Thursday, March 10, 2011

iPhone Girl Victim of Human-Flesh Search

     The young woman you see here is the "victim" of a human-flesh search. Her photo was mistakenly left on an iPhone that ended up in the hands of a customer, and he now wants to know who she is. It's not because he's mad, he's just curious!
     The case of the Cat Bin Lady is driven by justice. Taking into account that this happened in China, I'd have to guess that this is a way for the people to take justice in to their own hands, without going through the government. And I have to agree with what they did.
     There is a fine line though. Yes, what the Cat Bin Lady did was wrong - go ahead and hunt her and the cameraman down. But be careful, because if you do something illegal in turn, that's just as bad. If you take into consideration that consequences of going too far, I think that this human-flesh search engine is a really good thing. It really is a way to expose something that "isn't right".
     You might ask, how do you know it's "not right"? A video, a comment, a plot, whatever it may be is likely to offend someone, so they comment on it. If the "majority" of people agree, they'll also comment and help investigate. If they don't agree with the offended user, they won't reply and/or won't help the cause. It's that simple.
     I also feel that this form of search can be used for less-serious reasons as well, like the iPhone Girl. (Read the article here: ) As mentioned before, the cell phone user doesn't want to punish her for having the picture on the phone, he just wants to know who she is! By reaching out to other users on the internet, you can quickly come up with an answer, just by asking around, and passing on a message. It all depends on what you're trying to achieve!


  1. I similarly wrote that the human flesh search is a double edge sword. While it is positive for exposing corruption or evilness, like the cat killer, it is also potentially threatening to the civil rights of people in general. I think that since people know how harsh the human flesh searches can be they will think it twice before doing something like that themselves. It serves for us to modify our behavior. However, it should not make us afraid of expressing our liberties. Some people may go to far if we tick them for whatever reason.

  2. Great example of a positive ending human-flesh search, I had totally forgotten about the iPhone girl.

  3. I really think that this case is creepy... Has it really gotten that easy to stalk people in ways that the government cannot regulate, even with a restraining order?

  4. maybe it was love at first sight for the dude! ha...
    on a real note though, was it that serious to go find her through a human flesh search engine, couldnt he had just deleted it? Im with Josh, its creepy and definetly stalker-ific.

    "i'd have to guess that this is a way for the people to take justice in to their own hands, without going through the government." ----agreed. it more than likely was a lot faster also. but eventually it reached the authorities.

    really liked the post, very to the point!

  5. @Josh & @Sumaiah What is so creepy about wanting to know more about the girl he found in his phone? With Foxconn's staff numbers nearing 1 million and at least tens of millions of iPhones sold, I'd be pretty intrigued if my iPhone came to me with a picture of one of its assemblers. The odds of it happening are akin to winning the lottery.

    Do the you think the power and success of human flesh searches is greater in societies where citizens feel they have little control over their daily lives?

  6. @Levi
    I think that's what I was getting at, or atleast what I was thinking in my head. I think that power is most effective in societies where citizens have little control because it is a "free" way to express yourself, and a way to become powerful - to feel like you're part of something bigger!