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Open Letter to Nature, Part XLI: The Hanly War (II): Fang’s Water Army (I): Introduction_1 (3210 查看)

September 10, 2014 04:56PM
【The full-length article is attached as a PDF file, which is more reader-friendly.】


Shamelessness Shouldn’t Be Anyone’s Nature
──An Open Letter to Nature (Part XLI)


Xin Ge, Ph. D.


Columbia, SC, USA



The Hanly War (II): Fang’s Water Army (I): Introduction


【Abstract】

Since entering the Hanly War, Fang has been constantly accusing Han Han of countering his “questioning” by using a water army, a group of anonymous internet mobsters doing things for money. Fang has never presented any credible evidence to substantiate his accusations. On the contrary, there are mountains of evidences to show that Fang Zhouzi is one of the earliest Chinese internet users who have been using water armies, and during the entire Hanly War, Fang has never stopped using them to promote himself and attack Han Han. In this part and the following few parts of the Open Letter to Nature, these evidences will be presented.

【Contents】

A Water Army Allegation

1. The Allegation
2. An Old Dog’s Old Trick

Definition and Terminology

1. Definition
2. Fang Zhouzi’s Description of “Water Army”
3. The Third Type of Water Army
4. Terminology

(1) Weibo
(2) Rights
(3) Key Information about an Account
(4) Reposting vs. Commenting
(5) Frauds

Fang’s Water Army Allegation against Han Han Was False

Wu Xingchuan: Fang’s Water Army Chief

1. The Trigger
2. A Message Went Viral
3. Wu Xingchuan: The Quack behind the Zombies

Fang Zhouzi: The Ancestor of the Internet Water Army

1. The King of the Internet Mobsters
2. The King of Zombies on Weibo
3. A Few Battles Fang’s Water Army Fought before the Hanly War

(1) Ms. Zhao Lihua, a Female Victim of Fang’s Water Army
(2) Ms. Zhao Hejuan, another Female Victim of Fang’s Water Army
(3) Ms. Bao Limin, a Female Victim of Fang’s Water Army



A Water Army Allegation

1. The Allegation

On the second day after entering the Hanly War, Jan. 19, 2012, Fang posted 21 messages on his microblog on weibo.com, all but four of them were aimed at Han Han. The following is his first post, commenting on a message by one of his followers:

“Since yesterday, such obvious water army bombardment has been getting even worse in my place, which makes it impossible to read the comments. It is still disputable whether Han Han has a [ghost] writing team; however, there should be no dispute about whether Han Han has a water army team.”[1]

This is the very first time that Fang alleged that Han Han uses a water army to counter his “questioning.” From that time on, Fang would repeatedly imply or state explicitly that Han Han intentionally uses organized groups to attack him or his comrades. For example, on Jan. 20, 2012, Fang reposted a message by his ex-buddy Wang Zhi’an’s, with the following comment:

“Send some members of Han-fan Swearing Troop to you.”[2]

One day later, the “Han-fan Swearing Troop” became “Han’s Family Army” or “Han’s Family Swearing Troop”:

“My previous writings have been studied almost exhaustively by ‘Fang Expert’ Yi Ming who has spent several years and written several million [Chinese] characters. After Luo Yonghao, Han’s Family Army is expected to become Yi Ming’s most loyal readers.”[3]

“It turns out that you are the real author of this textual research article; send some [members of] Han’s Family Swearing Troop to you also.”[4]

And six days later, Fang called every one of his naysayers “Han’s Family Water Army”:

[If you want to] read the comments on my Han Han-criticizing posts now, [you can] only read the first few pages, then it appears [the sign] ‘to avoid harassment, the intelligent anti-spam system of Weibo might have filtered out some commercial users;’ and [you won’t be able to] read the pages after that. However, the first few pages are mainly the abuses by Han’s Family Water Army, [and they] lack in information. Sina network, please solve the problem.”[5]

Before August 13, 2012 when he led his ScieNazi troop to soho.com for an alleged payment worth 3 million RMB from the latter, Fang mentioned the term “Han’s Family Swearing Troop” or “Han-fan Swearing Troop” at least 10 times, “Han’s Family Water Army” 10 times, and “Han’s Family Army” 30 times. If you have noticed Fang’s deliberate effort to implicate Han Han’s “family” in these posts, you will understand better Fang’s first post which expressed his “no-interest” in Han Han:

“I don’t have a tiny bit of interest in Han Han, unless he also bullies my family members.”[6]

As I have mentioned before, one of Fang’s most frequently used lethal weapons, the so called “porcelain weapon,” is his, or his enemies’, “family”[7].

Fang’s allegation that Mr. Han Han employs “Family Army” or “Water Army” continues till today. For example, on July 24, 2014, days before the official release of Han Han’s first movie, Fang first accused Han Han of using water armies to campaign for his movie[8], then he forwarded a post by one of his top associates, Mr. Du Lei (web ID Sansi Kenan, 三思柯南), with the following comment:

“Han’s Family Water Army is mighty, even having V signs.”[9] 【Note: The capital letter V is used by Sina Weibo to indicate that the identity of an account has been verified.】

The question is: Does Fang have any evidence to prove that, first, Mr. Han Han indeed has a “Family Army;” second, “Han’s Family” indeed is behind the “Army;” and third, the “Army” has been indeed a “Water Army”? In the following few parts of this Open Letter to Nature, I’ll show you not only that Fang’s allegation is completely groundless and intentionally malicious, but also that the person who has been using “Water Armies” is nobody else but Fang himself.

2. An Old Dog’s Old Trick

Although Fang made his first water army allegation against Mr. Han Han on Jan. 19, 2012, he actually had been leveling many similar accusations against his other enemies long before that time.

On March 11, 2011, Fang, apparently trying to divert people’s attention to his own and his wife’s plagiarism scandals, announced on both the New Threads and his microblog that a mirror site of the New Threads was attacked by “a water army,” because four months earlier the website exposed the plagiarism committed by a judge in Human Superior Court[10]. Fang has never answered the question that how he established the causal relationship between the two events, despite many people’s inquiries[11].


A water army allegation which has never been substantiated
On March 11, 2011, Fang posted a message on his microblog on weibo.com saying that his New Threads was attacked by a water army because the website exposed the plagiarism committed by a judge in Hunan Province. Till this day, Fang hasn’t provided any evidence to show that his website was indeed attacked by a water army, and the attack was indeed caused by the exposure of the judge.


Two months after the above allegation, Fang played the same trick again, claiming that his microblog was flooded with a water army purchased by Dr. Sun Haifeng, because Sun’s plagiarism had been exposed by him:

“After exposing Sun Haifeng’s plagiarism today, I encountered the purchased swearing water army for the first time. Characteristics: posting one microblog post every 10 seconds from different IDs, all the contents of the posts are the words scolding me excerpted from other places (some posts praise me, obviously they excerpted the wrong words), a dozen or so posts were posted by different IDs repeatedly, and each ID posted only once. It is obviously controlled by a machine, Sina needs to step in.”[12]

However, this time Fang wasn’t able to fool anyone because everyone knew the fact that Fang accused Dr. Sun of plagiarism even before he had the chance to read anything written by Dr. Sun, and before he publicly announced his conviction, he knew the fact that Dr. Sun was the victim of plagiarism, rather than the plagiarist. So, why would Fang want to do that? Because Dr. Sun violated Fang’s ban on discussing the plagiarism committed by Liu Juhua, Fang’s wife[13].


Crying water army again
On May 5, 2011, Fang accused Dr. Sun Haifeng of purchasing water army to counter his fraud busting. Again, besides his own words, Fang didn’t show evidence to substantiate his allegation.


Another two months later, when Fang and his wife’s plagiarism scandals resurfaced, Fang used the old trick again, alleging that the news was hyped by a water army hired by Mr. Le Jia (乐嘉), a very popular TV commentator, because - what else - his plagiarism and CV fraud was exposed by Fang[14].

Exact one month after that, on August 24, 2011, Fang accused Mr. Yi Zhenxing (易振兴, web ID 叫兽易小星), a well-known movie and TV director, of trying to drive him out of weibo.com by using a water army to bombard his webpage, for the reason of, again, Fang’s exposure of his plagiarism[15].

The fact is, the only reason Fang “exposed” Mr. Yi’s “plagiarism” was because the latter made a comment on Fang’s self-exoneration of plagiarism he committed against Dr. Root-Bernstein back in 1995. According to Fang, what he did was “proper paraphrasing,” so any person raising the issue again on his microblog would be banned from posting comments[16]. And Mr. Yi’s comment was:

“‘In fact I had done proper paraphrasing,’ ‘anyone who raises the issue again will be blocked,’ I respected Fang Zhouzi before, but after reading the two sentences, I have changed completely to a Fang-hater. The person not only has mental and intellectual problems, he also has problem in character.”[17]

Fang immediately called on investigating whether Mr. Yi had written any papers and whether he had committed plagiarism in these papers[18], and 45 minutes later, Fang announced that Mr. Yi had committed “real plagiarism”[19]. 32 hours later, Fang accused Mr. Yi of using water army[15].


The mighty John Maddox Prize winner fixed a plagiarist and water army user in two days
1: On Aug. 22, 2012, facing Dr. Root-Bernstein’s public accusation of plagiarism, Fang Zhouzi declared his own innocence and announced that he would block any Weibo user who dared to discuss the matter; 2: On the next day, Mr. Yi Zhenxing posted a critical comment on Fang’s announcement, saying that he had changed from a Fang-respecter to a Fang-hater; 3: 64 minutes after Mr. Yi’s apostasy, Fang asked his followers to investigate whether Mr. Yi’ had committed plagiarism; 4: 74 minutes later, Fang declared that Mr. Yi had committed “real plagiarism,” and that was the reason he hated Fang’s fraud fighting; 5: 32 hours later, Fang declared that Mr. Yi was using his fans as a water army to attack him, and asked Weibo to step in.


It can be concluded with absolute certainty that Fang’s “water army” allegation has the same function as his “porcelain weapon,” which is to play the victim and divert people’s attention to the real issue – the frauds committed by him and his “family member.”

Definition and Terminology

1. Definition

“Water Army” is defined by Wikipedia as following:

“On the Internet in the People's Republic of China, an Internet Water Army or Wangluo shuijun (simplified Chinese: 网络水军; traditional Chinese: 網絡水軍; pinyin: Wǎngluò shuǐjūn; Wade–Giles: Wang-luo shui-chün) is a group of Internet ghostwriters paid to post online comments with particular content. In this ‘astroturfing’ (meaning ‘artificial grass-roots’) technique for public relations and media manipulation, online Chinese companies employ people to make postings on social media in order to change public opinion.”[20]

Besides the commercial water armies, on China’s internet there are also political water armies, who are government or CCP employees but pretend to be common internet users to post comments or posts to influence public opinions. Because they are normally paid 50 Chinese cents per post, the political water armies are called 50 Cent Party (五毛党, wǔmáo dǎng)[21]. Here is a comment made by Mr. Wu Jiaxiang (吴稼祥), a well-known public (liberal) intellectual, in 2011, when the water armies had begun to invade Weibo:

“There are two types of internet water armies, one is commercial water army, and the other is stability maintenance water army. The latter is actually a [real] army, more organized and disciplined. Their weapon is computer, trigger is keyboard, and what they shoot at is not bodies, but souls. The principle is that if a rumor is repeated three times, people will believe it. Shooting three times can kill a soul.”[22]

According to a study by a group of Canadian and Chinese researchers, members of a commercial water army have the following behavioral patterns: They post more new comments than replies to other people’s comments; they post comments more frequently than normal users; and they move on from one discussion to another one more quickly; and they are more likely to discard their IDs and never using them again[23].

2. Fang Zhouzi’s Description of “Water Army”

Although Fang has been frequently and repeatedly accusing other people of using water armies, it has been a mystery to most people what he exactly meant by that, because Fang has never given his definition of a water army explicitly. On May 5, 2011, one of Fang-lovers, who later disappeared from the internet completely, asked Fang:

“There are quite a few people below who are scolding Old Fang, and their microblogs all have 3 posts which are exactly the same, how come?”[24]

Fang’s reply:

“They are literally the [members of] a purchased water army, their characteristics are posting the same one or two sentences in a very short period of time with different IDs.”[25]

22 minutes later, Fang made the water army allegation against Dr. Sun Haifeng[12]. 27 minutes later, Fang reported his newest discovery:

“There are two groups of machinery water army, one group posted a one-sentence post uniformly at 11:31 on May 4; the other group posted a one-sentence post uniformly at 11:23 on March 16, and they together reposted a message from Wu Zheng.”[26]

The strange thing is, Fang almost immediately destroyed every piece of the evidence which could have been used to support his allegation, except for “saving one post which is not so dirty by the machinery water army to let everyone appreciate its characteristics”[27]. And that valuable specimen says:

“It is the viewpoint of the ‘famous’ Dr. Fang that a college undergraduate student needs not to write a thesis. Like the common problem in Chinese articles, the argument in Dr. Fang’s article does not match his proposition very well. Especially, Dr. Fang’s understanding and knowledge of college education seems surprisingly shallow.”[28]

Fang didn’t explain why Dr. Sun would want to spend his own money to hire a water army to post messages like that, and why posting such a post, which contains nothing but the truth, is misconduct or a crime.

On July 24, 2011, Fang posted a screenshot showing some comments on one of anti-Fang post, accusing that those people who made the comments were members of a water army:

“Has Le Jia or his supporters hired a machinery water army? An article by the Immortal Knight Hierarch, supporting Le Jia and attacking me and my wife (rumormongering that my wife has used a fake diploma), was actually reposted and commented on more than two thousand times. What even more strange is that the majority of the comments were made simultaneously at 19:09 on July 23, and they were the duplicates of a few sentences. The other few messages posted by the Immortal Knight Hierarch are similar. It seems that this person is the head of a water army.”[14]


Proof of a water army
On July 24, 2011, Fang posted a screenshots of 10 messages, among thousands of them, commenting on an anti-Fang article, accusing them of belonging to a water army[14].
(The English translation of these messages is mine.)


The thing is, that Immortal Knight Hierarch (仙侠教主), who would be eliminated soon by Weibo.com, responded to Fang’s attack:

“This is only an obvious water army stronghold; it is neither a supporter of anybody nor a machine. My messages focus on the issues, not people. If Mr. Fang wants to attack somebody, please pay attention to the content of the article, rather than engage in a senseless fight.”[29]

Under Fang’s post, there were nearly one thousand comments. Many people asked Fang to focus his attention on the Wenzhou high-speed train collision, which occurred the day before and dozens of people were killed in the accident; and many Fang’s supporters defended Fang’s insensitivity and selective blindness. However, none of them, including Fang himself, responded to the above message by the self-admitted “water army stronghold.” Obviously, Fang was more interested in putting the “water army” tag on the anti-Fang messages than discussing the issues contained in them. In other words, Fang intentionally ignore the content of a message, if the content is to his disadvantage. On the other hand, while he was accusing Mr. Le Jia of using a water army, Fang’s own water army was in action like crazy (see the images below).


Fang’s renowned faceless water army
A Weibo user without an avatar is one of the surest signs indicating his/her low credibility, and many of Fang’s supporters are such users. The above image shows the screenshots of 24 comments on the post by Fang alleging that Mr. Le Jia hired a water army to attack him, by these faceless users, supporting Fang’s attack on Mr. Le Jia, or simply saying “Support Fang Zhouzi.” Please note that one such Fang-lover, “Peace Brilliance 1” (和平光辉1), who registered his Weibo account on April 1, 2011, but has only 14 posts on his homepage as of now, and the earliest one was posted on 2011-12-13, posted 8 comments on Fang’s post in 33 minutes, all in defense of Fang (the first 8 screenshots on the left). Another faceless Fang-lover, civilfighter, who registered his Weibo account on the day he made 4 comments on Fang’s post (the last 4 screenshots on the left), and these four comments are the only posts on his homepage. civilfighter’s last comment: “China is going to manufacture Fang Zhouzi, God could not stand it anymore!”



Fang’s famous swearing trooper
There are now 810 comments on Fang’s post accusing Mr. Le Jia of hiring a water army, and 25 of them, or 3.1%, was made by Mr. Cao Penghui (曹鹏辉, web ID “Simple sprint,” 简单冲刺,the person in the center of the above image), one of the most vicious Fangangsters and an usurer[30], and 24 of them were made within 62 minutes. In the comments, the Chinese character 逼 (bī), referring female genitals, was used 22 times, the word 狗屎 (gǒushǐ, dog shit) was used 4 times, and the word 乌龟 (wūguī, tortoise), referring a man whose wife has committed adultery, 4 times.



Winning at home in a landslide
In the commentary section of Fang’s post accusing Mr. Le Jia of hiring a water army to attack him, there are 47 pages of comments, and each page, except for the last one, is supposed to contains 20 comments. However, as of September 9, 2014, the 26th page (left panel) contains only 6 comments, the 27th page (right panel) contains 7 comments, and the rest 27 comments (67.5%) were missing, supposedly having been deleted by Fang Zhouzi. Among the 13 surviving comments, 12 defended Fang’s attack on Mr. Le Jia, 1 opposed Fang’s attack, Fang’s support rate was 92.3%. The 12 pro-Fang comments were made by two internet users, 9 by “Lynx Wool” (猞猁毛线), 3 by “Guo Jing’s Microblog” (郭靖de微博), both are ardent Fang-lovers. Lynx Wool registered his Weibo account on January 23, 2010, but the first post on his homepage was posted on May 14, 2011. In 2011, this person participated in 3 online polls, all involved Fang, and Fang was in the absolute minority in every poll, yet this Lynx Wool voted for Fang every time[31]. He eventually posted 15 comments on Fang’s post, all in defense of Fang. Guo Jing’s Microblog registered his Weibo account on Oct. 3, 2010, but the first post on his homepage was posted on July 20, 2011. Between July 20 and 25, 2011, this person posted 14 messages, 9 of them involved Fang, and all supportive.


3. The Third Type of Water Army

Generally speaking, Fang’s water army differs from the commercial and political water armies in many ways.

Sure, Fang does use commercial water army providers, and I’ll provide the proof very soon; however, the main body of Fang’s internet troopers, especially on weibo.com, is his followers, partners, and family members. Some of them do get paid by Fang, via his funds; but most of them apparently work for him voluntarily. To some extent, all these troopers, or Fangangsters, fit Fang’s description of a water army: a group of people repost or making abusive comments on certain posts in an organized manner, in order to generate a false impression that the posts and their posters are influential, or to give a faked appearance that the posts and their posters are supported or opposed by a majority of the internet users. Indeed, the Fangangsters mainly do three things on the internet: to promote Fang, to advance Fang’s agenda, and to attack Fang’s enemies.

Because of Fang’s secretive connection to the Chinese government, Fang’s water army has more characteristics of the political water army than a commercial one. On weibo.com, what a commercial water army normally does is to use software-operated accounts to repost messages to create artificial hot topics. Besides the contents of the messages, these accounts rarely express their own opinions. And they almost never interact with other internet users. In this sense, they are essentially harmless to the third party.

In many aspects, Fang’s water army is paramilitary: it is well organized, operated, and funded. Because of its strong background, also because they waver the banner of science, Fang’s water army soldiers are extremely aggressive and vicious: they are arguably the most fearful gangsters on weibo.com, or the entire internet. For these reasons, the term “internet thugs” (網絡打手, wǎngluò dǎshǒu), used by Chinese Wikipedia[32], is much more appropriate to them.

Based upon the above information, and for the sake of relevancy to our discussions below, I define “the third type water army” as following:

“A group of internet account holders, either operated by software or real people, who post on the internet in a synchronized and organized way to promote a hidden agenda or to attack a target by using, intentionally and purposefully, false information and malicious means.”

4. Terminology

Since the Hanly War has been mainly fought on weibo.com, therefore it is helpful for the readers to get familiar with some technicalities before reading further.

(1) Weibo

“Weibo” is the transliteration of Chinese word 微博 (wēibó), which literally means microblog or microblogging. It can be used to refer the website (weibo.com), an account holder’s homepage on the website, or simply a post on the website. (Please note that other microblogging providers, such as sohu.com and qq.com, also call their hosting websites “weibo.”)

(2) Rights

One needs to register an account with weibo.com to browse the website, and to register, one needs an active email box. Once the account is activated, the account holder is able to post messages on his/her homepage, or repost other people’s posts onto his/her own homepage. However, the right to posting a comment on other people’s post is determined by the other party, some people allow everyone to comment on their posts, others allow only a selected group of users to post comments. Also, an account holder has the right to specifically prohibiting some users from commenting on his or her posts, by adding their names on a blacklist. The process is called “dragging [the name] to the blacklist” (拉黑, lāhēi), and I normally translate it into “blocking.”

(3) Key Information about an Account

The most prominent feature of a Weibo user is his/her avatar. Accounts without an avatar are generally believed to be the least credible internet users, mainly because the early zombie accounts, the accounts generated by software, normally have no avatars. Under the avatar area, there are three key statistic numbers: the number of accounts the user is following (关注, guānzhù, meaning “watching”); the number of accounts which are following the user (粉丝, fěnsī, meaning “fans”); and the number of posts on the user’s homepage (微博, wēibó, meaning “posts”). Of course, the most important number is the second one, which indicates the user’s influence.

(4) Reposting vs. Commenting

Besides posting on one’s own homepage, Weibo users, especially those with few followers, regularly engage in reposting or commenting other people’s posts or comments. When one reposts or forwards (转发, zhuǎnfā) a post, he or she not only duplicates the post on his/her homepage with the reposting message, but also leaves a footprint under the repost section of the primary post, with the link to the webpage of the repost. On the other hand, when one makes a comment on a post, the content is shown only in the commentary section of the primary post, there won’t be a separate webpage for the comment. Also, a comment is not searchable on weibo.com. In other words, to locate a comment, one has to browse through the commentary section of the post by turning the pages individually.

The difference between reposting and commenting is extremely important to differentiate a commercial water army from Fang’s water army: the former always use the reposting option because that’s how they get paid; however, to hide their identities, Fang’s water army soldiers usually post comments only, especially when the contents of their comments are abusive and malicious. Therefore, even an account has no or a few posts on its homepage, the account holder might have posted hundreds or even thousands of comments which are hidden on the internet like sand grains in an ocean – you can only find them by chance.

(5) Frauds

To boost one’s status, some Weibo users, especially Fang, purchase software generated Weibo accounts as their followers, the so called zombie fans (僵尸粉, jiāngshī fěn). The most recognizable features of a zombie, especially the cheap one, are no avatar, and low statistic numbers. The inactive zombies are eliminated by Weibo system periodically. More advanced and more expansive zombies do have avatars and high numbers of followers and posts, and they normally engage in posting or reposting under the direction of a computer.

Some Weibo users register more than one account, and the accounts used less often or used to pretend to be someone else are called “Little accounts” (小号, Xiǎohào) or vests/sockpuppets (马甲, mǎjiǎ). It is widely believed that Fang, as well as his gangsters, has numerous little accounts.


Understand a Weibo account
The identification portion of Fang Zhouzi’s homepage on weibo.com is used to illustrate the key components of a Weibo account. The most fraudulent information is the number of followers the account has. It is widely believed that more than 90% of Fang’s followers are zombies[33].
(The screenshot was captured on Sept. 8, 2014.)



Fang’s Water Army Allegation against Han Han Was False

So, what kind of evidence did Fang present to substantiate his allegation leveled on Jan. 19, 2012, that Han Han was using a water army against him? To make his allegation valid, Fang has to prove that the negative comments on his anti-Han posts were organized or instigated by Han Han; the contents of these posts were false; the intentions of the posters were malicious; and the means used by these internet users was dirty, despicable, or illegal. The answer: Fang had none of these.

As mentioned at the beginning, Fang’s allegation was made by commenting on a post by one of his followers. The message, posted by Mr. Wu Xingchuan (吴兴川), is as following:

“Even the punctuations are the same……Didn’t I just made a comment on Han Han, is it [such a crime] worth [to be punished like this]?”[34]

In the post, Mr. Wu attached a screenshot which shows that four internet users made two pairs of critical comments on his unspecified post:

“You were making love to you wife, while your mother was delivering you……”[35]

“It is really a comment which causes a splitting headache. A person who is engaged in science popularization should always pay attention to his own science cultivation, and he should not speak such junky words whenever it involves those people who are close to him or ‘supported’ by him.”[36]



Playing the victim
The sole evidence, presented by his follower Mr. Wu Xingchuan, used by Fang Zhouzi to allege that Han Han was using an internet water army against him.


To most people, the “evidence” was a joke. First of all, Mr. Wu himself dared not to use the evidence to make a water army allegation. Secondly, everyone knows that two persons couldn’t make an army. Thirdly, hundreds of internet users told Fang that such a practice, i. e. duplicating a previous comment made by other people as one’s own to show his or her consent, is extremely popular on the internet - there is even a specific term, “maintain formation” (保持队形), to describe it:

“Of course the punctuations are the same [because of copying and pasting]. Maintain formation is one of the biggest characteristics in netizens’ comments. How come such a thing could be said of team work? It seems that every bush and tree looks like an enemy to you. How could there be so many water armies, they are nobody but mass onlookers.”[37] 【Note: “every bush and tree looks like an enemy” is a Chinese allusion describing a state of extreme nervousness.】

“Old Fang have been indulged in the internet since the early days, [how come] you even don’t know the term ‘maintain formation?”[38]

Of course the self-claimed “pioneer in the Chinese Internet” knew that. He was playing dumb purposefully so he could make a false allegation.

As a matter of fact, Fang’s New Threads is a typical water army stronghold, as many people have pointed out[39]. So, why did Fang want to use a piece of false evidence to make a false allegation? Here is Mr. Luo Yonghao’s speculation:

“1. What [Fang] Zhouzi meant was that he was unable to block so many people, and he could not see the posts from the Fang-lovers which he has been using to anesthetize himself. 2. ‘Scholar’ Fang Zhouzi again gave up his rigorousness and evidence for the sake of quarreling. [What he meant is that] if [the comments] support Fang, they are public opinions; if they support Han, they are made by a water army.”[40]

So, exactly where did Mr. Wu find the evidence?

As described previously, Fang’s first shot at Han Han was an allegation that Han Han was destroying evidence of using ghost writers while offering heavy cash reward for the evidence of the existence of these ghost writers[41]. Fang’s first shot backfired badly, and he was criticized not only by thousands of internet users, but also by Han Han himself, saying Fang was “either not rigorous enough, or had an ulterior motive”[42]. In defending his master, Mr. Wu posted the following message on his microblog in the evening of Jan. 18, 2012:

“Han Han said: ‘Mr. Fang Zhouzi used the sentence pattern “doing … while doing…,” inducing readers to think that I deleted the previous articles yesterday, [you are] either not rigorous enough; or [you] have an ulterior motive.’ Actually, the person who misled readers is Han Han. 1. ‘doing … while doing …’ does not necessarily indicate [actions] taking place simultaneously, it can also be understood as ‘on one hand, …on the other hand…’ 2. The important point is not when the articles were deleted; the important point is that since the articles have been deleted, it certainly makes other people difficult to find the evidence to compare.”[43]

Like his master’s post, Wu’s post attracted many negative comments. A “Busy Snail” (蜗牛爱忙活) immediately made a sentence using Wu’s unique interpretation of the sentence pattern “doing…while doing…”: “You were making love to you wife, while your mother was delivering you……” Four minutes later, a “juner51” duplicated the above sentence[35]. 34 minutes after Wu’s post, another internet user, “taochen99,” made the “junky words” comment, and four minutes after that, a “Female Night Swimmer” (夜间的游水女郎) duplicated it[36]. Apparently watching his post closely, Mr. Wu posted the screenshot of these four comments with his “Even the punctuations are the same……” comment[34].

So, who are these four people who were accused by Fang of being a water army?

As a matter of fact, several internet users told Fang directly that none of these four people looked like a water army:

“Having searched the four IDs shown in the screenshot, except for that girl looked a little bit suspicious, all the others are obviously not water army [soldiers]. Isn’t Brother Fang well-known for your rigorousness?”[44]

“This Wu Xingchuna even dares to say that ‘doing … while doing …’ does not necessarily mean [actions] taking place simultaneously, and you want such a person with such a lousy skill of quibbling and denial to be your comrade? It is really true that a cornered dog will do anything. Also, you go to the microblogs of taochen99, juner51, ‘Busy Snail,’ and ‘Female Night Swimmer’ to take a look and see whether they are water army [soldiers] or not. Haven’t you emphasized on evidence?”[45]

Indeed, if you visit the homepages of these four users, you could easily find that none of them fits the characteristics of a water army described by Fang himself, or other generally acknowledged features. The fact is, all four users responded to Wu or Fang’s allegation, the thing a water army soldier would rarely do. Here is the response from that Busy Snail:

“Holy shit, [you] even took a souvenir photo of [my post]. I am the original writer of that sentence, only because that you distorted the meaning of ‘doing’‘while doing,’ I made such a sentence to satirize you. It is not good indeed, however, your comment on Han Han is really, really brainless. I am not a fan of Han Han’s.”[46]

Here is the response made by “juner51”:

“I am in a train right now. Yesterday I spent whole day to read Weibo with many internet users, and supported Han Han. I was angry when I saw someone’s interpretation of doing while doing. It happened that someone responded him using his interpretation [so I copied that person], unexpectedly I am being said to be a water army. I am wrong that I plagiarized and didn’t give the citation. Old Fang, isn’t your specialty is to bust fraud? How come you don’t accuse me of plagiarism instead accusing me of being a water army?”[47]

The “Female Night Swimmer” made two responses, to Fang and Wu, respectively:

“Ho-ho, my negative comment on you actually had nothing to do with Han Han, but had everything to do with your garbage logic. So, don’t shyly say that ‘Even the punctuations are the same……Didn’t I just made a comment on Han Han, is it worth it?’ Oh, no, my mistake. It did have something to do with Han Han. If not for the dispute between Han Han and Fang Zhouzi, I really don’t know who you are.”[48]

“Water army ~ pooh ~ Classmate Zhouzi, what should I say about you……”[49]


However, the biggest surprise about Han Han’s water army is the identity of that “taochen99”: he was, and probably still is, a 100% Fang-lover. If you have ever wondered how to identify a Fang-lover, here is the most reliable method: check his response to the criticism of Fang Zhouzi. A Fang-lover might not always defend Fang’s wrongdoings or evildoings, however, he or she will never criticize Fang, will never agree with any criticism against Fang, and most importantly, when a Fang-lover does defend Fang, he or she will always use the most stupid and crooked logic to do so: just like what Mr. Wu Xingchuan did. Another example of Fang-lovers’ stupidity can be found in a person with a fake name Aimee Cluo, who engaged a fierce debate with Dr. Robert Root-Bernstein in 2011, when Dr. Root-Bernstein openly accused Fang of plagiarism[50]. Bear the above in mind, now let’s check this “taochen99,” a Fang designated member of Han Han’s water army.

On July 28, 2011, Mr. Wu Jiaxiang (吴稼祥), one of the well-known public intellectuals, posted the following message:

“Fang Zhouzi’s fraud busting is fraudulent busting. Doesn’t he know what China’s biggest fraud is? If he doesn’t know, he is an idiot; if he does know, but dares not to bust, he is a coward.”[51]

The post generated more than 2 thousand comments, and among them was the following from taochen99:

“Fuck, what the fucking kind of intellectuals are they?! Bullying Fang Zhouzi! Fang Zhouzi is a qualified science popularizer, fights tooth and nail against fraud. When he was affronted as an American special agent, you didn’t say anything, and now you want him to be a cannon fodder? Isn’t it just because that he is a little obsessed with truth? If that bothers you, you don’t need to watch, why keep making noises while hiding behind Weibo?”[52]

A few days later, Dr. Robert Root-Bernstein’s Open Letter to Fang Zhouzi about his plagiarism became national news, and this taochen99 again fought for the fraudulent fraud fighter Fang, by mocking Chinese public intellectuals:

“Ho-ho, seeing that Fang Zhouzi has been taught a lesson by an American who holds even higher [moral] standard, [you people] are spreading the news like crazy. Root-Bernstein, why do you only pinch the soft persimmon? If you are really a tough guy, why don’t you criticize the Ministry of Railways, criticize the [Chinese] Communist Party? Most Chinese people, including those who have been molested by Fang Zhouzi, are in fact much worse than Fang Zhouzi, why don’t you pick on them? Isn’t what you are doing fraudulent busting? Also, since you are so picky, are you sick? Ha-ha.”[53]

So, how did this Fang-lover respond to being labeled as a member of Han Han’s water army, by the person he idolized? Here it is:

“Right after finishing PBC, I was notified this news by a colleague; I had been named a ‘water army.’ Ha-ha. Indeed [the message] was posted by me. As for why the other person duplicated it, I have no idea.”[54]


Being wronged by his master
A Fang-lover with a web ID taochen99 was accused of being Han Han’s water army. The above image is the screenshots of two comments made by that person in defense of Fang when Fang was accused of fraudulent fraud busting by Mr. Wu Jiaxiang in July, 2011 (upper), and of plagiarism by Dr. Root-Bernstein in August, 2011 (lower). Please note that the inset image in the lower panel is the screenshot of Fang Zhouzi's reply to Dr. Root-Bernstein and Dr. Root-Bernstein's response to Fang.


So, has Fang Zhouzi ever apologized to Han Han for his mistake? It will never happen, even in your wildest dream.

Wu Xingchuan: Fang’s Water Army Chief

The questions are: who is that Wu Xingchuan, and why did he defend Fang with garbage logic, and provide Fang with the fake evidence for Han Han’s water army? Surprisingly, these questions have one single answer: Mr. Wu is one of the most important members of Fang’s water army.

1. The Trigger

Because of Fang’s continuous attacks on the public intellectuals and celebrities, and his consistent alignment with those in power, plus the dazzling exposures of his, as well as his wife’s, plagiarism history, by July 2011, Fang’s true colors had been seen through by many people. However, the event which linked directly to our story was the Wenzhou Train Collision Accident.

On July 23, 2011, two trains clashed in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, and 40 people were killed in the accident. Most Chinese people suspected that the deeper cause of the accident was corruption, because it was almost common knowledge that huge amount of money for the development of railways went to private pockets – Mr. Liu Zhijun, China’s Minister of Railways from 2003 to 2011, was sentenced to death two years later mainly for accepting large sum of bribes[55].

In contrast to whole nation’s mourning and anger, Fang ignored the tragedy completely at the beginning, and at the same time he continued his attack on Mr. Le Jia, including alleging, hours after the train clash, that Mr. Le hired a water army to attack him. It was only after being criticized by so many people that Fang began to talk about the accident, but only on the technical aspects: he tried his best to avoid criticizing, let alone attacking, the officials[56]. However, when China Youth Daily, the newspaper Fang had been holding a column since 2004, published a report on the incident on July 27, Fang immediately attacked the report, accusing the reporter of sensationalism and even fabrication[57]. In the midnight of the day, Ms. Bao Liming (包丽敏), the editor-in-chief of Elite Reference, a newspaper owned by China Youth Daily, posted the following message on her microblog:

“Some person holds the banner of ‘justice’ aloft, however, [we] are unable to see the kindness in his heart; [he] is obsessed with talking about rationality and debating with logical argument, however, there are no ‘human beings’ in his eyes. At the beginning, other people thought he exposes the ugly and evil, cleans up the smudge and washes away the dirt, however, they find out later that he has actually never challenged those in power.”[58]

Almost everyone, especially Fang and his gangsters, immediately recognized that the “some person” Ms. Bao was talking about was no one else but Fang Zhouzi. 18 hours later, Mr. Wu Jiangxiang posted his message, saying, by naming Fang’s name, that Fang’s fraud busting is fraudulent busting[51]. Expectedly, both Ms. Bao and Mr. Wu’s microblogs were flooded by Fang’s water army.

On the next day, July 29, Dr. Liu Shi, a scientist with US Environmental Protection Agency, revealed the news that Dr. Root-Bernstein had explicitly accused Fang of plagiarism[59].

2. A Message Went Viral

Right after the above mentioned incidents, the following message suddenly flooded Sina Weibo:

“‘No matter how many people hate him, there will always be an equal number of people who love him.’ This sentence might not be suitable for Fang Zhouzi. Some people have said that he is the person with the most enemies in China, i. e. the most hated person in China. Many of Fang’s ‘rational supporters’ say: ‘I support Fang Zhouzi’s fraud busting and science popularization, however, I don’t support him as a person.’ Okay, I don’t care that other people might say that I am an irrational low level fan, what I want to say is only this: ‘compared with Fang Zhouzi’s fraud busting and science popularization, I love his personality even more.’”[60]

The flooding of the message caught some people’s attention, and it was found out that the message was originally posted by Mr. Wu Xingchuan on July 18, 2011, and by 6:08 PM of August 1, 2011, the message had been posted as an original writing for a total of 1,181 times, by the accounts who won’t allow other people to comment on their posts[61]. An internet user (多多dddd) watched these accounts closely and he found that on July 30 alone, 100 unique accounts reposted the message for 124 times, and many of them did it within a minute[62]. The funny thing is, when accused of using a water army to flood the internet, that Wu Xingchuan defended himself first by claiming that he was a victim of plagiarism[63], then by accusing the accuser of registering these fake IDs to frame him[64].

The activity of posting the Fang-eulogizing and love-swearing message didn’t stop after that. On Sept. 23, 2011, an internet user “Light and Clear Cloud” (云轻澈) noticed another wave of Fang’s water army, and he posted the following message:

“A microblog message eulogizing Fang Zhouzi appears in the form of original post continuously. Out of curiosity I investigated these IDs which had posted the message, and found that the majority of them showing ‘Sorry, the user cannot be visited,’ and the rest were almost all opened on the day of the posting or a few days earlier, and after posting the message they would post no more or extremely few. I am incompetent to understand the phenomenon; is anyone able to solve the puzzle?”[65]


An investigation on Fang’s water army
The above image is a composite of the screenshots of the perennial Fang-eulogizing message, captured in September, 2011, by internet user “Light and Clear Cloud” who also investigated those accounts with the message. The left two and a half columns show the message was continuously posted by internet users as their own, and the rest part shows that these accounts were either inaccessible or inactive, typical characteristics of a water army.


The above post drew little attention until a half year later, when the Hanly War entered into the second month. Despite the fact that the post has been reposted for more than a thousand times and many people have asked Fang directly for comment or response, Fang is still pretending that he is both blind and deaf. Here are a few comments made by the verified Weibo users:

A poet, writer, and artist: “Fang Zhouzi plays tricks to deceive the public, his moral is corrupted, and he is extremely disgusting!”[61]

A journalist: “The water army is really fucking awesome. Fang Zhouzi said that his fund is used for his security, which must have been doing this. A bunch of Fang-lovers donate money to raise Fang Zhouzi’s water army.”[62]

An artist: “How dark the night is, how dark Fang Zhouzi’s heart can be.”[63]

Even after repeated exposures, the message won’t stop replicating itself. On Sept. 8, 2014, I searched weibo.com with the last sentence of the message, “compared with Fang Zhouzi’s fraud busting and science popularization, I love his personality even more,” (the search engine on Weibo.com only accepts 20 or less Chinese characters), the system found 11,536 hits but showed only 27 of them: all of them were posted between March 31, and April 27, 2012. Detailed examination of these accounts revealed much more information: the posts were apparently posted in 3 waves: from March 31 to April 4; from April 18 to 19; and from April 26 to 27. The 15 accounts in the first two waves share the following characteristics: registered between December 2011 and January 2012; following an average of 641 (347-818) accounts; having an average of 106 (28-240) followers; and having an average of 20 (15-25) posts on their homepages. The 12 accounts in the third wave were all registered between April and June of 2012; following on average 1915 (1859-1933) accounts; having on average 262 (58-658) followers; and having on average 43 (24-162) posts on their homepages. More strikingly, every account in the third wave stopped posting after having posted the Fang-eulogizing message (see the table below).

There seems to be another attempt to clone the message in June 2012: two of the 27 posts were reposted on June 3 and June 5, 2012, by two accounts each, and again the 4 accounts share similarities.

The most striking feature of these 31 accounts is: almost none of their posts, 1,024 in total, have been commented on or reposted by other people, including themselves, except for the 4 cloners who reposted the message in June 2012, indicating that they were living in a different world.

Conclusion: The 31 accounts, and possibly all of the 11,536 account which have posted the Fang-eulogy, are true commercial water army, and Fang Zhouzi, most likely through his associate Wu Xingchuan, paid their owner(s) to post the message to tout Fang.



Unanimity
On September 8, 2014, I searched weibo.com with the Chinese sentence “compared with Fang Zhouzi’s fraud busting and science popularization, I love his personality even more” (characters in red) yielded 11,536 hits (see the red boxes), but the website only showed 27 of them. The 27 posts are exactly the same, posted by 27 different Weibo accounts in March and April, 2012. Two of these posts were reposted by four accounts in June 2012 (shown on the right side of the lower panel).



Long Live the Zombie KING!
The above image is a composite of enlarged avatars with their profiles of the zombie accounts which have posted the “I love Fang Zhouzi’s personality even more” message.




3. Wu Xingchuan: The Quack behind the Zombies

Simply because of the fact that the love-telling and loyalty-swearing message was originated from him, and he didn’t deny the fact but denied the accusation of hiring water army with absurd excuses, Mr. Wu Xingchuan was immediately believed to be the commander of Fang’s water army commander[61]. So, who is he?

According to his self-introduction, he is the director and editor-in-chief of science popularization website “Science Park.”[69] According to baike.com, a Wikipedia-imitating website originally created as hudong.com by Dr. Pan Haidong, a Fang-lover and a fraudster[70], besides his Scientific Park “job,” Mr. Wu is also an “incumbent senior enterprise executive”[71]. The strange thing is, even though Wu is listed as one of the “scientific advisors” of baike.com, hired in July 2012, together with Fang’s hiring as its “Chief Scientific Advisor”[72], no information about Wu’s education, qualification, credential, and achievements is available on the self-claimed “the largest Chinese encyclopedia website in the world”[73].


Wu Xingchuan, a “scientific advisor” or a water army commander?
Even though being hired as a scientific advisor by “the largest Chinese encyclopedia website in the world,” both the advisor and his employer have been trying really hard to hide his mysterious background. Nobody knows what his expertise is. Upper panel: the entry of Wu Xingchuan on baike.com; lower: Wu’s archive photo on baike.com, the Chinese characters to the right reads: “Let the real Knowledge People influence China. Wu Xingchuan.” (Source of the images: baike.com.)


Even though Mr. Wu tries to hide his secret, we do have more than enough information about him. According to the registration information of his Science Park, the website was registered under a company called Beijing CenturyTang Science and Technology Company, which was founded by Wu with his partner in 2005 with a registered capital of one million RMB (about 150,000 USD)[74]. The company was in the business of selling discount movie tickets[75], but it failed in 2011[76]. It was under this background that Wu built the Science Park, which has been used by Fang and his gangsters as one of the platforms for their gatherings, such as the “Atheist Forum”[77]. Apparently for that reason, Mr. Wu was able not only “basically” to pay off his debts in two years, but also to purchase an Audi A6, which costs from 50,000 USD to more than 100,000 USD in China.

Does anyone still don’t understand why kaike.com refuses to tell its readers in which enterprise its scientific advisor Wu serves as a senior executive?


A bankrupted businessman drives an Audi A6 bought with borrowed money
According to a revelation made by one of his former partners in the Science Park, Wu borrowed money extensively among his scicult friends, saying that he had to pay off his debts; meanwhile, he bought a luxury Audi A6. The background of the above image is the posts made by Fang Fang (person on the left), one of Fang Zhouzi’s top thugs and the deputy editor-in-chief of Science Park, who, under the web ID of Dragon Brother Science Park (龙哥-科学公园), revealed the above secret on Sept. 5, 2013, apparently after drinking. The posts have been deleted, but Wu has never refuted directly Fang Fang’s accusation that he purchased his Audi with borrowed money.



An illegal Park
The website of Science Park was registered under Wu’s CenturyTang Company, which has been dissolved since 2011. Accordingly, the website doesn’t have its Registration Number (red box) hyperlinked to the government website containing the registration information, as stipulated by the registration office (red arrow). In other words, the website has been operated illegally in China for the last 3 years.


As of now, the Science Park has a total of 83 authors; of course all of them are Fang-lovers, including that fake American Ph. D. Albert Yuan. Mr. Wu has published a grand total of 4 “science population articles,” they are entitled “The Second Discussion on the ‘Pirate Game’,” “Shameful ‘Extensive and Profound’,” “Cui Yongyuan’s Mistake Number 5,” and “China Needs Science”[78]. Does anyone have an idea what Wu’s expertise is?

Although we still don’t know what qualification Mr. Wu has to be a science popularizer or “science advisor,” we do know that he is overqualified to be a water army commander. In 2012, Wu’s company began to provide “IT outsourcing service” for enterprises[79]. It is unknown whether he is still in that business.


Outsourcing
Wu Xingchuan’s advertisement in the Beijinger, February, 2012.


If you have ever wondered why Fang wants to associate himself with a bankrupted businessman, please don’t. Think about Fang’s association with that Chinese “academic fraud doyen” and Swiss profiteer Shu-kun Lin[80]. Think about Fang’s association with that “Gigantic cheater in ‘1000 Talents Plan’” Pan Haidong[70]. Fang Zhouzi, who monopolizes the “fraud insurance” market in China, is the ultimate source of protection to those businessmen who seek profits from fraudulent practices but lack the accesses to the “big leaders.”Indeed, Mr. Wu does have an unrealistic hope, or dream, in Fang. On July 18, 2011, probably right after creating and posting his boot-licking message, Wu wrote:

“Based on Fang Zhouzi’s intelligence and ability, if he is committed to accumulate personal wealth, China gets nothing but one more billionaire……”[81]

Still wondering why a bankrupted millionaire is attaching himself to a fictitious billionaire? In September 2013, when facing the allegation of repudiating his debts, Mr. Wu wrote a lengthy self-defense, claiming repeatedly that he is a hopeless idealistic fool[82]. Well, he must have been thinking that everyone else is a bigger fool.


Close association
Fang’s Water Army Commander Wu Xingchuan and his boss Fang Zhouzi, and his boss’ boss He Zuoxiu.


Continue



被编辑1次。最后被亦明编辑于09/10/2014 05:13PM。
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Open Letter to Nature, Part XL: The Hanly War (I) (2432 查看) 附件

亦明 June 22, 2014 02:30PM

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亦明 September 10, 2014 04:56PM

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亦明 September 10, 2014 05:10PM

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Part XLIII: The Hanly War (IV): The Rumormonger_2 (1208 查看) 附件

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亦明 January 11, 2015 02:05PM

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亦明 January 28, 2015 12:23PM

Part XLVI: The Hanly War (VII): The Pseudoscholar_2 (1023 查看)

亦明 January 28, 2015 12:25PM

Part XLVI: The Hanly War (VII): The Pseudoscholar_3 (962 查看)

亦明 January 28, 2015 12:26PM



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