Human Flesh Search and related words – Mini Chinese Lesson

A phenomenon that has become increasingly prevalent in China and Taiwan is the use of 人肉搜索(rén ròu sōu suǒ), or “Human Flesh Search”, so called because of it’s human powered nature and utilisation of the collective power of Internet users (crowdsourcing) to piece together information about people or situations.

Google Human Flesh Search Engine

image from Google’s Human Flesh Search Engine

人肉搜索(人肉搜索)

Pinyin: rén ròu sōu suǒ
English: Human Flesh Search

Not mentioned in the Chinese text below, but still worth mentioning due to the nature of human flesh search:

群眾外包(群众外包)

Pinyin: qún zhòng wài bāo
English: crowdsourcing

What is Human Flesh Search?

The following is an excerpt from 博闻网 (bowenwang.com – the Chinese version of How Stuff Works), and explains what Human Flesh Search is:

A Human flesh search engine is not an Internet technology or product, rather it’s a mechanism based on the platform provided by the Internet (such as forums, message boards and other communities etc) that utilises Internet users manual participation to refine data.

Vocabulary

搜索引擎(搜索引擎)

Pinyin: sōu suǒ yǐn qíng
English: a search engine

互聯網(互联网)

Pinyin: hù lián wǎng
English: the Internet; note: 網路(网路 wǎng lù)is also used

技術(技术)

Pinyin: jì shù
English: technology

基於(基于)

Pinyin: jī yú
English: based on

平台(平台)

Pinyin: píng tái
English: a platform

參與(参与)

Pinyin: cān yù
English: participation

提純(提纯)

Pinyin: tí chún
English: to refine/purify

信息(信息)

Pinyin: xìn xí
English: information/news

機制(机制)

Pinyin: jī zhì
English: mechanism

Traditional
人肉搜索引擎不是一種互聯網技術或產品,而是指基於互聯網提供的平台(如論壇、貼吧、社區等),利用互聯網用戶的人工參與,來提純所需要信息的一種機制。

Simplified
人肉搜索引擎不是一种互联网技术或产品,而是指基于互联网提供的平台(如论坛、贴吧、社区等),利用互联网用户的人工参与,来提纯所需要信息的一种机制。

Pinyin
rén ròu sōu suǒ yǐn qíng bú shì yī zhǒng hù lián wǎng jì shù huò chǎn pǐn, ér shì zhǐ jī yú hù lián wǎng tí gōng de píng tái (rú lùn tán, tiē ba, shè qū děng), lì yòng hù lián wǎng yòng hù de rén gōng cān yù, lái tí chún suǒ xū yào xìn xí de yī zhǒng jī zhì.

Where did the term originate?

According to the Wikipedia page (Chinese | English) the term originated from the Q&A website mop.com, who advertise their human flesh search feature as:

Moppers (mop.com users) always mutually help each other, bounty hunting is a good tradition. The truth about Cat Cruelty Woman and Pornographic Martial Arts School was revealed through the enthusiastic help of moppers. Anyone can request the help of the human flesh search engine, you can raise any issues here, and ask for any type of help. We can’t promise you will receive the answer and help you want, but we can promise you’ll get a completely different answer and receive the happiest of help.

Vocabulary

互相幫助(互相帮助)

Pinyin: hù xiāng bāng zhù
English: mutual help; to mutually help

賞金獵人(赏金猎人)

Pinyin: shǎng jīn liè rén
English: a bounty hunter

現形(现形)

Pinyin: xiàn xíng
English: to reveal somethings true form

請求(请求)

Pinyin: qǐng qiú
English: to request

保證(保证)

Pinyin: bǎo zhèng
English: to promise

得到(得到)

Pinyin: dé dào
English: to obtain; to receive. also 獲得(获得 huò dé)

答案(答案)

Pinyin: dá àn
English: an answer

mopper之間從來都是互相幫助的,賞金獵人也是好傳統。 虐貓女、色情武校都在熱心MOPPER們的幫助下一一現形。任何人都可以請求人肉搜索引擎的幫助,這裡你可以提出任何問題、請求任何幫助。我們不保證你能得到你想要的答案和幫助,但是能保證你得到完全不同的答案和獲得最快樂的幫助。

mopper之间从来都是互相帮助的,赏金猎人也是好传统。
虐猫女、色情武校都在热心MOPPER们的帮助下一一现形。任何人都可以请求人肉搜索引擎的帮助,这里你可以提出任何问题、请求任何帮助。我们不保证你能得到你想要的答案和帮助,但是能保证你得到完全不同的答案和获得最快乐的帮助。

mopper zhī jiān cóng lái dōu shì hù xiāng bāng zhù de, shǎng jīn liè rén yě shì hǎo chuán tǒng. nüè māo nǚ, sè qíng wŭ xiào dōu zài rè xīn MOPPER men de bāng zhù xià yī yī xíng xiàn. rèn hé rén dōu kě yǐ qǐng qiú rén ròu sōu suǒ yǐn qíng de bāng zhù, zhè lǐ nǐ kě yǐ tí chū rèn hé wèn tí, qǐng qiú rèn hé bāng zhù. wǒ mén bù bǎo zhèng nǐ néng  dé dào nǐ xiǎng yào de dá àn hé bāng zhù, dàn shì néng bǎo zhèng nǐ dé dào wán quán  bù tóng de dá àn hé huò dé zuì kuài lè de bāng zhù.

A bit cryptic at the end there, and seems like something you might want to avoid unless you were really serious.

Outside of China

The human flesh search phenomenon isn’t limited to China and Taiwan, though. A woman in the UK who was recorded on camera dumping a cat into a bin was found by the collective power of internet users and eventually named and shamed, later requiring police protection. Likewise, the internet group Anonymous regulary take matters into their own hands in the form of hacktivism.

Are there any other unique Chinese keywords or internet vocabulary that you know of? Let us know below!

7 responses to “Human Flesh Search and related words – Mini Chinese Lesson

  1. I think you have a typo up there, ‘信息’ should be “news/info” rahter than “purify/refine”.

    Liking ChineseHacks more and more each day, keep up the great posts!

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  3. Hi, Here’s a question for Human Flesh Search:

    My understanding is that Chinese women, and Shanghai women in particular, are usually the (very) dominant partner in marriages. In fact, Shanghaiese women often have husbands who are proud to be their 马大嫂。 The man will do all the housework and the woman is the Queen. Is this true? I am thinking of moving to Shanghai to find a woman like this, and would like your coments.

    Thank you!

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  5. Two pinyin mixups up there:
    1) 参与 ought to be can1yu4, not can1yu3
    2) You’ve got the xing and the xian switched up for 现形.

    Thanks for the great website!! 🙂

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