From China Digital Space
屁民 (pì mín): sh*tizens
The term comes from a 2008 incident involving Lin Jiaxiang, former Party Secretary of the Shenzhen Maritime Administration, who was caught on surveillance camera harassing an 11-year-old girl. He had asked her where the bathroom was, then cornered her after she showed him the way. After the girl escaped, her parents confronted Lin. Angrily pointing at the girl’s father, Lin shouted:
Do you people know who I am? I was sent here by the Ministry of Transportation. I’m on par with your mayor. You people are worth less than a fart to me! How dare you mess with me? Just see how I deal with you.
“You people are worth less than a fart to me” was picked up by netizens and gave rise to the designation “fart people” (sh*tizen).
While the term can be used as an insult, it has also been proudly adopted by netizens as a label for themselves. Netizens often use “sh*tizens” to designate the masses, suggesting just how much officials esteem ordinary citizens. Netizens have remarked that “without the ability to vote, we matter less than a fart” (没有选票, 我们就是个P!).