Ne­ti­zens sup­port ‘cy­ber vi­o­lence’ against ‘ruth­less’ woman

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Li Ruo­han

More than 80 per­cent of Chi­nese ne­ti­zens polled say “cy­ber vi­o­lence should be used to pun­ish peo­ple” in ref­er­ence to a woman abused for her “ruth­less and heart­less” be­hav­ior to­ward her friend, who al­legedly died be­cause of her.

Liu Xin, a twenty-some­thing woman, is at the cen­ter of a web at­tack af­ter she al­legedly re­fused to open the door when her room­mate Jiang Ge was stabbed to death by Liu’s ex-boyfriend out­side the door of her rented house in 2016.

The rea­son for the stab­bing re­mains un­known, but a ma­jor­ity of on­line posts sus­pect that Jiang was stabbed when she tried to pro­tect Liu, and that Liu did not show any grat­i­tude and re­fused to co­op­er­ate with po­lice on the case. Liu de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, adding she was not aware of the stab­bing.

The in­ci­dent came into pub­lic at­ten­tion re­cently when Jiang’s mother started an on­line pe­ti­tion to give the sus­pected mur­derer the death penalty a month ahead of the trial. More than 160 mil­lion ne­ti­zens have joined the on­line dis­cus­sion on sina.com, with most of them ex­press­ing their con­tempt or anger to­ward Liu.

A sina.com poll shows 81 per­cent of nearly 17,000 Net users say “cy­ber vi­o­lence should be used to pun­ish peo­ple” in this case as of press time.

“Vi­o­lence might not the best ap­proach, but some­times it is the only way,” wrote a pop­u­lar com­ment that re­ceived over 500 likes.

“Though Liu was not pun­ished by law, she has been pun­ished by the court of pub­lic opin­ion for a long time, and her tainted rep­u­ta­tion will last the rest of her life,” said Zhang Yiwu, a Pek­ing Univer­sity pro­fes­sor.

Zhang said moral con­dem­na­tion of Liu is more of a “warn­ing” in­stead of cy­ber vi­o­lence, adding that Liu’s be­hav­ior is un­ac­cept­able among many Chi­nese.

How­ever, pub­lic opin­ion should not re­place the role of law in any case, he noted.

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