"Very Yellow, Very Violent"

(Zhejiang Online News)  Female Student Claimed To Find "Very Yellow, Very Violent" Web Page on <Joint News Broadcast> And Got Spoofed.  January 7, 2008.

[in translation]

"The last time that I got on the Internet to search for information, a web page popped up suddenly.  It was very yellow (i.e. erotic), very violent.  I hastily closed the page."  This is what Beijing elementary school student Zhang Shufan said during an interview that was broadcast on the CCTV news program <Joint News Broadcast> at 19:00, December 27, 2007.

On account of the phrase "very yellow, very violent," videos, photographs, spoof cartoons and comments flooded the Internet overnight.  At Baidu Post, there is even a post especially for Zhang Shufan known as the "very yellow, very violent" post.  MOP featured the video clip prominently and issued a "human flesh search engine" call to track down everything about her ... Some netizens said that this was the first popular saying of year 2008.

The first one to comment was "mopper" (i.e. a member of the MOP forum) Gegege.  At 7:40pm that evening, she wrote a post titled "Tonight's Joint News Broadcast was awesome":  "Did you see that?  The news item about deleterious videocasts on the Internet.  A cute elementary Beijing school girl was interviewed and she said, 'The last time that I got on the Internet to search for information, a web page popped up suddenly.  It was very yellow, very violent.  I hastily closed the page.'  At that time, I was having dining and I could not help but laugh.  Very yellow, very violent.  That is like the MOP slogan of Very Good, Very Powerful.  Is this school girl a mopper too?"

As soon as that post appeared, other netizens were drawn to the case.  Netizen "pinkbabyfeifei" commented: "I saw that too.  I was laughing.  Where does one find a very yellow, very violent web page?"  Netizen "Little beggar of the beggar gang" wrote: "This little girl can tell what is 'yellow' and 'violent.'  She's got potential.  Very yellow, very violent!"  Netizen "irrissun" commented: "I heard that too.  I nearly threw up!  How does a little girl know when something is very yellow, very violent?  Weird."

Several days later, a post titled <Calling for the human search engine -- Zhang Shufan -- Very yellow, very violent" appeared at MOP.  This was posted on January 1.  By early morning of January 5, there were almost 1,200 comments running to 12 pages.

That post contained the screen capture of the searches for Zhang Shufan.  This included the 1 minute 26 second video clip from <Joint News Broadcast> as well as a short essay titled <Concerning Very Yellow, Very Violent> which said: "I'm perplexed as to how a single web page could be both yellow and violent?  How does a lolita (namely, a cute girl under 15 years of age) know what is yellow and violent?    Poor lolita, this interview will change her whole life."  

The first comment to that post came from an anonymous person who listed Zhang Shufan's date of birth, school, academic grades, awards, commendations and so on, and even the name of the hospital where she was born.  Zhang Shufan's attendance at a 2004 school calligraphy contest was listed as well.

Another spoof had a cartoon depiction of a crying Zhang Shufan with her shirt falling off her shoulder and saying: "Very yellow, very violent" with the CCTV logo.  Other netizens even constructed web pages that they imagined Zhang Shufan would call yellow and violent.  ... Other netizens wondered which web site was serving these yellow and violent web pages.  In China, there are very few websites on sadomasochism (SM).  Since Zhang is an excellent student, some netizen thought: "She faced the CCTV reporter and lied to a national audience without blinking.  Isn't she accountable for what she said?  If she is lying when she is so young, how far will she go when she grows old?  For children, academic grades are important.  But if her thinking and morals are rotten, then academic grades are useless no matter how good they are."

From the other side: "She is just a lovely little girl!  Why are you doing this to her?  Would you like your child be discussed in this manner on the Internet?"  "No matter what, it is stupid to go after a little girl in this manner!"  "Let her be!  People have different views about things."

On the evening of January 4, a letter purported to be from Zhang Shufan's father appeared at MOP and Baidu Post.  But not many netizens believed that this letter was authentic.  The letter is as follows:

Dear netizen friends:

I am the father of Shufan.  During the past few days, people have been giving Shufan funny looks.  Then I found out that this was the result of the Internet activities.  When I got on the Internet and read the posts, I found it impossible to tolerate.  You people are really going too far.  Shufan is just a child.  Her world and personal views are not fully developed, and she might have said something inappropriate.  But does it justify your wilfully attacking and insulting her?  Not only did you use vicious language to insult Shufan, you even used Photoshop pornographic cartoons to debase her character.  Do you know how much mental anguish your have caused Shufan?  Meanwhile, will the person who created the Photoshop cartoon dare to stand out and identify himself/herself?  I don't know if you people know what conscience is anymore.

I don't think that Shufan said anything wrong.  You have started a so-called human search to locate Shufan.  I can tell you that we live in Wanshou Road, Haidian District, Beijing City.  You are welcome to visit us anytime.  At the same time, I am warning you (especially those who did the Photoshop cartoons) that I will use the law to defend the legal rights and human dignity of Shufan and myself!

Dear netizen friends, I hope that you won't insult Shufan anymore.  I sincerely hope that the person who made the Photoshop cartoons would make an apology.  I hope that this affair blows over peacefully with no more waves.  This is the earnest request from a father.  I think that everybody knows about parental responsibilities.  People should guide their children properly, instead of heaping insults and sarcasms on them.  We should all love the children.  When they offend us, we should continue to be tolerant.  Isn't that so?

Finally, I sincerely thank those people who supported Shufan by standing out to say some fair words.  I thank those people who are quietly tolerant of Shufan.  I thank those people who realize their mistakes and make apologies.  I wish you all a happy New Year!

Relevant Link: So yellow, so violent  John Kennedy, Global Voices Online; The yellow, violent mob culture of a Chinese BBS  Joel Martinsen, Danwei