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Internet Violence and the Class Conflict in Chinese Society

Internet is one of the aspects that are developing at an incredible speed in China. According to Chen and Ang, there were only 600,000 Internet users in China in 1997; yet 12 years later in 2009, the number of Internet users in China hits 384 million, even greater than the population of United States (Herold&Marolt, 2011). With the development of Internet in China, Internet policies, regulations and laws came up with the rise of Internet crimes. Similar to most other countries, Chinese Internet police have devoted in fighting against Internet crimes such as hacking, distributing resources without copyrights (piracy), as well as harmful materials such as pornography or anti-government propaganda (i.e. Falungong related materials), etc.

Recently, many people in China shifted their concern from Internet crime to another aspect on the Internet – Internet violence. Nevertheless, this Internet violence in China is essentially different from the one we usually see in western society, where some teenagers are bullied by their peers over cyber space. The phenomenon of Internet violence in China is like this – some incidents are reported by unofficial individuals on the Internet, usually with proofs such as photos or videos poster, then the person or group on the wrong side will face over-harsh criticism from people all over the Internet. Moreover, most of these people will be found by something called flesh search engine – their information such as their cellphone number, ID number, address and so on, are searched by all means with people on the Internet and they are posted online, which eventually brings them many inconvenience in their lives. This “Internet violence with Chinese characteristic” has not only caught wide concern from the society in recent years, but it has also brought out the conflicts between people in different social classes in China as well.

First, the Internet violence with Chinese characteristic is very rampant because of the existence of flesh search engine. Herold gives flesh search engine a definition as to “track down offline individuals by employing as many computer users as possible in the search” (Herold&Marolt, 2011). On the biggest flesh-searching website in China – mop.com, hundreds of flesh-searching requests are posted daily. In many cases, in their offline lives, these Internet users spot some incidents that reflect social injustice. They take pictures and post them online, along with a request of a search about the person who is on the wrong side (in most people’s beliefs). However, concerns have been raised that the consequences the person being searched need to carry are mostly too severe. For example, many people who are found out having an affair are fired after being exposed online due to the report done by many anonymous Internet users to the companies. Although it is immoral having an affair, these people exposed online are fired without violating any laws or company policies. Therefore, the “immoral” people (in most people’s beliefs) are suffering violence from the Internet.

There are many reasons that cause the furious flesh search engine, and one of the most significant reasons is the conflict between people in different social classes in China. While being as a practically one-party country, China was ruled by the China Communist Party since 1949. According to Zhao, news organizations in China are supposed to filter “unwanted” and “harmful” information (Zhao, 2008). Because Chinese people have been suffering such censorship for a long time, the discontentedness among them has been accumulating. With the rise of Internet and participatory culture, more and more incidents that reflect social injustice related to powerful groups, such as government officials and the riches, are reported by individuals or alternative media. Many people with power or wealth are uncovered that they tried to cover their dirty facts, such as abusing their power or corruption, by bribing the mainstream media so that they will not be reported. As a result, the animosity for the rich or the people with power among the civilians in China is fairly great. For example, the famous actor Wen Zhang was caught having an affair with another famous actress Yao Di by paparazzi in May, 2014. He and his company tried to pay five million to the newspaper requesting not to report it in order to maintain his image, but the newspaper refused to do so and claimed that the audience has the right to know everything. After the incident was reported, there was a wide criticism towards Wen and his concubine Yao; as a result, Wen was forced to make an apology and Yao was fired by hers crews of TV drama and they both faced a critical career crisis.

The reason of the hostile towards the rich or the power is obvious. First of all, there are many flaws in the current laws, policies and regulations in China that many people, especially the rich and the power, choose to exploit an advantage that may seem immoral or even harming other people’s interests. They can find ways in getting out of punishment from laws even they are caught. Therefore, by uncovering scandals through the Internet and track them down with flesh search engine, the civilians hope to punish the rich and the power by depriving their privacy. Also, civilians hope that by uncovering scandals on the Internet can urge the development and completion of the judicial system in China. For example, in May, 2014, an innocent woman was bludgeoned to death by six people in a MacDonald restaurant in Shandong Pr3904613810_928fac1eda_oovince. The incident was uncovered on Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, and it aroused a savage discussion online. The backgrounds of the six murderers were posted online in a very short period of time with the help of flesh search engine. As a result, different sectors in the society, such as senior government officials, the local police department and the MacDonald Company in China, express their concerns about the incident; also, the six murderers were caught by the local police the very next day, and the trial was expected to begin much earlier than normal procedure does. Therefore, the flesh search engine, as well as the “Internet violence with Chinese characteristic”, have pushed up the efficiency of governmental agencies, and have alerted the government with issues such as public safety. In a sense, the flesh search engine has urged the progress of the society.

In conclusion, the flesh search engine and the “Internet violence with Chinese characteristic” is a double-edged sword. The bad said of the flesh search engine is that many people uncovered by flesh search engine suffer from social punishment that they do not deserved. For example, people who fail to give seats to the elders in a bus receive countless harassment on their cellphone from strangers after their cellphone numbers are posted online, and people who are caught having an affair are fired because they have “moral issues”. This is why people are paying more attention to this phenomenon because it produces a more severe violence when dealing with a much less major social injustice. However, on the other hand, the flesh search engine and the “Internet violence with Chinese characteristic” is a social-progressing force that should not be ignored. It reveals many scandals and dirty facts of the rich and the power, and alerts the other rich and the power to respect justice and abide by the laws; also, it urges the efficiency of government agencies and it forms a justice and moral atmosphere among the society. Eventually, when the judicial system in China is more developed and people with power and wealth are more self-disciplined, the role of flesh search engine and the “Internet with Chinese characteristic” will disappear, along with the bad effect of it.

A Place to Call Home

In the tight knit hockey following in Vancouver, it’s easy to get caught up in the Canuck fever, and most locals understand what it takes to be a true Canuck. People become family, and this family put their faith in their home team, even those who did not always consider Vancouver their home.

A foreign affair takes place for these people, and not the type most would imagine…

Stephen Lee was born and raised in China, and came to Canada in 2004. Having previously followed mainly soccer, table tennis and badminton, his arrival to Vancouver presented some new social norms. Stephen notes that his interest in hockey was minimal prior to the 2010 Stanley Cup finals.

“People were so into it they actually put down their work and just hid in the lunchroom to watch the game,” he recalls while working at Future Shop. “There were no customers, because when there was a hockey game on, everyone just went [elsewhere] to watch the game”. To anyone used to such a sports dominated culture, this may seem like completely normal behaviour; gathering to watch hockey with complete strangers is a common pastime here. This culture shock is testament to the lifestyle change that develops from moving to a new continent. The more people dropped everything to see the Canucks perform, the more Stephen became exposed to the atmosphere that hockey created, which he found “pretty intense and exciting”.

Even if he hadn’t fully taken in what was happening during the game, Stephen vividly remembers a semi-final, series-winning goal by the heroic Henrik Sedin, and jumping up with the crowd in a glorious uproar.

For the last round of the 2010 finals, Stephen had travelled back to China and found himself feeling restless. Concerned about how the Canucks were doing, he checked his cellphone periodically from the airport to see if there had been another victory. Once back in his hometown, Stephen was glad to find a small local television that played hockey, where he was able to watch the last two games of the series, during which the Canucks suffered a heart wrenching loss. The loss was devastating for Canuck supporters (who had literally been waiting forever for the Canucks to land a Stanley Cup), but what ensued after was un-sportsman like of these so-called “devoted fans”. The infamous riot that took place after the Stanley Cup loss struck an unexpected chord with Stephen. He remembers thinking that his “home had been attacked”. It was then that Stephen realized he had become part of the Canuck family.

Vancouver wasn’t just a destination, but his new home.

Stephen found he felt “a sense of belonging” in this new community. Not only was he a part of a city, but something much more. He belonged to the Vancouver family – something that only locals used to be familiar with – something to which people of all walks of life were welcome.

This sense of belonging is eminent in how Stephen feels about his new home, too.

For Stephen, being a Canuck’s fan allowed him to call Vancouver his home.  Most fans follow because they want something to believe in, whether that is to win a Stanley Cup for the first time, or something as simple as belonging in your community. Vancouverites consider hockey a part of their home, and if new Canadians can join in on this beautiful feeling by dawning a blue white and green jersey, why would they need to reside anywhere else?

Mitzuki Kono is also a student from overseas living in Vancouver. Coming originally from Japan at the age of 16, Kono primarily watched soccer in his homeland. After an initial visit, he found that he had fallen for with Vancouver’s weather, and decided to come here permanently to study English.

Kono hadn’t been exposed to hockey prior to his Canadian P.E. classes, but once he played it for himself,  his interest in the sport deepened. Mitzuki saw the passion his host family had for the Canucks, and when they took him to a game for the first time, he “just loved it”.

“It’s hard to explain,” says Kono. “The atmosphere is really good there.”

Considering himself to be “a big fan” today, Kono follows the Canuck journey and is genuinely interested in the players, and their success. To him, being a true Canuck is about more than supporting the team- it means truly “caring about [the team’s] game, and how they play”, and “getting crazy” with the other fans, and cheering on their team. As Vancouver becomes what he calls his true home, Kono finds hockey of greater importance in his life, and even plays recreational hockey himself today.

Yes, hockey may be just a sport. Yet to Stephen, Mitzuki, and countless others hockey is the gateway to belonging in a place of diversity.

Hockey is home.

The Twelfth Man: Key to Victory

NOTE: This is not a post related to JRNL 1220. This is a post related to COMM 1100.

by Xin Li (Stephen)

The term “twelfth man” is usually used to refer to the fans of a soccer team who are watching the game in the stadium. With the cheering and noise they make, they can usually raise their supporting team’s morale and potentially become the “twelfth man” on the field. Therefore, there is a saying that the strongest team has the strongest “twelfth man”; it means the bigger the stadium the team owns and the more fans it can contain, the stronger the team will become. I fully agree with that, and that rule influent club teams much more deeply than national teams. In a soccer game, the audiences are so active that they can influence the game greatly.

If you look at the ranking according to the capacity of soccer clubs’ stadiums, you will find that the top ten stadium owners are all top clubs in the world. Barcelona, which is called the “dream team” currently, owns the biggest stadium “Nou Camp” with a capacity of 98,500 seats. Others in top ten such as Read Madrid who owns “Santiago Bernabeu”, Manchester United who owns “Old Trafford” and Juventus who owns “Delle Alpi”, are all among the strongest teams in the world.

However, compare with Spanish clubs and English clubs, Italian clubs are not performing well enough in European Champion League these years, although there are three Italian clubs that owns the top ten biggest stadiums in the world. But you may also want to pay attention to the attendance rate. According to statistics in season 2009-2010, the English Premier League has the highest attendance rate at 91.9% while the attendance rate in Italian serie A is only 55.7%. This poor attendance rate is even lower that 69.2%, the one which English Champion League has, which is the secondary league in England. Because of that, Italian clubs were doing badly in continental games against clubs from other countries.

Some may say that things are in the opposite way that a club’s strength determine how popular it is, and I have to fully disagree. Although it is one of the factors that determine a club’s popularity, it is not the only one; others such as star effect, propaganda, history and location, all help the club to become stronger. Therefore, the popularity of a club is a decisive factor to determine how strong it is.

photo 1 by austinhk

photo 2 by Keven Law

 

The Power of Soccer: Binding People, Cities and Countries

NOTE: This is not a post related to JRNL 1220. This is a post related to COMM 1100.

by Xin Li (Stephen)

Soccer probably became the most popular sport in the world from the day it was born, but watching soccer was not easy for people in the past. Before TV came into fashion, the only way to watch a soccer game was to attend the stadium and try to watch the game with a telescope, if you were not rich enough to buy those VIP seats at the front. However, technologies have made soccer games so easy to watch in different ways nowadays, and all these ways bring different paces, spaces and bindings to our lives. At present, people not only go to the stadiums and watch live games to experience the traditional sensation, they also go to the bars or plazas to watch the games with other people who can share their excitements with each other. For some soccer fans, going to public places like bars and plazas for game watching is more exciting than watching them in the stadiums, and of course watching them at home alone cannot even compare with it.

Yiu-Fai Lam is a die-hard Manchester United fans in Hong Kong and I knew him in a bar in Hong Kong when we were watching a soccer game 2 years ago. “Bar is like my office,” said Lam, “I spend every weekend nights here.” Due to the time difference, most English Premier League games are broadcasted from evening to mid-night in Hong Kong, and bars become the most popular places for soccer fans. Just like what Canucks fans spending their night in bars with friends, drinking glasses after glasses of beer and cheering for their team during play-offs, soccer fans in Hong Kong do the same thing. Watching the games in the bar not only brings them great atmosphere, but also allows them to meet new people who have the same interests. The game itself is not that important, what is more important is the experience of knowing each other and building bonds. On the other hand, in order to meet customers’ needs, most bars in Hong Kong installed huge Plasma TV so that people can watch their games more comfortable. The bar owners also arrange entertainment shows and lucky draws in half-time breaks and after-game periods so that people will not feel bored when the game is not playing. “They make the half-time break seems much shorter,” said Lam, “it actually helps us enjoy the second half better, as we feel that the half-time break doesn’t exist.”

In Europe, people also love the bar, but more people who cannot attend live games prefer gathering at a plaza and watching the game in the open air. This happens especially often when national matches are on. Compare to bars, plazas are bigger places that have greater capacity and allow more activities.Hundreds of street venders sell food and drinks, and there are also some buskers. “The whole city is our stadium,” said Yu, an international student who studied in Birmingham, UK. “We sing all the way to the plaza, watch the game and celebrate the victory. Then we sing all the way home.” However, the biggest problem of watching games in a plaza is the risk of riot. Most Canucks still remember the pain they went through the 2011 playoff riot in Vancouver downtown. Watching the game in a plaza delivers cohesion among people, but it may bring conflicts and chaos as well.

But even facing possible riots and chaos, the passion of soccer always unites people together. No matter they are in the bars, in the plazas, or even in the stadium, soccer is always binding people together. No wonder journalist Austin Merrill praised the power of soccer when Didier Drogba, the star striker of Ivory Coast, helped unite the warring sides of his motherland together and stopped the wars which had been lasted for 5 years. Thanks to communication technologies that help everyone watch the game outside the stadium, Drogba’s feat can be done.

I have attached a Youtube video about Drogba’s feat. It is not in English, but you will read all the sensation inside.

FOI request

Xin Li, Student

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

12666 72nd Ave

Surrey, B.C. V3W 2M8

Ph: (604)599-2100

 

Jun. 25, 2012

 

Sabina Kunkel

FOI Coordinator

Translink

Ph: (604)803-3199

 

Dear Ms. Kunkel:

 

Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, please provide me with:

  • Number of people caught of fare evasion on Canada Line in 2011
  •  The locations on where they were caught
  • Violators’ occupations, ages, nationality, and gender.

If there are problems releasing some portions of the documents requested, please do not withhold release of all the documents, but instead forward those you can release.

To avoid photocopying fees, you may provide me these records in PDF format – either via email or on CD.

If you have any concerns, please phone me at (604)599-2100.

Please advise me when the material is available for release.

Sincerely,

 

Xin Li, Student

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

 

————————————————————————————————————-

According to my friend who works at River Rock Casino which is very close to Canada Line Bridgeport Station, there were quite a lot passengers caught because of fare evasion recently. My FOI request is to find out the amount of people who has been caught and the location they are caught, therefore I can analyze the distribution of transit police on Canada Line. Also, from the information of the violators, I can analyze what type of person is more likely to violate fare evasion. I hope I can uncover which group of people tend to violate fare evasion more.

Impossibility: What makes soccer more fascinating

NOTE: This is not a post related to JRNL1220. This is a post related to COMM1100.

by Xin Li (Stephen)

You may say that soccer has the power that union the people around the world together; you may say that soccer has the spirit of never give up; you may also say that soccer has the magic to stop the wars and bring peace to the world. Yet when I ask you the ideology of soccer, you may start to scratch your head and ask me back.

What is the ideology of soccer? In fact, soccer has different ideologies to different people. It can be a money-making machine for professional gamblers; it can be a spiritual power for a nation like Brazil; it can be a belief for most fanatical fans that cannot be offended; it can also be Nazism for a man like Paolo Di Canio, the former Italian soccer star.

I am not going to discuss fascism though, although we all understand soccer have different ideologies. For some people, the ideology of soccer is Hollywood. There are quite a few soccer movies from Hollywood such as “GOAL!” by Danny Cannon. I found that movie boring as it only tells a story how a Mexican kid become a soccer superstar, and we see that on real-life soccer field all the time. I remember when I was a kid I was addicted in the anime “Captain Tusbasa” by Yōichi Takahashi. This is not the 1st soccer anime in Japan but it eventually becomes the most successful soccer anime in the world, not only because of its outstanding story line, but also its Hollywood style special effect. We can look at one like this.

How often have you seen a shot that breaks the net? I guess never, but that is exactly the beauty of the anime. Not too long later, the famous Hong Kong actor/director Stephen Chow found out people’s love on this kind of Hollywood special effects, therefore he made the film “Shaolin Soccer” with similar techniques and it turned out to be another successful movie.

I guess you have never seen a soccer game like this before, not only how one-sided the game goes, but also how impossible people shot a goal like that. I believe the attractiveness of this ideology is the impossibility. While people can watch different exciting games on TV, these kinds of scenes you don’t see in real-life soccer games give people more excitements and sensations.

While creation like movies and anime give us excitements and sensations, transformation from real-life soccer games into Hollywood style looks a little funny, but it also has its own feeling.

The world of soccer is ever-changing, but one thing is sure that it is one of the most wonderful sports in the world. Because of that, we have different fascinating ideologies of soccer, which make the world of soccer more wonderful.

All these funny soccer ads, it’s all about different connotations

NOTE: This is NOT a post related to JRNL1220. This is a post from COMM1100

by Xin Li (Stephen)

We all have idols, whether past or present. Growing up with a huge soccer-fan daddy, soccer stars have been my idols since I was a little kid. Every time I went to a soccer game, I can’t help running into the player tunnel and ask for signed jersey or just take a photo with the star players. But when all these situations come into advertisement, they become a little bit different.

Soccer stars are not actors. They are not necessarily pretty, they don’t talk much and they may not be good at making fun; but advertisers use a series of connotation misunderstanding and make a lot interesting advertisements with soccer stars. We can look at this one with David Beckham first.

Interesting isn’t it? While David Beckham gave his jersey to the boy and was thinking that the little boy was asking him for jersey as a little Manchester United fans and worships him, the boy used the jersey to wipe the Pepsi can because he doesn’t really worship Beckham as he found the boy was a fan of Juventus after all. In a more academic way, we can see this as a misunderstanding of connotations. In fact, if we keep looking, we will see that there are many other soccer advertisements that include this kind of misunderstanding. Here is another one also from Pepsi, with the Brazilian star Roberto Carlos.

The Japanese audience may not feel that happy about this advertisement, because Roberto Carlos cleverly used the Japanese norm to make a goal. In Japanese societies, bowing is a norm that applies in almost every single occasion and if someone bows to you, you must bow back to demonstrate your propriety. As the old Chinese saying says, all warfare is based on deception. Carlos successfully uses the connotation trick in the game and made this advertisement a funny and successful one.

Soccer stars are not the only people that are allow taking part in soccer advertisements. Although the following advertisement is a little bit erotic and eventually was banned, the connotation misunderstanding makes it such a funny one.

Soccer is wonderful, and advertisements with soccer make both worlds more attractive. Despite Plato pursue perfect communication, but don’t all this connotation misunderstandings make the world much happier?