In the comments section at People’s Daily Online, web users noted a number of conspicuous absences. “I think the whole ‘My Dad is Li Gang‘ story deserves to be number one,” wrote one respondent, referring to an October incident in which the son of an influential police official in Hubei province struck and killed two female students while driving his sedan across a university campus.
The Hubei story drew a wave of public outrage after it emerged that the official’s son, when finally stopped by students and security guards, had stepped out of his car and threatened, “My Dad is Li Gang! You just try to sue me!” Bans on the reporting of this sensitive story followed quickly, and the university campus was reportedly under lockdown. Just last week, the lawyer representing the parents of one of the victims was attacked by unidentified assailants.
But no one will be casting votes for the Li Gang story, which didn’t make the short list of candidates at People’s Daily Online. A user sarcastically identified as “the river crab is so yellow and so violent“; (a reference to censorship masquerading under the official banner of ‘harmony’) wrote: “With even Li Gang not on the list, this whole thing is so obviously a fraud!”