Lately I’ve been a little obsessed with the Ren Rou Sou Suo, or in English, the ‘human flesh search engine’, netizens from all over China who uncover the identities of Internet villains.
In Communist China, citizens often find themselves frustrated and enraged at the lack of social justice they encounter on a daily basis. When they are provoked, the highly digital-literate population take to the internet and put the power back into their own hands.
This video is showing a young Chinese girl in a restaurant, who stops to give a man directions and escapes as he attempts to pull her into the bathroom with him. She retrieves her parents, who confront the man, an official government minister, before the police come and let him go citing a ‘lack of evidence’ despite the girls testimony, witnesses and the official himself shouting “I did it, so what? How much money do you want, give me a price. I will pay it!” to the girls father.
The news was posted on the internet, and the Ren Rou Suo Sou quickly discovered the official and identified him as Lin Jiaxiang, a party secretary of Shenzhen Maritime Administration. Lin Jiaxiang was dismissed from his government position in the Ministry of Transport on November 4th 2008. However once again, the Chinese police deemed there to be ‘not enough evidence’ to issue an assault charge, and this footage mysteriously vanished from the internet at the time.
Another case of Ren Rou Sou Suo saw a woman publicly named and shamed for stomping on the head of a kitten with her high heel, killing it. The woman was quickly identified as Wang Jue from her location and the online purchase of the shoes, and her details were posted online for thousands of netizens to use. She was mercilessly harassed, lost her job, and was forced to post a video apology online where she acknowledged her actions and asked for forgiveness.
You see a lot of this lately, notably with the recent case of the puppy killers. Its interesting how the internet has given power to the masses, a new and effective route for vigilantism..