My Opinion on Human-powered Search
Human-powered search, or Renrou Sousuo, has gained its popularity among Netizens in recent years. With Netizens participating in search, human-powered search becomes an efficient tool to find desired information. In 2006, a Netizen uploaded a picture showing that a "beautiful” woman was maltreating a delicate kitty. The maltreatment was so intolerable that Netizens decided to find out the culprit. Six days later, an anonymous Netizen submitted a post describing that the wanted woman lived in a town in a northern province and other detailed information. This successful case is followed by a series of human-powered search and arouses an ongoing controversy over the legality of human-powered search.
Personally, I am of opinion that the new way of search is acceptable. Firstly, in retrospect, nearly all the targets of human-powered search are directed to those who violated moral rules of our society, or are corrupted officials. Thanks to the human-powered search, those immoral people have been made public. Some did now show due respect to our former leaders, some spread erotic video to make a name, some outlet their personal resentment by making negative comments on earthquake-stricken victims, some maltreat their step-children, to list a few of those norm violators. Undoubtedly, once those culprits have been located by combined efforts of Netizens, they would get at least moral punishments. In this sense, human-powered search proves to be an effective means to find out norm violators and even criminals and give them a dose of their own medicine, so that we can build a more harmonious society.
Secondly, through the process of human-powered search, participants get educated by renouncing the immoralities and hence established norms get strengthened. In a society where members lay their emphasis on how to make a fortune, how to gain celebrity, and how to climb to a higher layer of power pyramid, traditional virtues are deteriorating, which explains the frequency of those moral violations in recent years. When participants succeeded in putting those moral violators under public scrutiny. they will not only take pride in their success to enforce moral rules, but also realize that they will get the same dose of medicine if they make similar mistakes. Gradually, the severity of moral punishments is likely to be conveyed to the whole society and therefore virtues get consolidated.
As a coin has two sides, human-powered search is accused of intruding personal privacy and other negative points. In some cities, authorities have tried to prohibit the search. However, norm violators should not get away with punishment. I believe that, with the gradual perfection of human-powered search, it will receive a wide application.