Land Rehab
Beijing Garden Expo presents a combination of traditional beauty and enlightened urban development
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

UPDATED: June 8, 2013 NO. 24 JUNE 13, 2013
Is 'Human Flesh Search' a Violation?


A photo recently posted on microblogging showing several Chinese characters scrawled across delicate sandstone on the east bank of the Nile River in Egypt, which dates back more than 3,000 years, has been forwarded more than 90,000 times, triggering vast interest and public outrage.

A "human flesh search," a Chinese term for crowd-sourced investigation using social media, was conducted by netizens and found that the culprit was a middle school student of Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu Province. The parents of the student, a 15-year-old boy, later publicly apologized for their son's improper behavior via a Nanjing newspaper.

While the incident may well be worthy of attention, many believe that revealing the personal information of someone as young as this student is also improper. Some argue he might have only been following examples set by others, seeing as leaving inscriptions on stones is a common occurrence in China. Whatever the case may be, as a youngster, this student should be given the opportunity to learn from his bad behavior. The following are excerpts of opinions:

Yan Guoya (Modern Express): According to lawyers, collecting personal information of a child and spread it online is obviously a violation of privacy. When someone makes a mistake, what's the point of condemning the person via unlawful actions?

According to his parents, the boy does very well in school and is very obedient and even a bit shy. He was apparently unaware of how much interest his Egyptian adventure has gathered. If, however, he does realize the full extent of his actions, the psychological burden might be a heavy one.

The boy's father has expressed hope that the child would be left in peace and shown tolerance by society.

Zi Feng (Wanbei Morning Post): In China, it's common to find graffiti in places of interest. When it happens in Egypt, a big fuss is made.

First of all, a teenager does not represent the whole of Chinese society. The boy has probably been influenced by what he sees back home or in other places. Without supervision or warning, it's easy for a child to scrawl some characters onto a rock, as a way to commemorate his overseas trip. There is really no need for such a public outcry. Moreover, Chinese tourists are not alone in such actions.

Second, as a teenager, the boy should be given the chance to correct his careless error. While his parents have apologized for his behavior, having his personal information revealed online can also have negative and perhaps even dangerous consequences to the boy. Worse still, the attack on his primary school's website is also a violation of the law. Such "violence against violence" will only aggravate the situation and do little to raise moral standards.

Surely, we don't want the incident to ruin the boy's life. Isn't it more important and necessary to talk about ways to change bad habits and improve the protection of cultural relics, than blowing little incidents like this out of proportion?

1   2   Next  

Top Story
-Making Each Meeting Count
-Special Reports: Xi Visits Americas
-Cooperation in the Fast Lane
-Special Coverage: 50 Years of African Unity
-Shenzhou-10 Mission to Teach Students in Orbit
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved