Human Flesh Search Engines: Chinese Vigilantes That Hunt Victims On The Web

From Times Online:

She looks like any other disgruntled young person. Arms tightly crossed, mouth twisted in contempt, she could be letting off steam about parents, school, or boyfriends.

But when 21-year-old Gao Qianhui sat down in front her webcam last month, she had far more important issues on her mind. Upset that the three-day mourning period for the 80,000 victims of the earthquake in southwest China had disrupted her television viewing schedule, she launched into a five-minute spew of vitriol and then posted the video online.

“I turn on the TV and see injured people, corpses, rotten bodies… I don’t want to watch these things. I have no choice.” Ms Gao sighed: “Come on, how many of you died? Just a few, right? There are so many people in China anyway.”

Within hours, Ms Gao had become the latest victim of a human flesh search engine, where Chinese netizens become cyber-vigilantes and online communities turn into the world’s largest lynch mobs.

June 25, 2008 7:41 PM
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