The Cyber Manhunt
Cyber Manhunt, also known as Human Flesh Search or Internet Mass Hunting is primarily a Chinese Internet phenomenon of massive searching in which numerous Internet users participate to filter the search results and assists users in clarifying their search request. It literally means to uncover the true identity of a particular person with the connected efforts of all netizens. Because of the convenient and efficient nature of information sharing on the cyberspace, the Human Flesh Search is often used to acquire information usually difficult or impossible to find by other conventional means (such as library or Google). Such information, once available, can be rapidly distributed to hundreds of websites, making it an extremely powerful mass media. The purposes of human flesh search vary from providing technical/professional question&answer support to revealing private/classified information about specific individuals or organizations. Because personal knowledge or unofficial (sometimes illegal) access are frequently depended upon to acquire these information, the reliability and accuracy of such searches often vary. Netizens usually use Internet media such as blogs and forums to identify and expose information of individuals to public. It is based on massive human collaboration. The name refers both to the use of knowledge contributed by human beings through social networking, as well as the fact that the searches are usually dedicated to finding the identity of a human being who has committed some sort of offense or social breach online.
The origin of the term is disputed. One such theory is that the word was inspired by "Chicago typewriter" in the novel Ghost Blows Out the Light, which started a trend of describing manual inputting as "Human Flesh typewriter". A more accepted theory is that the term was coined by netizens on MOP, a popular Chinese BBS.
The first recognized Human Flesh Search dated back to March 2006, when netizens on...
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