Aug 18 2008
“Chinese online human hunting” has been a subject that has fascinated me ever since I first read the story of the “Bronze Mustache” in 2006. Somewhere in my gut, it left me with the impression that this was an important trend to watch. Why you ask? Why not I answer! Yep, got nothing.
Does this fascination stem from the demonstrated ability to cyber-mobilize, combined with cyber-vigilante justice? Okay, if that explanation works for you, it works for me. This really bugs me and I haven’t been able to put my finger on why this trend seems to be important to watch. It could very well be the catalyst that launched the category of “Chinese Hacker Hunting” on this blog…but that gets way too much into the realm of self-analysis and could leave me screaming into my pillow. Moving on.
So what is “online human hunting?” I could try and summarize the whole social mechanism but it would probably cross the line of “fair use.” China Supertrends gives an excellent explanation of “human flesh search engines.”
Finally, sciam.com provides a current report on how this trend is progressing:
China: “Human Search” Invades Privacy
Over the past year or more, a concept known as “human search” (also referred to as an “Internet mob”) has grown in popularity in China. Unlike the more constructive pursuit known as “crowdsourcing,” where people worldwide connect to lend their creativity to some academic, artistic or business endeavor, human search involves people connecting via the Internet to track down information for one another, often to search for someone perceived as having done something wrong. A prime example of this came last week, when Chinese Internet users began a nationwide search for the father of Olympic air pistol gold medalist Guo Wenjun, who abandoned her 10 years ago and left her to the care of her coach. According to an August 12 Reuters story, although the search has not yet pinpointed the missing parent, tens of thousands of Web surfers and numerous chat rooms have reportedly joined the effort.
Any…FREE…insightful explanation on why my views makes sense would be greatly appreciated.
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