Have you ever heard of “Human Flesh Search Engine (人肉搜索)”? The concept of it is to let the other internet users to help you to find some information that you cannot find by yourself. In the following, we are going to tell you what this is, how this works and how efficient it is.
Human Flesh search engine is different from Google, Baidu and other famous search engines. It is a behavior not a specific search engine provider, primarily orientated in the Chinese internet since 2007, and the reason dubbed as “Human Flesh” is because it utilized the power of a large-scale of internet users. Due to those internet users are from different background and various sectors, therefore it makes the specific search behavior even more powerful and effective. And, the culprit of this phenomenon is from a Chinese website called “MOP”.
How does it work?
Human Flesh search behavior is often triggered by an outrageous incident that exposed on discussion forums or blogs. Then the incident is very likely to trigger public’s anger and eventually turn it into a stimulation. Once the target was confirmed, then all the details of the target will be dig out immediately, and quickly become a hot discussion topic among the Chinese forums. In other word, you can say Human Flesh search behavior can possibly be a form of “ethical cyber bullying“.
Why people are so passion? Do they get pay to do that?
I am sorry to tell the answer is “No”. Some people are voluntary to do so, they just want to pursue justice and the truth behind an outrageous circumstance. But some crowds do Human Flesh search for virtual currency and those groups of people are dubbed as “Bounty Hunter”. Perhaps some people find Human Flesh search is a more joyful thing to do rather than playing online games.
If we take MOP as an example, MP is the unit of its forum virtual currency. When a person posted a query on MOP forum, he will also put up the amount of MP as reward. If the amount is enough to attract Bounty Hunters or some other by-passers. Then they will browse the answer of his query as quick as possible. Ultimately, the money will be rewarded to the person who can answer his quiz. Just as simple as that.
Therefore, if they treat it like a game, then how can you guarantee the information is reliable?
Probably we cannot say the information found by Bounty Hunters is completely trustable. But one thing can guarantee is, the more Bounty Hunters compete for a query, the more reliable the answer it is. At the moment, the competitiveness within this sector is sufficiently large.
Incidents of Human Flesh Search engine:
A Chinese Woman Abuse A Cat:
This was happened on the 28 Feb 2006. An internet user unearthed a series of images of cat abuse on the internet. Eventually, it was spotted by a netizen and being posted on MOP. The image was being spread immediately to other Chinese forum and caused a huge sense of empathy. The incident stimulated lots of netizens to donate virtual currency and even Chinese RMB to find out the culprit, MOP official also raised the reward from $1000 mp to $5000 mp. Within less than six days, three suspicions were found and confirmed by the netizens, their speed of investigation are even faster than the polices. This is the power of crowd!
Liaoning girl incident:
On May 21, 2008, a 4 minutes and 40 seconds video was uploaded on YouTube. The video showed a woman in an internet cafe, using a contemptuous tone with fierce and full of dirty wording discoursed about her point of views of Sichuan earthquake and the refugees. She complained the day of mourning caused her cannot play online games and began to complain. Less than 1 hour later, the video was uploaded to other large domestic forum, users began to rage. A call for 1.3 billion people and a “search warrant” was launched about this “Liaoning Girl “. And this had quickly occupied the every news site front page, became the hottest topic and the most comment incident at that time.
Shortly, her QQ users password was compromised in less than half an hour, there are anonymous users dig out all the details of this girl, including her ID number, family members, specific address, place of work, or even the phone number of her parents and brother.
Consequently, the Shenyang Municipal Public Security Bureau arrested and detailed the girl. The police ordered the woman to stop abusing the disaster on the internet and told her to apology of what she did.
Apparently, there are still a lot more incidents of Human Flesh search engine.
Human Flesh search behavior is to expose and identify someone personal details, and this is violating other people privacy. However the law cannot effectively restrain this phenomenon unfortunately. In contrast, the behavior is also providing a platform with full of freedom for people express their thinking and depression. It can actually help to maintain the stability of the society while China is a country that does not have the freedom of speech.
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