136958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449479)

OGG: Maui, Hi, USA

Re:Feeling less sorry for the Chinese today (2)

Epicanthics (837303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449615)

Because blacks did in fact deserve a government that treated them like commodities and second class citizens.

Re:Feeling less sorry for the Chinese today (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449651)

The actual quote is: "In a democracy, people get the government they deserve. -Adlai Stevenson"

Your response was misguided.

Re:Feeling less sorry for the Chinese today (1)

Epicanthics (837303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449681)

I apologize. A misguided response to a misquote. I don't think the point is misguided, however. This line of reasoning is akin to blaming the victim.

Re:Feeling less sorry for the Chinese today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450441)

er.. um.. how is that different than the patriotic act adn folsk in America voting for it?

hmm...

50-50 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449264)

Some of this stuff seems arbitrary and abusive, while some of it also seems legitimate. Let's just hope it does more good than harm.

China has always had a reputation for having large amounts of social pressures that have tended to lower some forms of crime. I've always wished America had more social pressures like this. In the US nobody really gives two flying fsck's if you are a criminal - sure it may look bad on an employment application but your neighbors won't care and probably won't even find out unless you are a registered sex offender or something like that.

Must be mistaken... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449265)

Isn't China ruled by Communists? When did the Mob started ruling China? Why haven't America liberated China yet? Inquiring minds want to know...

Re:Must be mistaken... (2, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449280)

>When did the Mob started ruling China?

Cultural Revolution. This has some faint echoes.

This sounds like... (2, Insightful)

Boap (559344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449268)

Mob metality at it's worst. This type of thing goes too far where we are letting the mob dictate morality

Re:This sounds like... (1)

spun (1352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449286)

I agree. I hereby nominate myself to dictate morality.

Re:This sounds like... (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449375)

Unfortunately, morality is generally what the masses think is moral. Thus, mob rule dictating morality carries a lot of weight. cf: French revolution.

Re:This sounds like... (1)

Solarbeat (691941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450318)

The mob dictating morality? Welcome to the good ol US of A.

At least the Chinese can pick good nicks! (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449272)

From the article, the husband's nick is Freezing Blade (I bet his 'blade' isn't getting any warmer, hehe), the cheating student goes by Bronze Mustache (Anyone else picturing a Chinese version of most 70's porn stars?) and the wife is Quiet Moon (Too... Many... Jokes...) . Sounds like the cast of an adult anime. ;-)

Re:At least the Chinese can pick good nicks! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449277)

You would think they would rip off The Sopranos by now.

Re:At least the Chinese can pick good nicks! (1)

torrentmoon (789793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449745)

These people involved in this story were met by playing WOW, "Freezing Blade", "Quite Moon", "Bronze Mustache" were their Chars' ID in WOW

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449282)

Can we please link to articles that don't require some technology like javascript to display a @#%!ing text article?

This is an example of why ... (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449287)

... vigilantism is a bad idea.

You hear calls for vigilante activity a lot, on the net and in the real world. And it's got lots of emotional appeal. But it always turns into mob rule, with absolutely no mechanism for protecting the innocent.

Re:This is an example of why ... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449819)

it always turns into mob rule, with absolutely no mechanism for protecting the innocent
Well, if you're rich, you can just hire private security (or the police) to hang around and keep the wankers away from your front door.

If you're not so rich, in most countries you can ask for police protection (and get it for free) until things blow over.

Since this is China, I'm not so sure if this guy & his family can get police protection just by asking. Maybe someone living/lived in China can resolve that.

Poor China (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449314)

QFA:"Let's use our keyboard and mouse in our hands as weapons". Obviously the repressive Communist rule won't let the common people even get their hands on real weapons.

Re:Poor China (1)

Epicanthics (837303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449486)

Recent rural uprisings, most notably in Guangdong, have involved civilians armed with rifles. Of course, most what you probably know about China comes from Slashdot threads, no?

Re:Poor China (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450182)

You missed the joke completely even if it wasn't that funny.

New! Interesting! (1)

martinX (672498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449315)

Oh great. Now we are going to be bombarded with amazing stories about everyday stuff simply because they involve THE INTERNET! In CHINA!

Woo.

Can't we go back to the 'old people in Korea' jokes?

And Slashdot? (1)

19061969 (939279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449323)

Haven't people done this on SlashDot before?

Think spammers. With the name of one of them, an address, a telephone number and even maps of his location appeared, and the subject of discussion found themselves deluged with junk mail and the like. Sackfuls. Every day.

I cannot remember the guys name and maybe what happened was illegal and maybe even unethical, but I could see the point. It was too long ago to search for...

Re:And Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449363)

That spammer was Alan Ralsky.

This would be a good idea to clear out all the Chinese farmers in the mmo's.

Re:And Slashdot? (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449463)

Yep, /. has done this to a spammer [slashdot.org] after he made an annoying interview bragging about how awesome he is and the only thing he has to worry about is the pile of money falling on him.

Shortly after, someone posted his physical address and lo! he started receiving a LOT of junk mail. Like, a DOS on the postal service amount of junk mail.

No clear voice of Moral Authority (4, Informative)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449378)

Being married to a Chinese national and having just come back from China I'll weigh in with a few observations. Social obligation is considered very high, but not in a legal sense. The cultural revolution of the seventies and even the Communist party of today placed/places a high value on public self recrimination as a means to redemption. Pointing out the flaws in others has been a way of deflecting unwanted attention to ones self in China for decades. I won't go into details about the personal lives of some of my wife's friends, but based on what she tells me adultery and divorce are becoming as common in China as they are in America. Violent crime may be much lower but all other forms of crime abound.

This new internet activism is probably a reaction to the commonly held belief that social mores are going to hell in a hand basket. My wife, an agnostic like myself, wonders if there is some value in most people having Religion in order to hold the more selfish, destructive behaviors in check. It would sadden me if this is the case, but as the Chinese government lessens its control of its citizenry and with the majority having no clear religion, there has been a corresponding rise in what most consider immoral behavior, and thus the current backlash.

Now whether the new behavior is truly immoral is a separate question, and as an agnostic one I have no firm answer for.

Re:No clear voice of Moral Authority (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449560)

If history has taught us anything, it's that it's the individual, not their religion religion (or lack there of), who ultimately chooses to do good or bad. If they happen to be religious and also a bad person, they will use their religion to justify their actions. (Like what happened with The Crusades for Christians, or more recently 9/11 for Muslims.) Religion has never been something that makes someone moral or immoral. The majority of people in the U.S. say that they are Christian, but that hardly means that they are more moral that the people of China who are mostly non-religious.

A morally good member of a particular faith that will choose to get the good out of it and those with poor morality would get the worst out of their religion. In the end, it makes no difference.

Re:No clear voice of Moral Authority (2, Insightful)

AtomicBomb (173897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449653)

Religion may help to keep selfish behaviour in check. But, I cannot see religion as an antidote for mob mentality. In fact, we can see many notorious mobs in history are linked closely to fringe religious group. I think the root of the mob mentality is the belief that "I know the truth" (or even "I am the truth") and try to impose that upon the other. Mutual respect and acceptance to difference may probably the key....

Re:No clear voice of Moral Authority (3, Interesting)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449734)

My wife, an agnostic like myself, wonders if there is some value in most people having Religion in order to hold the more selfish, destructive behaviors in check.

George Washington thought so, in his Farewell Address he said:

Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
It is pretty well established that Washington himself was at least a Deist, if not agnostic to the point of soft atheism.

(As an aside, here is something very interesting - as I was looking for the exact quote to cut-n-paste into this message, I ran across an article by Michael Novak slamming the ACLU and attempting to justify it with the above quotation from George Washington. Except, Novak misquoted Washington [nationalreview.com] in a fashion that hides Washington's clearly judgemental opinion of the type of people who 'need' religion.)

Re: I don't think so... (0, Flamebait)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449849)

It would sadden me if this is the case, but as the Chinese government lessens its control of its citizenry and with the majority having no clear religion, there has been a corresponding rise in what most consider immoral behavior, and thus the current backlash.

If you are implying that a Judeo-Christian religion would help them I would recommend taking a hard look at the past 2,000 years of our religion. It does nothing to stop crime nor prevents society as whole from doing horrible things to other people even with the anger of god and damnation hanging over their head. In some instances it may because people do to horrible things.

Burning people at the stake... inquisitions... Hanging suspected witches for devil worship... Holy Wars... Flying planes into buildings.... Blowing your self up in a crowded market in the name of your god.

Not to say religion can bring out the best in people on occasion, but it isn't required for it do so.

However, the Chinese are in luck... From what I've heard Buddhism is gaining in popularity and that tends to be the most non-violent of all religions (well if you don't count the Sri-Lanka violence) and from what I've studied of it has the best moral frame work of all religions and is more compatible with technology and science.

And as an aside, I think Christianity is frowned upon in China mostly because it caused one of the most bloody civil wars in its history in the Taiping Rebellion [wikipedia.org] where Hong Xiuquan declared he was the new messiah back in the 1850's.

Re:No clear voice of Moral Authority (2, Insightful)

Godeke (32895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450039)

There is a segment of the population for whom religion creates an anchor to which they can attach significance to their actions, and thus gain a moral compass. This seems particularly the case with the less educated, at least in my dealings with the various religious groups I come in contact with. (The more academic "religious" people I meet, if you query them actually have their own moral compass with which their religion happens to be compatible with. The less academic are more apt to point to "the book" as the rational for a moral choice.

That doesn't mean that it would make much difference in the large however: the most frustrating aspect of religion is the number of people who use it as sheep's clothing while being wolves in their day to day lives. Worse, many of the atrocities that have been committed historically were motivated by religious groups fear at things they did not agree with.

I don't think religion is the panacea that you are looking for.

Re:No clear voice of Moral Authority (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450171)

Nice post and I believe correct for the most part. I am also married to a Chinese national, living in the United States. The internet mob mentality is not confined to China. It exists in the US as well among Chinese nationals. It can be found on Chinese forums such as mitbbs which is largely visited by college students as one example. I don't believe that and drastic circumstances such as the ones mentioned in the article have occurred here though. My wife and I were subjected to this same phenomenon over the course of at least 2 years and it wasn't pleasant.

Re:No clear voice of Moral Authority (2, Interesting)

ThesQuid (86789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450739)

One of the reasons for this happening is that for the most part in China, the police don't give a damn. They do not have the Cop Mentality of "Let's catch bad guys" like most (but of course not all) western police do. Just getting them to open a case on anything, even the most blatant criminal behavior, is like pulling teeth.

every time one of these come up (2, Interesting)

Epicanthics (837303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449379)

...it seems the discussion devolves into one of indiscriminant China bashing. I say indiscriminant because it usually ends up including not only comments on the government (justified, most of the time), but also attacks on the people and culture that would get one's faced punched in if they said it to a Chinese person's face. Some of the things I have read here are as bad if not worse than what is described in the article. From an overseas Chinese student who is sick of borderline racism disguised as concern for human rights, I hope that some of the masses here never gain the power to smash China's hope of becoming a strong, democratic country.

Re:every time one of these come up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449674)

"I hope that some of the masses here never gain the power to smash China's hope of becoming a strong, democratic country."

All the people in China itself who actually share that hope are in jail or under house arrest.

Good thing you're overseas. Not sure you would want to be posting such subversive pro-democracy thoughts if you were under the watchful eye of the Chinese internet police. Just because you're bashing uncivilized waiguoren doesn't mean you can be careless about your reactionary words.

Re:every time one of these come up (1)

Epicanthics (837303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449746)

On the first point, that is not true. You hear stories of how airtight China's police state is. This is emphatically not the case. For every dissident that gets front page coverage and flees to the US to sign a book deal, there are several more in-country fighting the good fight. They don't get much press, but they're there. Crackdowns in China tend to be for the purpose of making examples, making press, sowing fear, etc. Most of the people guilty of "crimes" aren't even on their radar. And the CCP itself is far from a monolithic entity. The reformers are clawing their way up the power structure. It's agonizingly slow, to be sure, but by no means is the country in complete lockdown. Sometimes I wish that it could all come crashing down. But afterwards, what would be left, and how many lives would be lost? What many overseas Chinese such as myself fear is that misguided foreign pressure will end up being detrimental to the democratic movement. No one wants a foreign government dictating to them, even if it is for supposedly altruistic reasons. Am I a reactionary to what is a common sentiment in the west regarding China? Yeah. That doesn't make me any less of an individual who wants to see his people free and prosperous.

Re:every time one of these come up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450547)

Be careful what you say, you may never be able to return home.

So now we have (1)

Goblez (928516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449390)

Blogging == Flogging?

Clippy, is that you!? (2, Funny)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449405)

It[The Chinese Government] also introduced an Internet policing system whose cartoon figure mascots show up on people's screens to remind them they are being monitored.

Am I the only one who just imagined Clippy wearing a little chinese police hat?

Oh no, here comes the rage blackout again...

This story is PROPAGANDA (2, Informative)

Huge Big Boy (655354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449450)

...ooooohhhh dangerous, dangerous internet......ooooohhhh nasty, persecutory chinese...

Mobsters (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449469)

Troll Subject not even supported by the story. Slashdot is learning too much from the mass media.

How is that "mob" ruling anything? The people in the public investigated publicly known events. Then they used the usual power organized people have to pressure people who listen to them. Where's the "rule"? Where, indeed, is the "mob"?

That story is interesting mainly in the power regular people are accruing in China, a Communist tyranny that favors totalitarianism. I guess if you're a Chinese Communist powermonger, the Internet and people using its open society represent "mob rule', because tyrants see the world only in the simplest, most polarized power structures.

Maybe Alien54 and the IHT are learning more from Xin Hua, China's official propaganda publisher [xinhua.cn] , and quoting the best lessons from the New York Times.

Re:Mobsters (2, Insightful)

tksh (816129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449775)

Wait, did we read the same article?

Someone under a pseudo-name posts accusations, a bunch of people respond and get all riled up and encourages more people to join them in their cause. A name is given and random people from all over dig up information about the guy and other random people in real life start harassing the guy and his family. All this without concrete evidence, they're just going by someone's words on the internet. Even when the original poster tries to call things off, they ignore him and keep going. A large, disorderly group of people attacking someone. That is a mob.

Re:Mobsters (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450585)

"Rules"?

Re:Mobsters (2, Insightful)

shimage (954282) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449871)

The "mob rule" is the group of thousands applying their own brand of justice, using neither trial, jury, nor judge. I don't know about you, but when I hear "mob rule", I think torches and pitchforks, which is essentially what happened.

It's not even like adultery is even a crime (or is it ... ). Sure, he might be a jerk for cuckolding someone (and notice that even the alleged cuckold has rescinded his accusations), but does the punishment here really fit the crime? I don't think it does in this case, and furthermore, I think this penchant for taking things too far is a hallmark of "mob rule" (as is the lack of due process, which perhaps you don't think is important?).

Re:Mobsters (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450525)

phone calls = torches & pitchforks?

There's a vast gulf between harassment and lynching. And between lynching and due process of law, even vaster. These episodes lie somewhere between, at harassment. That's not "mob rule".

Re:Mobsters (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450633)

These episodes lie somewhere between, at harassment. That's not "mob rule".

How is this form of harassment not mob rule? Would you like it if I create some trumped up charges against you, gather a mob, then proceed to turn your life into a living hell through harassing phone calls and posting of death threats against you and you associates? How about "We call on every company, every establishment, every office, school, hospital, shopping mall and public street to reject him."

There's more to mob rule than physical injury. These unfounded accusations have permanently smeared the person's reputation. From now on, every employer that does a Google search on this guy will see these accusations, robbing the person of what might have been a good first impression.

If any of these thing happened to you, wouldn't you say that your due process rights have been violated?

Re:Mobsters (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450706)

I call that slander, libel and harassment - even assault, but not battery.

When China's "Cultural Revolution" lynched, killed and terrorized millions with physical violence at the hands of actual mobs in the streets, that was mob rule, controlled by the mafia mob running the country. Just because something isn't "mob rule", that doesn't mean I'd like it.

As for "due process rights", those are rules of the government. Kidnapping is not false imprisonment, and mass harassment is not "deprivation of due process".

Re:Mobsters (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450810)

When China's "Cultural Revolution" lynched, killed and terrorized millions with physical violence at the hands of actual mobs in the streets, that was mob rule, controlled by the mafia mob running the country.

So if many mobs terrorize millions, its mob rule, but if a single mob terrorizes a single person, its "just" harassment? Tell me, then, at what point does this harassment rise to the level of mob rule? Does the guy have to be physically attacked? Are the death threats and threats of physical imprisonment not enough?

Agreed completely (1)

MCTFB (863774) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450103)

Sometimes I think the libertarian/anarchy majority here in Slashdot thinks that the community has no rights to dictate moral standards.

When a guy sleeps with your wife, he is not only doing real emotional harm to you, but there is a good chance you might end up raising a child that is not your own. In the United States, anywhere from 10-30% of fathers unwittingly raise children that are not their own. In other words, the mothers were sleeping around, and very often you can't tell if a child belongs to a particular father, until much later on in life if the skin color of biological father and the cuckholded father are the same.

Many community moral codes are based on common sense in keeping society functioning for the long-term, and in the absense of local democratic governments to create enforcable community standards and adjudicate them as well, then the vigilante element is inevitably going to fill that void. Though, obviously many of these Chinese vigilantes are taking some things too far in the heat of the moment, in spirit they are just trying to protect their community from the evil of selfish people acting solely in their interests. Sleeping with another man's wife is a totally selfish act which can have devastating aspects for the community as a whole. Just look at African-American America right now where 70% of the children are born out of wedlock and then correlate that statistic to the statistics of crime and other leading social ills and anyone not taking the idea that "correlation does not equal causation" to the extreme can clearly see that broken down families from having kids out of wedlock is bad for the community, and therefore evil if you postulate that evil is any selfish act which does not benefit the community as a whole.

Every time a married woman goes behind the back of a married man (or vice versa), there is a risk of bastard children being raised if a pregnancy ensues. Furthermore, should a cuckholded man be expected to raise the offspring of another man? Should he be forced to pay child support for a kid that is not his? What is a guy to do in that situation other than to leave his cheating wife (assuming you don't live in a country where stoning is permitted)?

If China was a democracy and people could count on their government to uphold "community standards" as opposed to simply "communist standards", then these sort of vigilante witch hunts would rarely materialize. The United States (my nation) right now has the opposite problem of having a Jerry Springer "Who Are You To Judge Me" type mentality that is pervasive in our country and has absolved much of the public from any sense of personal responsibility or duty to their community. This is having disastrous effects that are slowly bubbling up in terms of worse education, family and therefore community stability, as well as a common cultural identity which doesn't matter much when economic times are good, but definitely matters when economic times are bad. If the people of a nation have common cultural values of shared sacrifice like you had during the Great Depression where families stuck together and pooled their resources, then the people can get through anything, but if everyone has a "every man for himself" type mentality, well then you get the kind of behaviour you found in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

This delusional libertarian/anarchist mindset that seems to be pervasive here on Slashdot has me wondering if some people need to get some more sunshine in their life and stop assuming that their introverted personality of avoidance realistically applies to the rest of humanity.

Re:Agreed completely (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450563)

I agree mostly, though I expect trial by jury to enforce community standards that are encoded into expectations under law, including proof of evidence and protecting other rights of the accused.

But I'm not sure whose behavior you mean when you say "if everyone has a "every man for himself" type mentality, well then you get the kind of behaviour you found in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina". Do you mean the behavior of the government agencies which left people to drown and fend for themselves? Or are you exaggerating the few hundred telegenic looters out of the half-million people who helped each other to safety?

More people stayed behind or returned to rescue neighbors and strangers, and even their pets, than looted. New Orleans, as usual in disasters, showed that people's natural inclination is to band together into social groups to protect each other, even when risking their lives for the material safety of strangers.

The government failure, composed of the failure of many people, most of them Republican "starve the government" corporate anarchists, supports practically everything you mention. So I'll assume that is the behavior you mean.

Re:Agreed completely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15451801)

there is a good chance you might end up raising a child that is not your own.

If you raise a child, and that child identifies you as his/her parent, that child is "your own". Who gives a shit who the biological father/mother was?

OmG YOo ChinaMAN Got Pwned! (1)

rivetgeek (977479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449513)

And you thought myspace stalkers were bad...

Hrmmm.....husbands cheating on wives (1)

inexia (977449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449935)

well, it isn't like Russia is so far.... /obligatory/ In republic China you cheat on wife In Soviet Russia, Bought wife cheats on you

This would never happen in the west.... (1)

Smuttley (126014) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450112)

*cough* [slashdot.org]

seX wi7h a cock (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450172)

Mobs are fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450793)

This sounds like fun.. Anyone up for hunting Gary Niger?

When you listen to fools... (-1, off-topic) (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450861)

tag:themobrules

What we need is a low budget sci-fi tale (1)

Darth23 (720385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15451040)

Using this story, totally making the Chinese government look bad.

Kind od a Blade Runner type tale. Bounty Hunters tracking down ordinary Chinese Citizens who are trying to learn about "freedom" on the net.

The Ones marked for Death are those looking for a certain key phrase.

The phrase, of course, turns to be "Tianemen massacre"
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