The Most Famous Pervert in China

If you are up to date on things in China, this list from a Tianya Post may seem to be surprising:

Which is the most famous university on the Internet in China for the year 2006?
It is not Peking University.  It is not Tsinghua University.  It is Yanshan University.

Which is the most famous game on the Internet for the year 2006?  
It is still World of Warcraft (WoW).

Who is the most famous pervert (=BT) on the Internet for the year 2006?  
It is not Furong Jiejie.  It is not Mu Zimei.  It is a person named Zheng Xin (
郑新 or 郑星).

Which is predicted to be the most famous sentence on the Internet for the year 2006?  
"Did you use your skinning knife today? (
今天你使用剥皮小刀了吗?)"

All of this is connected to a particular forum post about the person Zheng Xin who is affiliated with Yanshan University.  It would have been just a personal adulterous affair but for the fact that Zheng Xin is a renowned WoW player under the name Zxxs.  In three days, more than a million searches were made on Baidu about this affair.  At the MOP game forum, the page views were coming in at 30,000 per hour with 2,000 comments per hour.  At the WoW game, the server was so overloaded with comments that the game slowed to a crawl.

Here is the translation of the original post (Note: the post originally appeared at the MOP game forum, but it has been removed by the author himself due to overwhelming demand and response.  The MOP forum master admitted that he has lost control of things because there were simply too many forum posts and comments for the forum staff to read.  A sanitized version of the post appears at the portal QQ.com (where sanitization means, for example, the act of "swallowing sperm" has been removed).

Let me introduced myself.  I used to be the demon warrior "Xianzi Ke'er (仙子可儿)" in WoW District 2's Maiwei Audio-visual server alliance.  I joined this game in order to accompany my wife in real life.  She played the role of a human preacher with the pretty name "Dim Moon (幽月儿)."  Because I am relatively busy at work -- there are probably very few people in this game who work -- I was basically anonymous except to a few friends.  After all, I entered this game in order to be with my wife, and fancy equipment does not interest me.  I just wanted to be with my wife so that I can continue to take care of her in the virtual world.  Dim Moon has left her job for about three years.  She was not happy in her original work environment.  Since I was moderately successful at work, I agreed that she can remain home.  I always thought that it was the duty of the man to provide for the family.  I also enjoyed the feeling that I can support the entire family.  So I was glad to do so.  I thought that Dim Moon liked it too, because she was not a competitive person in real life and I want her to be happy.  If the events to be described below did not occur, I think I would have continued to feel this way for my entire life.

The Maifu Alliance's Sentinel Guild is a good group.  They are united and strong.  The students at Yanshan University who founded this group put in a lot of effort, and Dim Moon was one of them.  Within the RAID group, she is seldom absent as the preacher.  Occasionally, when I see my wife show a happy smile during game play that is seldom seen in her real life, I must honestly say that I am jealous while being happy that she has so many friends in the virtual world.  Dim Moon is a preacher who does not worry too much about appearances, because she values friendship as the most important thing.  So she gets along with people.  She likes RAID, she hates PK and she is too lazy to bother with money.  Many friends sell of good stuff, and they always remember to share some of the profits with her.  Among those, the Sentinel Guild's president Tongxu (铜须) got along with her quite well.

Tongxu became the principal character in this story when I came back one morning from a business trip.  On that day, my wife stayed up all night to play.  There are two computer systems at home, of which the better one was used by her to play games.  That was my birthday present to her two years ago.  Because I knew that she wants to use the better equipment, even though my own monitor was so bad that the screen goes hazy as soon as I entered the City in WoW, I seldom interrupted her to borrow her machine.  But she was probably very tired, so she said hello to me and then fell asleep on the sofa.  I did not bother to start up my machine to check my emails, so I used her machine which was still running.  I found out that her QQ was still open.  Perhaps this was an act of God because she usually won't let me look at her chatting.  With nothing to do, I opened her chat session logs.  After checking some chats with Internet friends, I opened 21882391: user Zxxs.  Sentinel friends must be familiar with this number, right?

In an instant, I learned how it felt to be struck by lightning.

At the time, I could not see my own face.  I only know that my face was perhaps pale all the way down into my heart.

The record showed an unfaithful wife and the one-night-stand conversation sounded like a movie script.  It was both familiar and strange.  The story occurred so close.  The principals are my wife and a man, but the man was not me.

I always thought that I was strong at heart, but at that moment, I did not have the courage to continue to read ... I copied a few sections of the chat history.  I woke my wife up by pushing her lightly and I remembered my first words: "Have you gone mad?"  My wife's eyes looked temporarily confused and then she dashed madly to the computer.  I said, "Your QQ was not shut down ..."

There was no quarreling.  It was so quiet that we could hear our heartbeats.  I wondered why my heart was still beating.  Perhaps it would be better for both of us if it stopped?

Tears flowed down both of our faces.  I did not remember anything else, but only that I told her when she babbled: "Stop yelling!  Do you want the neighbors to despise you?"  That day, I arranged for me to go on a business trip.  That day was the third day after our sixth wedding anniversary.

I came back after a few days.  When I saw her again, we were both wan and our hearts still ache.  Our conversation was frequently interrupted by our tears.  I understand that a woman who feels that her life is empty and lacking in excitement might be attracted by the game world, she left home quietly, she answered the call of the game guild, she let her body loose after being kissed forcibly after a meeting ... that time, the principals were Dim Moon and you, Tongxu.

After thinking for a long time, I asked myself: Is this woman still the woman that I loved deeply?  The woman whom I planned to buy a house immediately and have children?  I am not a procrastinator.  At that I really could not choose between six years of time and two days of betrayal.  So I contacted you, Tongxu.

After a 45 minute conversation, I said three things:
 
1. Dim Moon is my wife.  I felt bad but I still love her.  She knelt on the ground to beg for my forgiveness.  I don't know what to do.
 
2. I don't feel that there was any deliberate attempt to coerce or be coerced in this matter.  There is no right or wrong.  I would do everything that I could to get revenge otherwise.  But at this moment, I cannot hate you.
 
3. Do you ability to take care of a woman with whom you had been intimate?  Are you willing to take care of her?  You said: "It's over."  Fine, I only want you not to enter again, because she is such a vulnerable woman.  I don't want to watch how a woman whom I loved for six years destroy herself.  I am willing to keep my mouth shut.  Even if we separate, I will give an acceptable reason to all the relatives.  I would rather be regarded as irresponsible rather than let her get hurt.

The matter is over.  I told her: "Get involved in something else, even if it is work.  It was my fault to neglect you.  Let me court you again!"  Although the pain in my heart still gnaws at my nerves, I still ... love her.

Thing seemed to have calmed down and we both changed ourselves.  On April 9, I checked out Dim Moon's QQ again -- I was no longer the gentleman from before.  I had transformed into a little man: petty, filthy and disgusting.

Here is what I read (note: 21882391 is the QQ number for Zxxs and 风歌夜曲 is the QQ name for Dim Moon):

    21882391 09:17:17
  ?
  风歌夜曲 09:17:38
  Hmm, I'm here.

  21882391 09:17:59
  Thinking about me?
  风歌夜曲
09:18:03
  ……

  21882391 09:18:42
  ??
  风歌夜曲 09:18:46
  What's up?
  
21882391 09:18:55

  What do you put in the ....?
  风歌夜曲
09:19:04
  I put in the ..... to respond to you.
  风歌夜曲 09:19:40
  What's up?  If you have nothing to say to me, then I'm leaving.

  21882391 09:20:11
  I asked you if you are thinking about me.  You follow me all the way ...
  风歌夜曲 09:20:18
  I don't know how to reply.

  21882391 09:20:52
  Hmm.  Are the parents watching you over the past couple of days?
  风歌夜曲
09:21:06
  They are.
  风歌夜曲
09:21:29
  They watch every second until it is all in his hands.  They feel that they have lost face.

  21882391 09:22:02
  What do you mean?  In whose hands?
  风歌夜曲
09:22:28
  That is, only after I have completely left this family, then they'll feel that they don't have any responsibility.

  21882391 09:22:57
    Parents are all like that.
    When I graduate, I want to go back and open an Internet bar at the university.
    I have made a plan.  I will teach you later.

  风歌夜曲
09:26:55
  Plan?  What do you need a plan?

  21882391 09:27:23
  From the decoration to the equipment to the network etc etc
  风歌夜曲
09:28:23
  This is annoying.  Actually, I haven't thought about what I want to do.
    But they are treating me like a prisoner right now.
    I can't stand it.  I want to come out and get some air.

  21882391 09:28:55
  Go sell pancakes then.
  风歌夜曲
09:29:01
  Damn.
  风歌夜曲
09:29:18
  Don't say that.  It is an art.  I really don't know.

  21882391 09:29:35
  I was watching tv the other day.  There was a fried bean curd store in Jinan.  I want to go home and open one.
  风歌夜曲
09:30:06
  ... there are many small lousy stores on the main street of Jinan.
    Please.  What do you want to sell fried bean curd?

  风歌夜曲
09:30:18
  You like to eat it?

  21882391 09:30:21
  I like to eat it.
  风歌夜曲 09:31:02
  Damn.  I can't.  I have eaten it once at someone's insistence.
    I felt afterwards that my whole body stinks afterwards.

  风歌夜曲
09:31:30
  In Qinghuangdao in May.

  21882391 09:31:39
  Too nice.  I love to eat it.
    If we go to Jinan, you must take me there to eat it.

  风歌夜曲
09:31:48
  I don't know which is a good place, because I don't like eating it.


  
21882391 09:32:06
  May?  There?  What?
  风歌夜曲
09:32:10
  Nothing.  I just want to ask.

  21882391 09:32:27
  Are you coming over?
  风歌夜曲
09:32:51
  I can't say.  There is an opportunity to go traveling.
    I don't know if I can go.  I am being watched closely.

  21882391 09:33:25
  If you are discovered, you will be beaten to death ....
  Take care.
  风歌夜曲
09:33:36
  That is why I said so.  Ha ha.
  风歌夜曲
09:33:38
  Beaten to death.

  21882391 09:34:37
  Poor child.  Oh you can stay home
  
and be a writer.
  风歌夜曲
09:35:19
  I am not that sick.

  21882391 09:35:43
  Don't you like to read books.
  
You write your own then.  You write a book about the two of us.
  风歌夜曲
09:36:04
  Us?  If I wrote it, everybody will be cursing us.
  风歌夜曲
09:36:15
  You don't care.  Everybody will say that it is the woman's fault.

  21882391 09:37:20
  You are writing a book!!!
    You are not writing news.
    You know that it is true, but other people don't know.
    Other people are just reading a story.

  风歌夜曲
09:37:21
  He'll be in Europe in a few days.
    I think that I can relax for a few days.
    He can't call me from overseas every day.

  21882391 09:38:18
  You don't know that overseas calls are cheaper than domestic ones.
  
My girlfriend calls from overseas everyday.  It is cheaper than calling within the city here.
  风歌夜曲
09:38:19
  (Sigh)  I want to write.
  风歌夜曲
09:38:25
  .... dizzy.
  风歌夜曲
09:38:31
  I might as well as be dead.
  风歌夜曲
09:39:30
  Calling you every day ... why? To keep an eye on you?

  21882391 09:39:43
  Writing something then.
  
Of course, you can add something that never happened, or change the ending.
  
For example, maybe the woman killed herself and the man killed himself too.
  风歌夜曲
09:39:50
  You go and commit suicide.
  风歌夜曲
09:40:02
  What for?  He and I are both dead?  But you are doing nicely?

  21882391 09:40:10
  Did you call me those days?
  
Sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes in the morning, all times of day.
  风歌夜曲
09:40:32
  I didn't keep calling you.  I seemed to have called just twice.  I didn't see the other times.

  21882391 09:40:42
  I was talking about the two of us.
    You killed yourself.  I killed yourself.  You boyfriend went crazy.

  风歌夜曲
09:40:52
  You are pretty good at deductions.  Haha.

  21882391 09:40:58
  Anyway, on the average, two a day.
  风歌夜曲
09:41:21
  Sigh.

  21882391 09:41:33
  And then your parents went crazy.  His parents went crazy too.
  
His company went bankrupt on account of him.  Wait.  I like this ending.
  风歌夜曲
09:41:47
  You are perverted.
  风歌夜曲
09:53:54
  Hmm ... at least he would think so.

  21882391 09:54:17
  Hmm ... how long will he be out?
  风歌夜曲
09:54:41
  How would I know?  I didn't ask.
  风歌夜曲
09:55:00
  He kept saying that he did not want to go.
      He said that he would rather stay and keep me company.  Sigh.

  21882391 09:55:21
  Keep you company ...
  That's like torturing you.
  风歌夜曲
09:56:06
  Therefore, I told him to go.  I said that this was a good opportunity.
      He can learn something.  He can travel around.  This is good.

  21882391 09:56:40
  Maybe one day I'll do what you do.
  风歌夜曲
09:57:19
  You won't, because you still have to a long time to think and choose.

  21882391 10:00:07
  Marriage is too horrible.
  风歌夜曲
10:11:54
  Was Angela fun?

  21882391 10:12:13
  I haven't gone yet.
  
I can't be bothered.  They want to go but I keep saying no.
  
I won't go without you.
  风歌夜曲
10:15:57
  (Sigh)  I want to play too.
    I am super-bored right now.  
    I am not allowed to go out and I am not allowed on the Internet.
    I can only sit and watch soap operas all day, and then sleep.
    I am about to go crazy.

  21882391 10:16:32
  Why don't you ask whether you can come back to WoW?  If You don't come, I really cannot play in this area.
  风歌夜曲
10:17:34
  Impossible.  When he forced me to delete the characters, he said that even if I want to play again, I cannot come back to this area.
  风歌夜曲
10:17:45
  He was afraid that I would come to find you.

  21882391 10:18:45
  Why don't you tell me openly?
  
You say that you are bored.  You want to come back to Wow.  You want to come back to this area.
  
Because the incidence is over, there won't be anything between us.  It's just a pure game.
  风歌夜曲
10:20:47
  My characters are gone.  There is no point in coming back.
    Besides, you and I didn't think much about this matter.
    But he is full of hated.
    If it were you and your beloved woman betrayed you with a man in this game.
    Now she wants to go back and she even says that she won't do anything more with this man.
    Can you accept it?

[... section omitted ...]
  
  
21882391 11:33:23
  How come nothing is happening?
  风歌夜曲
11:33:28
  I thought you were talking to them.

  21882391 11:35:04
  Will they be back at noon?
  风歌夜曲 11:34:56
  I have been so bored recently.
  风歌夜曲 11:35:06
  No, they've gone out fishing.

  21882391 11:35:16
  Psychologically or physiologically?
  风歌夜曲 11:35:16
  Psychological!  Nonsense.

  21882391 11:35:39
  Physiologically not bored?  Oh.
  风歌夜曲 11:35:43
  Disgusting

  21882391 11:36:20
  :( You are bored psychologically and physiologically
  风歌夜曲 11:36:54
  No.
  风歌夜曲 11:37:04
  I am not thinking

  21882391 11:37:37
  Oh, it's good not to think.  I have a thought recently.
  风歌夜曲 11:37:49
  What were you thinking?
  风歌夜曲 11:37:51
  You are so busy

  21882391 11:38:14
  I was thinking about fucking you……
  风歌夜曲 11:38:49
  You are thinking about the act.  You are not thinking about me.  Damn.

  21882391 11:39:38
  I was thinking about you.
    I've been recently worried about my foreskin.
    I'm not in the mood for fucking.
  风歌夜曲 11:40:28
  Why worry?  If you want to excise it, then excise it.

  21882391 11:40:53
  I want to wait until I return home after graduation.
  风歌夜曲 11:41:14
  Hmm ... that's right ... someone will look after you.

  21882391 11:42:01
  Hmm ... I can't keep this up.  I did not sleep at all last night.
  风歌夜曲 11:42:19
  What happened?

  21882391 11:43:14
  I was playing mahjong.  I came back in the morning after eating breakfast.  And then you came.
  风歌夜曲 11:43:07
  Oh, you go to sleep then.  You go to sleep.

  21882391 11:43:47
  I'm tired.  Baby.
  风歌夜曲 11:43:40
  Bye bye,

========

From prior chat sessions, here are some powerful quotations:

  风歌夜曲 22:55:48
  你为什么这么变态?非要射在女人嘴里呢?
  
Zxxs 22:56:30
  不知道……以前看黄片看多了吧
  我要先手淫再睡
  
Zxxs 11:18:45
  我喜欢用嘴舔你的感觉 我觉得比做的时候还舒服——幽月儿近来痔疮好了不少,排便顺畅很多,感谢神医!!!

[in translation]

     风歌夜曲 22.55.48
     What are you so perverted?  Why must you ejaculate in a woman's mouth?
     Zxxs 22:56:30
     I don't know ... I must have watched too many porno movies
     I have to masturbate before I go to sleep.

     Zxxs 11:18:45
     I like the feeling of licking you with my mouth.
     I feel that it is even more relaxing than fucking.
     Dim Moon's hemorrhoids are getting recently and it is a lot easier to defecate.  Thank the miraculous doctor!!!


Netizens dug out these photographs purported to be Zxxs and Dim Moon.  Warning: There is no guarantee that these are genuine.

Here are two more photographs purported to be Zxxs and Dim Moon (via 6Park),  The Zxxs seems to be accepted to be authentic, but the Dim Moon one is suspect because the photograph on the left hand side contains a map of Taiwan.

Here is a spoof ad for hemorrhoids:


Zheng Xin (aka QQ 21882391, Zxxs and Tongxu) is purported to have written this open letter.  There is no guarantee that this is authentic.

我是郑新!有种的都冲我来!没种的不要jjww!
    
有种冲我来,别来这里
JJWW,我就是干了人家的老婆那又怎了?是那女的贱,求我干的。你们怎么不去骂那个婊子,关我P事。再说了 有便宜不占 王八蛋,是吧?你要是个男的
你不占这便宜吗?
建议你们不要老是给我打电话!告诉你们,老子不怕!老子手机是不需要花钱的,有种你们就
24小时打过来,少在这里JJWW的!老子手机是13780340034,有种你现在就打来骂?
一看你们就是凑热闹的,如果轮到你 你还不是跟我一样,操。有几个敢真正打给我的啊!
    
最后声明,一人做事一人当,老子以后还在玩魔兽,有本事 你就去服务器杀我!你们不要骂我的学校和我的朋友,小心我下一个目标就是你老婆!哈哈 靠
……
    
操你们妈的,假装伸张正义的你们今天全给我来我们学校,老子拿刀一个一个全给你们费了,
 

[in translation]

I am Zheng Xin!  If you have guts, you come for me!  If you have no guts, then stop yammering.

If you have the guts, come for me.  Stop yammering here.  So I fucked someone else's wife.  So what?  That woman is trash and she begged me to do her.  Why don't you scold that slut?  None of my farting business.  Besides, only a turtle egg will decline to take an advantage.  Right?  If you are a guy, you won't take this advantage?

I suggest that you should not keep calling me!  Let me tell you, I am not afraid!  It does not cost me any money on my mobile phone.  If you have the guts, you can call me anytime.  Stop yammering here!  My mobile phone number is 13780340045.  If you have the guts, you can call me and scold me?

I take a look at you and I see that you are here to watch the show.  If it was you, you'd do that the same.  Fuck!  How many of you really dare to call me!

Final statement: This is my personal responsibility.  I will continue to play WoW.  If you have the ability, you can kill me at the serve!  Please do not scold my school and my friends.  Please be careful that my first target is your wife!  Ha ha.  Fuck ...

I fuck your mothers.  You moral hypocrites come today to our school today and I will waste all of you one by one with my knife.

Also:

My address is:
Hebei province, Qinhuangdao city, Hebei Main Street Western Section  No. 43X.
My bedroom telephone number: 033580571XX

If you've got the guts, come!  Fuck!


(QQ)  Shortly after the WoW scandal broke, a large number of small alliances began to appear in Area 2's Mawei Audio-Visual server.  Within a few hours, they formed a guild of Sentinel Comforters of more than 100 persons with the single goal: the condemnation of the Sentinel Guild's president Tongxu.


Formation of the guild


The demonstration march


The state of the guild


The Sentinel Comforters face off against the Sentinels


The number of people kept expanding, causing other channels to freeze


General assembly of protestors


Mass Protest!!!


Mass Protest Suicide!!!


(International Herald Tribune)  Mob rule on China's Internet: The keyboard as weapon.  Howard French.  June 1, 2006.

It began with an impassioned, 5,000-word letter on one of China's most popular Internet bulletin boards, from a husband denouncing a student he suspected of carrying on an affair with his wife.

Immediately, hundreds joined in the attack. "Let's use our keyboard and mouse in our hands as weapons," as one person wrote, "to chop out the heads of these adulterers, to pay for the sacrifice of the husband." Within days, the hundreds had grown to thousands, and then tens of thousands, with total strangers forming teams to hunt down the student's identity and address, hounding him out of his university and causing his family to barricade themselves inside their home.

It was the latest example of a growing phenomenon the Chinese call Internet hunting, in which morality lessons are administered by online throngs and where anonymous Web users come together to investigate others and mete out punishment for offenses real and imagined.

In recent cases, people have scrutinized husbands suspected of cheating on their wives, fraud on Internet auction sites, the secret lives of celebrities and unsolved crimes. One case that drew a huge following involved the poisoning of a Tsinghua University student - an event that dates to 1994, but was revived by curious strangers after word spread on the Internet that the only suspect in the case had been questioned and released.

Even a recent scandal involving a top Chinese computer scientist dismissed for copying an American processor design came to light in part because of Internet hunting, with scores of online commentators raising questions about the project and putting pressure on the scientist's sponsors to look into allegations about intellectual property theft.

While Internet wars can crop up anywhere, these cases have set off alarms in China, where this sort of crowd behavior has led to violence in the past. Many here draw disturbing parallels to the Cultural Revolution, whose 40th anniversary was in May. During that episode of Chinese history, mobs of students taunted and beat their professors and mass denunciations and show trials became common for a decade.

In recent years, the Chinese government has gradually tightened controls, requiring, for example, that customers at Internet cafés provide identification.

It also introduced an Internet policing system whose cartoon figure mascots show up on people's screens to remind them they are being monitored, and recently blocked access to the most popular blog search engine, the American company Technorati.

There has been recurrent talk by the government of registering all Internet users, and many here worry that a wave of online threats and vigilantism could serve as a pretext to impose new limits on users.

The affair of the cuckolded husband first came to public attention in mid- April, after the man, who goes by the Web name Freezing Blade, said he discovered online correspondence between his wife, Quiet Moon, and a college student, Bronze Mustache. Following an initial conversation, in which he forgave his wife, the man said he found messages on his wife's unattended computer that confirmed to him that the extramarital liaison was continuing. He then posted the letter denouncing Bronze Mustache by his real name, opening the floodgates.

The case exploded on April 20, when a bulletin board manifesto against Bronze Mustache was published by someone under the name Spring Azalea. "We call on every company, every establishment, every office, school, hospital, shopping mall and public street to reject him," it said. "Don't accept him, don't admit him, don't identify with him until he makes a satisfying and convincing repentance."

Impassioned people teamed up to uncover the student's address and telephone number, both of which were then posted online. Soon, people eager to denounce him showed up at his university and at his parents' house, forcing him to drop out of school and barricade himself with his family in their home.

Others denounced the university for not expelling him, with one poster saying it should be "bombed by Iranian missiles." Many others, meanwhile, said the student should be beaten or beheaded, or that he and the married woman should be put in a "pig cage" and drowned.

"Right from the beginning, every day there have been people calling and coming to our house, and we have all been very upset," said the student's father, who was interviewed by telephone but declined to provide his name.

"This is an awful thing, and the Internet companies should stop these attacks, but we haven't spoken with them. I wouldn't know whom to speak to."

In hopes of quieting the criticism, Bronze Mustache issued a six-minute online video denying any affair with Quiet Moon, whom he is said to have met at a gathering of enthusiasts of the online game "World of Warcraft." At the same time, Freezing Blade has twice asked people to call off the attacks, even joining in the denials of an affair - all to no avail.

At its height, the Bronze Mustache case accounted for huge traffic increases on China's Internet bulletin boards, including a nearly 10 percent increase in daily traffic on Tianya, the bulletin board with the most users.

In many countries, electronic bulletin boards hark back to the earliest days of the Internet, before Web browsers were common, and when text messages were posted in static fashion in stark black and white. In today's China, however, bulletin boards have been colorfully updated and remain at the heart of the country's Internet culture.

"Our Web site is a platform, not a court," said Zeng Lu, a Web master for Tianya, which boasts 40 million page visits daily and says it is the world's largest bulletin board. "We cannot judge who is a good or bad person by some moral standard, but we have our own bottom line. If it's a personal attack on someone, we delete it, but it is very difficult, given that we have 10 million users." Although concerned about online threats, advocates of free speech say that is no reason for the Chinese authorities to place further limits on the Internet.

"The Internet should be free, and I have always opposed the idea of registering users, because this is perhaps the only channel we have for free discussion," said Zhu Dake, a sociologist and cultural critic at Tongji University in Shanghai. "On the other hand, the Internet is being distorted. This creates a very difficult dilemma for us."

Zhan Jiang, a professor of journalism, also defended open discussion on the Internet.

"As freedom of expression is not well protected here, we have to choose the lighter of two evils," said Zhan, who teaches at China Youth University of Political Science, in Beijing. "The minority who are hurting other people in such cases should be prevented, but this behavior should not disturb the majority's freedom of expression."

But there are drawbacks to unfettered discussion, as the Bronze Mustache case illustrates. "What we Internet users are doing is fulfilling our social obligations," said one man who posted a lengthy attack on the college student and his alleged affair. "We cannot let our society fall into such a low state."

Asked how he would react if people began publishing online allegations about his private life, he answered, "I believe strongly in the traditional saying that if you've done nothing wrong, you don't fear the knock on your door at midnight."


(Los Angeles Times)  Chinese Log On for Retribution.  Ching-ching Ni.  September 5, 2006.

A woman in a leopard-print halter top cuddles a kitten. She puts the little gray tabby on the ground. She lifts her foot and grinds the heel of her sparkly stiletto shoe into the terrified animal's eye and crushes its head. Her work done, she gazes into the distance smiling.

The video images set the Internet on fire in China. Instead of just airing their outrage online, Web users decided to hunt down the kitten killer.

But how do you find a nameless woman in a country of 1.3 billion? Easily. Create a most-wanted poster and distribute it in cyberspace.

Within five days, Internet users around the country had tracked down the location of the crime scene: a park in the northern province of Heilongjiang. They found the name and occupation of the stiletto-wearing woman — she was a nurse — as well as her videographer, a man who worked at a local radio and television bureau.

Then they splattered the pair's personal information on the Internet, including home addresses, e-mails, phone and identity card numbers, free for anyone to use and abuse.

The case attracted so much publicity that local Communist Party officials quickly followed up with their own investigation. Soon after, both the man and woman lost their jobs and were forced to issue a public apology. That is considered strong action against the perpetrators, because there is no law in China against the abuse of domestic animals and the two can't be charged with a crime.

In a society where judicial corruption is rampant and ordinary people have few protections in the court of law, an increasing number of Chinese citizens are turning to the Internet to fill in society's perceived legal and moral blind spots.

That often means taking matters into their own hands by harnessing the power of technology and then leaping beyond cyberspace to play judge and jury.

"In other societies you can turn to the media or the legal system, but in China, neither is credible," said Xiao Qiang, director of the Berkeley China Internet Project at UC Berkeley. "People don't trust the government. They don't have anywhere else to turn, so they go to the Internet."

Although Beijing frequently cracks down on cyberspace activity, censoring search engines such as Google and filtering information, the Internet remains one of the freest platforms on which Chinese citizens can communicate and bond.

The rising popularity of Web justice, sometimes referred to as Internet hunting, is relatively new, but it has the potential to threaten the absolute control of the Communist Party. Digital communities are springing up without the consent of the authorities — and are even forcing officialdom and society to take small steps in their direction.

As empowering as it seems, vigilantism in any form is imperfect. And unlike the kitten killer story, the outcome of the online hunting game is not always clear-cut.

Last winter, college student Chen Yi posted a startling online message. Her mother desperately needed money for a liver transplant. She was willing to sell herself — she was vague about what that entailed — to the highest bidder to save her mother's life.

Immediately, donations poured in from around the country, no strings attached. Even some in the overseas Chinese community pitched in to contribute a total of about $12,500 to the student's personal account.

Then what seemed like a great humanitarian project began to unravel.

Someone with the online name "Blue Lover" claiming to be Chen's classmate, posted personal details about Chen's life that cast doubt over her story. Chen, the posting said, wore expensive clothes and used a fancy cellphone. Did she really need the money?

Not knowing whom to believe, a Netizen called Sun Guoyu launched his own investigation.

According to his findings, Chen's parents were government employees with a low but steady income. Although their health insurance didn't cover all expenses, Sun concluded that the family was not nearly as poor as many others in similar situations. He even questioned whether the mother's operation was necessary.

Within a month of his postings, Chen's mother died and Internet sentiment ricocheted against Sun. Web users began saying his skepticism had helped take the woman's life.

"I've received a lot of unfair attacks," Sun said in a telephone interview. "I feel bad for her. But she did not disclose important financial information to the public. I am more than willing to help people in need. But people who donate money have the right to know the truth."

Such murky outcomes are not uncommon in the witch-hunt world of the Internet in China.

"Web freedom is a very new freedom, and new freedom should come with new responsibilities," said Xiao of Berkeley. "Unfortunately, that process has not been established yet. When anybody can attack anyone else, the Internet is sometimes a mess. It's not always good for justice or truth."

One of the best-known cases this year involved a man who called himself Iron Mustache online. He has been bombarded with harassing e-mails and phone calls, including death threats.

What did he do to deserve this? Adultery, according to Sharp Blade, the Web name of his allegedly cuckolded accuser.

Iron Mustache and Sharp Blade's wife supposedly met through their mutual love for the online game World of Warcraft. When her husband discovered their e-mail exchanges, he began denouncing the alleged affair on a popular Internet bulletin board.

But even Sharp Blade did not expect the avalanche of responses offering to help him track down Iron Mustache, expel him from school and prevent him from ever getting a job.

Despite Iron Mustache's repeated denial of any affair, nobody believed him, nor did anyone demand any evidence that any impropriety actually took place.

"It's true, people who participate in these Web-hunting cases do not always behave rationally — they tend to act as a group and they don't have access to complete information," said Li Jianqiang, a lawyer based in Shandong province. "But these Web users have a right to speak their minds. Trying to stifle them would make things even worse."

If it were not for widespread support from the Internet, even partial justice in many cases would be impossible, said Li, who represents the parents of a 21-year-old found naked and dead in her dormitory in 2003.

The family of Huang Jing believed that her well-connected boyfriend, Jiang Junwu, was guilty of rape and murder. Jiang said Huang had been sick and died of natural causes; authorities believed him and didn't open an investigation.

According to Li, the local police refused to even look into the case. Then the Web hunters stepped in.

They created an online memorial hall to mourn the victim, set up a national donation campaign to preserve her body for future investigations, and started a petition drive calling on the central government to investigate and fire corrupt cops.

Tens of thousands of Web users are said to have followed the case on the Internet, most of them sympathetic to the dead woman. Her boyfriend bore the brunt of attacks, which his family said was unfair because he was innocent.

Finally, officials arrested Jiang and began an investigation. In July, three years after Huang died, a verdict was delivered: not guilty. The court, however, also ordered Jiang to pay the parents of the dead woman about $75,000 in civil damages.

"Even though the outcome of the case is not ideal, the Internet still played a very important role," said Li, the lawyer. "Without the outcry from the Internet, we wouldn't even have a case. The court of public opinion is the only thing that could put pressure on the authorities to at least try to do the right thing."


(ChineseNewsNet中國網絡輿論的“強大力量”  September 6, 2006.

多維社記者紀軍編譯報導/一位時髦女子懷抱一只可愛的小貓﹐她把小貓放到地上輕柔撫摩﹐接著用尖尖的高跟涼鞋鞋跟狠狠踩進小貓的腹部和眼睛﹐最後是小貓腦袋被踩得粉碎。完成這些後﹐時髦女子凝視著遠處微笑著。踩貓視頻剛一出現在網上﹐便點燃中國網民的怒火﹐發出了“宇宙通緝令”緝拿這名踩貓女子。

然而﹐在一個擁有13億人口的國家﹐想查出一個無名無姓的女子談何容易﹖不過﹐這些對中國網民來說卻是輕而易舉的﹐他們制作了“宇宙通緝令”並將張貼到網絡空間。僅僅用了短短的五天時間﹐全中國各地網民便追查到“犯罪現場”的所在地﹕東北黑龍江省的一個公園。

隨後﹐網民們又查出了這位踩貓女子的姓名和職業--她竟然是個護士﹐還有給她拍攝錄像的攝像師--此人居然在當地廣播電視局工作。接著﹐網民們把他們的個人資料張貼在網上﹐其中包括家庭住址﹑電子信箱﹑電話號碼和個人身份證號碼﹐供所有人使用。

洛杉磯時報9月5日的文章﹐介紹了中國互聯網自去年以來出現的幾起著名“案例”﹐稱中國網絡輿論法庭已證明自己的強大力量﹐但這個輿論法庭的判決卻不總是正確的。不過﹐“踩貓事件”卻是中國網民最具同情感的行動﹐這個案件吸引了如此之大的宣傳﹐以至于當地政府部門都及時跟著展開調查。不久之後﹐踩貓女子和攝像男子都失去了工作﹐並被迫發表一份公開道歉。

這個結果已被認為是中國網民對作惡者採取的強大行動﹐因為中國並沒有法律懲處那些虐待動物者﹐此案的兩名作惡者也不可能遭到犯罪指控。文章稱﹐在一個司法腐敗無處不在的社會﹐普通市民在法律上沒有受到多少保護﹐但中國日益增加的網民數量﹐則正在把互聯網變成一個填補司法和道德盲點的工具。

它往往意味著﹐網民利用技術力量來把這些問題掌握在自己的手裡﹐然後跳入網絡空間去扮演法官和陪審團的雙重角色。“在其它一些社會﹐你可以求助于媒體或司法系統﹐但在中國兩者都不可信﹐”加大柏克利分校中國互聯網項目負責人肖強說﹐“人們不相信政府﹐他們又沒有其它地方可以去求助﹐所以他們就求助于互聯網。”

雖然﹐北京經常嚴打網上行動﹐對象Google這樣的搜索引擎進行審查﹐過濾敏感信息﹐但互聯網仍是中國人可以進行聯系的最自由的平臺之一。通常指的是網上追查的目前正流行的網上正義﹐其迅速走紅相對來說卻是一個新生事物﹐但它已具有威脅中共絕對控制權的潛力。沒有得到官方同意便如雨後春筍般增長的數碼社區﹐甚至正迫使政府和社會跟隨他們的方向。

洛杉磯時報指出﹐然而並不是所有網上追查和調查都象通緝“踩貓女人”那樣准確和完美﹐自去年秋天以來﹐中國網民對互聯網上所出現的幾起著名案例的追查結果 ﹐有的卻引起很大的爭議。去年9月﹐女大學生陳易在“天涯雜談”貼出“賣身救母”的帖子後﹐立即有全國網友為其捐款﹐甚至一些海外華人也解囊相助﹐其人民幣賬號得到至少10萬元的捐款﹐還不算外幣和郵匯。

于是﹐這個看似一場偉大的慈善工程開始瓦解。有人以網名“藍戀兒”揭發陳易在學校穿300元的NIKE鞋﹐戴500元的隱形眼睛﹐燙50元的頭發﹔另有網友揭發陳易的母親是檢察官。那麼﹐陳易真的需要別人的捐款麼﹖天涯雜談知名網友“八分齋”隨後前往重慶﹑瀘州調查﹐耗資2萬元。當“八分齋”將調查手記陸續在網上公布後﹐得到一些網友的追捧﹐並在天涯網年度人物評選時﹐被稱為“獨立調查第一人”。

調查手記公布3天後﹐陳的母親死于肝臟二次移植前的輔助手術。陳母死後﹐天涯雜談的輿論立即反轉﹕有人說“八分齋”用春秋筆法﹐強化了對陳易不利的一面﹔ 有人指責他假借網友之名﹐其實是奉媒體之命調查﹔有人指責他先有了結論再去求證﹐調查不可能公正。有人直指他逼死了陳母﹐說陳家母女“有罪但罪不至死”。

更有人“以其人之道還治其人之身”﹐調查“八分齋”﹐質疑他在學歷﹑工作經歷﹑發起慈善捐款等事件上存在個人誠信問題。“八分齋”在接受洛杉磯時報記者電話採訪時說﹐“我遭到許多不公平的攻擊﹐我為她(陳易)感到難過。但是她沒有公開重要的財政信息。其實﹐我更願意幫助那些需要幫助的人。但那些捐款的人有權知道真相。”

這個令人不快的結果﹐在中國“網絡追殺”的網絡世界並不是罕見的。加大柏克利分校中國互聯網項目負責人肖強指出﹐“網絡自由是一個非常新自由﹐但新的自由應該帶有新的責任。不幸的是﹐這個過程一直沒有建立起來。當任何人都可以攻擊別人時﹐互聯網有時就混亂起來。它對正義或真相就不會總是好的。”

今年中國網上另一起著名的案例就是“銅須事件”﹐此案曾引發一些西方媒體的關注﹐紐約時報﹑國際先驅論壇報和南德意志報等歐美報紙﹐相繼刊發報導﹐質疑中國網民的做法是對個人權利(隱私權﹑情感和生活方式選擇權等)的嚴重侵犯。國際先驅論壇報以《以鍵盤為武器的中國暴民》為題﹐激烈抨擊中國網民的“暴民現象”。

事件的起因是﹐一個丈夫在網上發帖﹐譴責妻子與網名叫銅須的大學生有一夜情﹐並公布了兩人的網絡聊天記錄和銅須的QQ號。他的帖子很快激起了熱烈的反應﹐攻擊偷情主角的“哄客”隊伍迅速由數百人發展到數萬人﹐相關網站的點擊率飆升。

隨後﹐許多網民加入到這場“銅須討伐戰”中。甚至有人要“以鍵盤為武器砍下奸夫的頭﹐獻給那位丈夫做祭品”。一時間﹐“江湖追殺令”再現網絡﹐在天涯社區有網友發布“銅須”的照片和視頻﹐呼吁各機關團體﹐對“銅須”及其同伴甚至所在大學進行全面抵制﹐要求“不招聘﹑不錄用﹑不接納﹑不認可﹑不承認﹑不理睬 ﹑不合作”。至此﹐“銅須”及其家人的正常生活受到嚴重干擾。

迫于壓力﹐尚為大學學生的“銅須”通過視頻文件方式對事情經過進行澄清﹐遭到網友的更大面積譴責。盡管“銅須”一再否認任何一夜情﹐但沒有人相信他﹐也沒有任何人要求提供任何證據。山東省律師李建強(譯音)指出﹐“的確﹐那些參與網上追查案的人其行為不是經常講道理﹐他們傾向于採取集體行動﹐他們沒有獲得完整的信息。但這些網民有權利表達出他們的想法﹐若是試圖窒息他們﹐就會使事情變得更壞。”

中國官方電視臺中央電視臺曾對這一事件作出了反應﹐批評網民的行為是“網絡暴力”﹐但避免就第三者事件本身做出道德評價。而網民則在“天涯”組織起了新一輪的反擊運動﹐批評央視為其在“銅須”事件中所採用的圍獵方式辯護。同時海外媒體也加入了這場“網絡暴民”的討論中來﹐在西方人看來﹐這場虛擬事件正在演變成大規模群體性暴力﹐並已成為人類文明進程中的不和諧音。

記者在編譯這篇文章時注意到﹐到目前為止﹐有關“銅須事件”的爭執仍在中國網民和媒體持續。中國青年報9月1日發表題為《網絡追殺對暴力的依賴將窒息自由》的署名文章指出﹐從黑龍江省某護士“虐貓事件”引發網絡第一張”追殺令”﹐到一個網名“銅須”的男子因涉嫌一場婚外情引起的“網絡追殺”﹐及至上海教授張結海發起的“網絡追逐流氓外教大行動”﹐三起事件無一例外的﹐都是某一個體網民以一種道德義憤怒火﹐引燃網絡公眾的普遍情緒。 

文章評論說﹐如果上海教授所舉“流氓外教”事實成立﹐的確令人憤怒。但在一個法治社會﹐有罪判決只能依據法律﹐而對此進行的調查與處罰﹐也必須來自法律授權。舍棄正當解決渠道的“網絡追殺”行為﹐無疑是一只法外之手﹐突兀且無理。

如果這一切都是起于網絡﹐止于網絡﹐僅限于網絡。但現在的問題是﹐更多的人從一開始﹐就將虛幻的道德義憤置于個人真實的權利之上﹐正像媒體所界定的﹐“一些匿名網絡用戶聚集起來﹐對一些真實或想像的道德罪行進行調查並執行處罰”那樣﹐“網絡追殺”實質涉及對于個人隱私等正當權利的侵害。 

文章最後說﹐更重要的是﹐必須警慎一種以自由的方式扼殺自由﹐以表達的方式限制表達的可能。毫無疑問﹐群情激憤的網絡口水﹐淹沒了另一方正當表達的權利﹐ 他們的自由與權利﹐在更多人看起來已經無足輕重。在另一方面﹐網絡在一定程度上拓展了個人表達的空間與自由。要知道﹐這是一種多麼難得的東西﹗因此需要警惕﹐“網絡追殺”現象﹐可能存在的暴民思想與非理性行為會予人口實﹐反過來成為對于網絡自由橫加干預的充分理由。

南方日報9月6日署名文章指出﹐網民中的道德人士是憤怒的﹐大家還記得前一陣的“銅須事件”﹐還可以看看最近的“上海教授追殺流氓外教”事件。他們通過網絡追殺現實中的第三者﹐令此人苦不堪言﹔他們追殺“玩弄”中國女性的外教﹐要把此人“趕出中國”。

網絡中還有許多種憤怒的人。北京大學教授張頤武把這些人稱為“網絡草根輿論”﹐他說﹐這些“草根”其實既不是我們想象的廣大無邊的“群眾”﹐也不是一個具體而微的階層。但這些人在現實中的沉默和在互聯網上的強勢構成的反差值得我們關切。他們很大程度上都依賴網上的“跟帖”﹐形成一種強烈的“群體意識”﹐讓過去的沉默變成了相當誇張的社會“共識”和輿論。

文章稱﹐這樣的情況改變著社會輿論的生態。這些“草根化”的輿論﹐異常明顯地呈現出“娛樂化”的特征。“這種娛樂化就是將各種事物化為道德上的‘小丑’加以肆意嘲謔和挖苦……這種娛樂並不是一看就趣味低級﹐而是格外的高調的道德化。它一面活躍了輿論的空氣﹐另一方面也將輿論變成了無足輕重的消遣。”