fredag 25. november 2022

How Hate Speech Falls Through the Cracks of the Chinese Internet

This April, after enduring days of escalating online harassment, the mother of a 7-year-old — known online simply as the “Shanghai woman” — jumped to her death from her apartment building.

The attacks centered on, of all things, a “thank you” post the woman wrote to a delivery driver who had travelled 27 kilometers to bring food to her father during the city’s COVID-19 lockdown. Although she explained that the rider had turned down her offer of cash and that she was unemployed at the time, her decision to send the driver 200 yuan ($27) in phone credits was judged insufficient by the court of online opinion. Social media users deemed her a “petty Shanghainese” who had taken advantage of a hard-working courier — and who deserved to be punished for her transgression.