Saturday, June 18, 2011
Human Flesh Search (Chinese: 人肉搜索; pinyin: Rénròu Sōusuǒ) is a primarily Chinese internet phenomenon of massive researching using Internet media such as blogs and forums. It has generally been stigmatized as being for the purpose of identifying and exposing individuals to public humiliation...Individuals caught on film, camera and Facebook during the June 17 "Vancouver hockey riot" are being publicly shamed by Vancouver blogger Captain Vancouver.
Internet detectives have helped Captain Vancouver identify and shame a number of alleged riot criminals, including a young Olympic water polo hopeful from Maple Ridge (lighting a police car on fire!), two UBC students who looted, one "wanna-be gangster" assaulting a fireman and much much more.
Captain Vancouver declared his/her motivation in a post titled The Case For Public Shaming of Vancouver Rioters:
...Traditionally, before the advent of modern-day prison systems, public shaming was the norm in society. There are failures in our court system especially when dealing with hard to win trials. This shall occur when these rioter’s themselves go on trial and it is why I am moving to publically [sic] shame those involved...Public shaming can sometimes work, but it can really go sideways if done wrong.
Argument for: Seeing others suffer severe social consequences for public misbehavior will deter others from doing the same thing.
Argument against: Sometimes the wrong person is accused and targeted, the social network pitchforks stab in all the wrong directions and an innocent person is harmed.