In a previous post I have railed against some pretty poor analysis in the NYT.  However, it is a great newspaper and can produce great reporting.  An example is a lengthy piece in the Sunday Magazine today, titled, “China’s Cyber Posse”  (link here:  NYT)

What’s great about the article is first, that it covers a fascinating topic (the efforts by netizens in China to track down and humiliate people who have for one reason or another incited public scorn).  But second, unlike much reporting on China, this article manages to convey the full complexity of the issue.  Yes, the Chinese “human flesh search engines” are a way for Chinese people to seek justice against some (e.g., corrupt local officials) in a society where a fair and effective justice system is still very much of a work in progress.  At the same time, it is frightening example of unrestrained vigilantism which can be directed at people whose only transgression is being seen by the mob as “unpatriotic” or who are mistakenly believed to have committed a crime.

Read the article.

Explore posts in the same categories: China, Human Rights, Internet/Media

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