Hong Kong Reporter Transgresses Against A God And Gets Lynched

(Ming Pao)  July 15, 2007.

In Hong Kong, there must be hundreds of thousands of people who use the BitTorrent peer-to-peer technology to share movies.  The first and only person to have been prosecuted successfully for intellectual copyright violations via the BitTorrent (BT) method was the man nicknamed "Master of Cunning" or "Tricky Heavenly King" (古惑天皇). Who will be next?
It would seem that the user with the nicknamed Nike should be rated as the next most likely candidate.  Nike is such a prolific uploader of pornographic movies that he has earned the title of "Adult version of Master of Cunning" (
鹹濕版古惑天皇).  Since 2003, he has uploaded more than 4,600 pornographic movies using P2P technology at an average of 3.4 movies per day.  Last week he uploaded 81 movies at a particular Hong Kong discussion forum.  Yesterday, he uploaded 23 movies which take up more than 40GB (or the size of a typical home computer hard disk).  By 10pm last evening, there were 39,551 pageviews.  The reporter also noted that sevreal other discussion forums carried the same post, so that the total number of users is hard to estimate.
First, it is not against the law to post adult videos (unless children are the subjects).  At those Hong Kong discussions forums, users will be asked whether they are adults before being allowed to enter.  But it does not matter what the real age of the user is.  A ten-year-old can click on the "Yes" button and be admitted.  There is no way to verify the real age of the user.  Some of the discussion forums have a club membership system, but the only registration information is an email address.  This is a pro forma exercise that is pure sham.
Secondly, the case of the original "Master of Cunning" was pushed along by pressure from the movie industry because mainstream movies were being uploaded.  Nike is sharing pornographic movies.  There is no open market for pornographic movies in Hong Kong.  Therefore, the Hong Kong Customs Department is not under pressure from the movie producers and distributors to take action.  
Thirdly, and most interesting, there is a persistent rumor (see The Hong Kong Internet Encyclopedia) that Nike is in fact a front for the Hong Kong Customs Department.  This is the only explanation why Nike could have access to so many pornographic movies and share them too.  Why would the Customs Department do that?  It is the best way to attack the CD pirates.  This beats chasing them around them town.  Since BT became popular, the price of a pornographic CD has dropped from HK$30 to 6 for HK$100.

(Ming Pao via EVCHK.Wikia.com)  Just Do It.  By Zhou Li (周瑮).  July 17, 2007.

[in translation]

Mr. Nike:

How are you?

I don't know you so I am guessing when I address you as "Mister."

After the media repeatedly reported on your posting of Class III and Class IV adult videos on the Internet, the discussion forums have been reacting vociferously: If anything should happen to Nike, I will give up my life to fight against them; if Nike should be arrested, there will be riots in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan .... yes, the 'them' that they are willing to give up their lives to fight against is the "Ming Pao" newspapers which pays my salary every month.  The netizens not only want to give up their lives to fight against a newspaper, but they have stated if you should ever stop posting movies, they will "hold Ming Pao responsible."  You are really beloved deeply.  I'm sorry that I didn't recognize that before.

I am ill-informed and I don't have very limited knowledge about Class III or IV movies.  When I saw the Internet storm, I did my quick homework and I found that the Hong Kong Internet Encyclopedia presented you as follows: "Hong Kong resident.  Famous for distributing adult videos through BitTorrent seeds.  Often releases the latest adult videos with the best quality, largest quantity and latest fashion.  Proclaimed by netizens as the 'God of AV."  Even Japanese BT users know about 'Nike'."  So, every Asian Densha Otoko (電車男) has a Nike link in his heart.

People love food and sex.  There if no free lunch in Hong Kong, but there are free pornographic movies which spare the men from visiting the dark corners of the shopping malls to pick their Class III or IV movies in a crowd.  Your contributions make you truly worthy of the title "God of AV" and "Light of Chinese all over the world."

There is a rumor that you are actually "hired by the Hong Kong Customs Department to use freely shared adults videos to bring down the illegal adult video shops and cut off the revenue to the criminal triads."  Can I ask if this is true?  But I think that behind your "selfless contribution," your have a greater mission -- to bring up new adult male video starts.  You look at the foot fetishist, the junior secondary students who placed "Four Kings and One Queen," and even the Grade Four Elementary School student who forced the fellow student to commit fellatio.  They are all giving up wanting to be Ultraman or Sergeant Keroro in order to be AV stars.  Young people are "scary" when they just do it when they feel like it.

I hope that this report will not bring you too much inconvenience.  I await your reply.

Zhou Li.

(Nike via EVCHK.Wikia.com) (note: the authenticity of this letter has not been proven)

[in translation]

Miss Zhou:

I saw the letter that you published in Ming Pao.  I am surprised, because nobody has publicly exposed this mysterious person that is known to everybody.

In Chinese society, sex has always been a "taboo that must not be discussed publicly."  Everybody knows about it, but they rarely discuss it seriously.  From the lie that the mother told her son: "You burst out of a rock" to the various euphemisms that one learns to use about the obscene reproductive organs, everybody is trying to avoid the taboo.  During the long years which I distributed innumerable adult videos, I was crowned "the God of AV" and "the Light of the Chinese people."  My name was gradually equated with AV.  Nike no longer makes people think about sports shoes or Niki week, as they are displaced by the names of AV actresses.  In the end, I myself kept company with sex to become a "taboo that must not be publicly discussed."

In daily life, people do not want to discuss Nike and all those AV scenes that involve pederasty, rape, incest and bestiality.  Even among those brothers who adore me greatly and spend days and night to make CD's to store my videos, these matters cannot be discussed, as if I and my AV's never appeared in the world.

Although the subject of sex was obscured, the fact is that it exists anytime anywhere right by my side.  When social problems emerge such as the "Seven Swords" or "Persons under 14 years of age can only be guilty of molestation and nothing more," the parents blame each other, then the media, then the Internet and then yours truly.  When the voices of morality subside, everything is the same as before.  People move on to other topics.  The parents continue to worry about their children's test results tomorrow, and I continue sharing my high-resolution adult videos.  We will just wait for the next problem to appear without taking any preventative measures.  The taboos will remain taboos.

Someone thinks that breaking the rules is a form of catharsis which can only solidify morality.  Other people thinks that this is a learning process for breaking the rules in real life.  Between these two points of view, you and I appear to be on opposite sides.

If Nike is there, there is AV; without Nike, AV will still be there.  I am not the scary one; what is scary is the demand that can breed 1,000 more Nike's.

I hope that this "Densha Otoko (電車男)" of yours has not brought you too much inconvenience.  I end my letter here.

Best wishes!

From July 18, 2007, netizens begin to discover that Nike's posts at "fdzone" and "18p2p" disappeared completely.  Nike also resigned as the administrator of "fdzone."  The majority of the netizens believed that the Ming Pao article and the accompanying challenge by the columnist pressured Nike into leaving.  The rage of the forum participants were turned to Ming Pao and the columnist.  Towards the latter, the result was a piece of lynch mob action.

Someone tracked down Zhou Li's personal blog and retrieved the photographs there (such as this photograph of her in a bikini).

On July 18, Zhou Li's blog was offline.  When it re-opened on July 19, the comment function had been turned off.  People dug up that when Zhou Li wrote about "How to forget about a person or an event" on her blog, she provided the answer: "drink alcohol and smoke marijuana."  From there, they speculated that she has a drug habit.  Then people made an issue of her actual age.  According to her blog, she was born in the Year of the Rat and she graduated from university more than a decade ago.  Therefore, her real age must be 35.  However, Zhou Li responded to a netizen that she was in her 20's.  And so on ...  Other commentators say that these insults and probes into private life constitute a classical case of "cyber bullying."

(Ming Pao via Speechlessness.com, July 22, 2007)  As everybody knows even though there are no written rules, the Hong Kong Internet opinions are based upon condemnations and Zhou Li's article to Nike was certain subject to spoofs and sarcasms and its author was demonized as being the standard model of the uninformed and psychologically imbalanced "Hong Kong girl" (港女」).  Apart from open insutls at the discussion forums, there were people who used the keywords to dig up the personal information about Zhou Li.  They left nasty and disgusting messages at her blog and they uploaded her blog photographs to demonize her gender, age, looks, physique, dress and expressions.  People even figured out where she studied, worked and lived.  It was frightening, even as if provided a classical example of "cyber bullying."

(Apple Daily)  There Is No Bullying On The Internet.  By Erica Yuen.  July 28, 2007.

[in translation]

Recently, the case of Nike fans lambasting the Ming Pao editor was a hot topic on the Internet.  As someone experienced in such matters, I obviously want to join the party.

The history of the case has already been entered into the Hong Kong Internet Encyclopedia: On July 17, 2007, Zhou Li wrote an essay titled "Just Do It" in Ming Pao's supplement section.  She wrote sarcastically about the adult video uploader Nike and blamed the youth sex crimes on the proliferation of adult videos uploaded by people like Nike ... many forum discussants thought that it was unfair, unreasonable and irresponsible for Zhou Li to attribute most of the blame on Nike while completely ignoring the roles of the parents and the media.   Furthermore she stereotyped all AV-watching netizens as Densha Otoko (電車男) while saying, "every Asian Densha Otoko (電車男) has a nike link in his heart."

If Zhou Li wants to criticize something or censure someone in her Ming Pao column (which is her platform), she is free to do so.  As to whether she was fair and reasonable in what she wrote, that is a later story.  It the netizens read her essay, became upset and they went to their own platforms (namely, the discussion forums on the Internet) to curse her out, it is also their freedom.  As to whether their language was harsh, that is a later story.  All parties have their own platforms and viewpoints, and they go about their own business.

A few days later, Ming Pao's Internet page editor Mr. Tang Shiu-hang published an essay titled <The Invsible Fists> to inform us about a contemporary Internet term "cyber bullying."  This refers to netizens "using a section of writing by the principal, a photograph or a video clip plus a bit of fabricated information" to insult or even libel the principal.  Thus, the attacks by the netizens against Editor Zhou was a form of "bullying" while she is being presented as the little lamb being "bullied."

By the time that I read to this point, I had to start laughing.

The Media 1.0 era in which the newspaper writers own the say-so is over.  Nowadays, as long as you have an Internet connection and a keyboard, you have the right and platform of expression with equal degree of influence.  Why else would TIME magazine select "You" as the Person of the Year in 2006?

Does Mr. Tang believe that altering Editor Zhou's photograph and distributing it on the Internet is "bullying"?  Suppose I take Chief Executive Donald Tsang photograph and add a moustache, and then this altered photograph is forwarded to friends and relatives as well as posted at the discussion forums.  Am I "bullying" the Chief Executive?  If so, am I not very powerful?  Such juvenile activities can only be said to be idiotic and disrepectful, including being disrespectful to oneself.

Since the articulate Editor Zhou is so contemptuous of the Densha Otoko, then why does she mind the comments at her blog all of a sudden?  Why is she being concerned about what these people are saying?  Editor Zhou shut down her blog for a day in order to escape the attacks.  Her blog is her space and there is nothing wrong with her shutting it down.  But can she shut down the innumerable discussion forums on the Internet?  It is ineffective to cut off your toes in order to avoid the sand worms.

Since Editor Zhou is a writer and a media worker, it is hard to imagine why she could not be more tolerant: she could not calmly receive other people's opinions and feelings, she chose evasion over accepting responsibility in handling the matter and she offered no apologies for the lack of evidence and blanket statement in presenting her original case.  I recommend that Editor Zhou should write anonymously in the future, because she can avoid many unncessary problems.

If you are going to stand up in public and condemn people and things, you better expect to be condemned and cursed in return.  This should be simple enough.  A professional commentator should treat criticisms as encouragement.  If  your essay can arouse the passion of others, it will make us want to understand their viewpoints and values and bring us to a deeper level of reflection and adjustment.  That would be extra value.  The near universality of the Internet allows the reactions to arrive quicker and more directly.  All writers and commentators should count their blessings instead of complaining that this battle of saliva is "cyber bullying."  If you face the fearful with no fear, then the fearfulness will disappear!