I just came across this article I wrote during my time in Shanghai. I hesitated releasing it and then I forgot. But here it is now! Although it’s not the latest story anymore, I think it’s worth publishing!
It all started with a video someone posted on the internet…whatever else?!?
I haven’t seen this video yet and I’m pretty sure that I don’t wanna see it.
This video shows a middle-aged Asian woman dressed in a leopard-print blouse, knee-length black skirt, stockings and silver stilettos standing next to a riverbank. She smiles, holding a small brown and white kitten in her hands. She gently places the cat on the tiled pavement and proceeds to stomp it to death with the sharp point of her high heel.
…and what started in several voices of protest against this behavior, grew in high-speed to a human flesh search-engine ( renrou sousuo yinqing ).
People got obsessed by the idea of finding that women and hold her to account. They were successfull. The women flew out of town, so the camera-man did.
But that was just the start of this rising chinese phenomenon.
They became 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, run out of town. It’s crowd-sourced detective work, pursued online — with offline results.