by Mike Masnick
Fri, Dec 19th 2008 1:23pm
The fervor with which online mobs can take on an issue is well-known, but in China "mob justice" has been taken to a new level, and over the past few years it's become a pretty big issue. While grassroots campaigns to right a wrong can be effective, it's not uncommon for a mob to falsely target someone or to simply go too far. In one such case, a Beijing court has now ruled that the recipient of such mob justice from an online vigilante crowd was wronged and is owed damages from the guy who kicked off the mob response. The case involved a guy who's wife committed suicide. A schoolmate of the wife started posting excerpts from the woman's diary, where it was noted that the guy had had an affair months before the suicide. The mob then basically went nuts -- getting the guy fired from his job and preventing him from getting another job, vandalizing his parents house and posting his photo and contact info all over the internet. The guy who posted the diary is responsible for paying damages, though it's unclear from the article how involved he was in inciting the rest of the mob.
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