IN THE WESTERN WORLD, part of our culture is worshiping celebrities on one hand, while tearing them down with the other. We take for granted the fact that we can participate in facebook pages such as “Justin Bieber SUCKS !!” (59K likes) or “I HATE LADY GAGA” (81K likes) without a legion of their fans publishing our personal information online and harassing us on the phone.
But that’s what happened to the guy in this video, Wang Jieyu, after making “a light-hearted jibe” about pop star Shang Wenjie on China’s version of Twitter. Loyal minions that they are, Shang’s fans performed a “Human Flesh Search” on Wang, digging up all the personal information they could find on him, posting it online, and feasting on his privacy. Hence the name, cyber cannibals. Phone numbers, email addresses, family photos: folks have even posted comments about f@%%* his mom! That’s messed up, but Wang has to wear a mask when he leaves the house because he’s twice been attacked by Shang’s minions.
Let’s consider for a moment that Shang’s minions are right. They’re simply giving Wang a taste of his own medicine. How dare Wang speak about their master that way! The truth is that there is no individual freedom of speech in China; there is the collective voice. When people talk about the differences between China and the West, this is the sort of thing they’re talking about.
Anyone who has spent time in China knows how important and ingrained harmony is with culture. It’s been said that the Chinese strive for harmony similar to the way Americans pursue freedom. All I can say is God help us if TMZ ever comes to China.