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Saturday
Jun032006

Freezing Blade, Quiet Moon and the Bronze Mustache

china.gifSHANGHAI, June 2 — It began with an impassioned, 5,000-word letter on one of the country's most popular Internet bulletin boards from a husband denouncing a college student he suspected of having an affair with his wife. Immediately, hundreds joined in the attack. Then thousands and then tens of thousands, with total strangers forming teams that hunted down the hapless student.

"Let's use our keyboard and mouse in our hands as weapons," one person wrote, "to chop off the heads of these adulterers, to pay for the sacrifice of the husband."

The student was hounded out of his university and his family had to barricade themselves inside their home.

It was just the latest example of a growing phenomenon the Chinese call Internet hunting, in which morality lessons are administered by online throngs and where anonymous Web users come together to investigate others and mete out punishment for offenses real and imagined.

The affair of the cuckolded husband first came to public attention in mid-April, after the man, who goes by the Web name Freezing Blade, discovered online correspondence between his wife, Quiet Moon, and a college student, Bronze Mustache. After an initial conversation, in which he forgave his wife, the man discovered messages on his wife's computer that confirmed to him that the liaison was continuing. He then posted the letter denouncing Bronze Mustache, and identifying him by his real name.

The case exploded on April 20, when a bulletin board manifesto against Bronze Mustache was published by someone using the name Spring Azalea.

"We call on every company, every establishment, every office, school, hospital, shopping mall and public street to reject him," it said. "Don't accept him, don't admit him, don't identify with him until he makes a satisfying and convincing repentance."

Impassioned people teamed up to uncover the student's address and telephone number, both of which were then posted online. Soon, people eager to denounce him showed up at his university and at his parents' house, forcing him to drop out of school and barricade himself with his family in their home.

More - nytimes.com

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Reader Comments (1)

gees how bout just buying the bloke a beer instead of forming a lynch mob
June 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermushroom

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