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Part XLV: The Hanly War (VI): The Intimidator_4 (1089 查看)

January 11, 2015 02:12PM
The Revelation

I have mentioned many times before that in China there are a lot of ex-Fang-lovers, they are the people who used to be Fang-lovers, but later turned into Fang-haters. The majority of these people changed their affection for Fang because that their friends or they themselves became the victims of Fang’s fraudulent fraud busting, but some of them did have other reasons. The following tells the stories about the latter kind.

1. “Wage Arrears Fang Shimin,” A Professional Blocker Hired by Fang

On Jan. 27, 2012, Fang attacked many Han Han’s supporters, and he also announced that he opened a “new season,” which meant that his attacks on Han Han entered into an academic stage. However, the biggest news on that day was a series of posts by an anonymous internet user, with a web ID “Wage arrears Fang Shimin,” who claimed that he was Fang’s Weibo manager in charge of blocking the Fang-haters. Here is his first post on weibo.com:

“Hi everyone, I have been the long term Weibo managing specialist for Fang Shimin (Fang Zhouzi), mainly in charge of the work of ‘dragging black’ [blocking other internet users], working more than 12 hours a day. The salary Fang Zhouzi offered is 0.5 Yuan per blocking; however, [the salary] has never been paid, accumulating to nearly 10 thousand Yuan as of today. Fang Zhouzi is in arrears with the wages of our managing and posting team, I hope that the internet friends could repost [our post], helping us get our wages. Thanks!”[255]

At the beginning, many people thought that the person was trying to play a practical joke on Fang. However, in the morning of the next day, Jan. 28, 2012, he posted the image of the contract between Fang and him, with Fang’s signature[256]. What really funny happened in the evening: Fang first threaten Mr. Liu Xiaofeng who reposted the above message by saying “aren’t you afraid that I’ll fix you after I have fixed Luo Yonghao?”[190], and then, about 1 hour later, Fang posted the following message:

“I asked Sina to delete the microblog which is being widely distributed by the Han’s Family Army, showing the fake contract with forged signature of mine. The reply from Sina is that I couldn’t demonstrate that the contract is fake, and refuses to delete it. [You] are trying to humiliate me, right? How come I myself could not verify the authenticity of the signature and the contract? I give you half an hour to issue a démenti.”[257]

Empty threat
At 20:25 on Jan. 28, 2012, Fang demanded that weibo.com should delete within 30 minutes the post showing a contract between him and an internet user who accused Fang of wage arrears. Fang’s post was commented 6,559 times and forwarded 8,133 times within 54 minutes after it appeared.

Ever since Fang opened his microblog account on weibo.com, a subsidiary of sina.com, in April 2009, Fang had been treated like The King by the website, and it seemed that he had the absolute power to do anything he wanted to do on the website, including rumormongering and slandering. However, whenever his own fraud was exposed, he would immediately notify the administration of the website, or the “Old Chen,” the editor-in-chief of sina.com, directly, to handle his request, which was normally to ban somebody or delete some posts. And the above post was just one of these requests made public by Fang himself. No wonder it provoked a public outcry:

“I have finally witnessed what the proverb ‘The officials are allowed to set fires, the commoners are not allowed to light a lamp’ means. The Hierarch does know that he can use ‘himself’ to testify, however, Han Han cannot use ‘himself’ to prove anything……”[258]

“Ah heavens! Even Pig Fang has his day when he is unable to prove his own innocence! Here is what he posted……”[259]

“Nonsense! According to Fang’s logic, since Han Han is not qualified to demonstrate that his novels were written by himself, unqualified to demonstrate that his manuscripts are his own, how come you are able to [verify the authenticity of the signature and the contract]? Double standards again?”[260]

For some unknown reasons, Fang’s spoiled-child act didn’t work this time: neither the post was deleted, nor the démenti was issued hours passed Fang’s deadline, and the unthinkable thing happened: Fang finally deleted his own post, which, in his own words, is called “self- castration” (自宫, zì gōng). It was arguably one of Fang’s earliest major setbacks in the Hanly War, and foreshadowed his catastrophic ending in a few months.

The story didn’t stop there. One day later, seeing that the post showing the contract was still not deleted by the webmaster, Fang posted several messages to prove his own innocence. Here is one of them:

“Anyone with a little common sense is able to tell with a glimpse that the contract was forged: first, nobody will sign a contract with his penname; second, that signature ‘Fang Zhouzi’ was copied from a book which I signed. Even facing such an obvious rumor, ‘Weibo Rumor Refutation’ [the official account of Weibo administration] still could not make a decision?”[261]

It is obvious that one day after the allegation, Fang was still unable to provide convincing evidence to demonstrate his own innocence. The strange thing is, Fang’s signature in a book signed by Fang was not provided by Fang himself, rather, it was “found” by an internet user with a fake ID “Hottie” (辣嘻嘻) who, as of January 10, 2015, has only 7 posts on his homepage, and his above “discovery” is not among them. Furthermore, Fang’s first argument, no one signs a contract with his penname, was presented first by another Fang-lover with a fake ID “A Southerner in North Mountain” (北山南人)[262]. Obviously, Fang didn’t have that “common sense” before his follower told him so, therefore he was lying when he said “Anyone with a little common sense is able to tell with a glimpse that the contract was forged.” The fact is, Fang could not demonstrate that the signatures on the contract and in the book are the same; and they are indeed not, as demonstrated by Mr. Wang Jiamin[263]. The “common sense” tells us that such a contract was obviously not intended to be exposed because of its content; therefore, there is nothing wrong to sign this kind mutual agreement with a penname. In other words, Fang’s stupid self-defense hurt rather than helped his credibility.

Fang’s inward guiltiness was revealed more obviously in the following post:

“To follow the procedure, ‘Weibo Rumor Refutation’ needs 24 hours. To refute a rumor immediately, it needs Old Chen to make the decision. However, Old Chen is in a flight and cannot be reached. The rumor has existed for so long, it is meaningless to refute it anymore. Since that person claims that he shares the password to my Weibo account to do the blocking for me, just like Han Han’s team shares Han Han’s password to his microblog, so if he manages to demonstrate that he was indeed a member of my team, I’ll give him the entire reward of the 40 million Yuan which I will get from Han Han and Fan Bingbing.”[264]

As I have told the story previously, on Jan. 22, 2012, 6 days before the above incident, Fang knowingly used a forged evidence to frame Han Han: he used a story made up by an internet user saying one of Han Han’s ghostwriter confessed and he was able to logon into Han Han’s blog[265]. Further, to prevent refutation from Han Han or other people, Fang made the following argument:

“It is very convincing to demonstrate oneself to other people this way, however, if one wants to get the reward offered by Han Han, this method will not work, because, first, Han Han can change his password anytime, making the person unable to login; ……”[266]

In other words, Fang had already known that there was no way, at least according to his own logic, that a person could not “demonstrate that he was indeed a member of my team,” but he still asked that person to do so. Similarly, Fang knew that he would never get the 40 million Yuan from Mr. Han and Ms. Fan; however, he still offered the non-existent money as the reward, rather than offering his own money. In Chinese, it is called “having a guilty conscience” (心虚).

The funny things kept rolling in. Mr. Wang Zhi’an, a CCTV commentator and one of Fang’s closest followers at the time, made the following comment on Fang’s first post:

“Suggest Fang Zhouzi reporting to the police. If this thug forged the contract, it is public extortion.”[267]

Here is Fang’s response to the suggestion by his future enemy:

“Only after studying the laws, I have learned that there is a crime called contract fraud, if the amount of the money involved is more than 5,000 Yuan, the case can be pursued. Let the police to investigate who is behind.”[268]

Till this day, Fang hasn’t reported the case to the police yet.

Like Mr. Wang Zhi’an, Ms. Li Li (Muzi Mei), who was still one of Fang’s most loyal female comrades at the time, tried to save Fang’s face by posting the following comment on Fang’s second post:

“Ha-ha ha-ha. Actually, any sensible person is able to see through the trick by a simple glimpse. [The wage for] one blocking is 0.5 Yuan, and you owe him more than 9,000 Yuan. However, the upper limit of Sina’s blacklist is 1,000 people. The person who forged the contract is brainless.”[269]

Many people laughed at Ms. Li’s pretended innocence or actual stupidity. For example, the person who made the first comment on her message wrote:

“Oh no, Fang Zhouzi’s [upper limit of the blacklist] is at least 20,000!”[270]

Another internet user, Ms. He Nan (web ID 易天) who would be sued by Fang’s wife later, even proposed a method for Fang to prove his innocence:

“Mr. Fang Zhouzi, please upload your Sina microblog blacklist, let us take a look at your upper limit, is it okay? As the Great God of Truth, shouldn’t you at least speak a sentence of truth?! Whether lied or not, the blogger ‘Wage arrears Fang Shimin’ does know the backstage information about your Weibo at least. Therefore, could you please tell us how many people you are able to block, whether the limit is the same as the one for other common internet users, 1,000 people?”[271]

How did the future John Maddox Prize winner Fang respond to the proposal? He simply adopted his “last strategy” whenever his fraud is brought to light: playing dumb and pretending to be blind and deaf, or even dead.

On Jan. 31, 2012, “Wage arrears Fang Shimin” posted the online bank statement showing that Fang Zhouzi paid him 5,000 Yuan two days earlier[272]. Fang has never made a comment on the post, and the issue was gradually forgotten by most people, as he wished.

In summary, the wage arrears incident not only confirmed the wide-spread speculation that Fang had been receiving special treatment by weibo.com, but also showed that Fang was intentionally using a defamatory tactics to smear Han Han and he knew the fact that Han Han had no way to prove his innocence under his malicious attack. However, the authenticity of the contract has never been clarified.

Being chased down
Fang Zhouzi and his follower Du Lei were followed by the “Wage Arrears Fang Shimin” who claimed that he had worked for Fang for about one year and Fang owed him unpaid salary about 10,000 Yuan. The above image is the screenshots of that person’s posts under Fang’s comment on Kai-Fu Lee’s “attempting to jump” (2012-1-27 17:14) and under Lee’s original post (2012-1-26 23:22).

At 2012-1-31 05:52, the “Wage Arrears Fang Shimin” posted the above evidence showing that he received 5,000 Yuan payment from Shimin Fang on Jan. 29, 2012. Fang has neither confirmed nor denied the news. The post still exists.

The king of internet water army was choked by his own water
On Jan. 31, 2012, in a time span of 10 minutes, the “Wage Arrears Fang Shimin” posted 30 comments on one of Fang’s denial posts. Please note that the web ID of that person is still active, indicating the administration of weibo.com doesn’t believe it to be a malicious account. Also, Fang didn’t delete these posts, suggesting that Fang was shorthanded at the time.

2. “Shi Jing Fei,” A Fraud Software Designer Hired by Fang

Fang’s water army tactics were so rudimentary that almost everybody could tell when the army was in action. However, under the protection of weibo.com, it was difficult for outsiders to obtain solid evidence to demonstrate that the water army was indeed organized or employed by Fang or his top associates. Fortunately, sometimes such evidences would pop up just like the above example.

On April 20, 2012, an internet user who calls himself “Shi Jing Fei” (十井飞) posted an article on tianya.cn, entitled: Exposure: I’m the Person Who Developed a Weibo Fraud Software for Fang Zhouzi’s Team. Here is its beginning:

“Disclaimer: I used to be a Fang-fan, and now I’m neither a Fang-fan nor a Han-fan. I like Han Han’s articles, and Fang’s fights against fraud before were also delightful. I am only telling what I know. After posting this article, I’ll do the things I’m supposed to do; I won’t answer any questions from anybody.

“What I want to tell you are:

“1. The number of pro-Fang people is very small; the majority of the ‘massive presence’ of Fang’s army on weibo.com was archived by software;

“2. When you @ a Fang-fan under Han Han’s posts, the responses you got sometimes by the Fang-fan were generated automatically, by a robot;

“3. If you find an account which has no avatar, few posts, few fans, and it mainly reposts the contents from Fang’s group, the accounts with these characteristics were all registered with this software. Because the function for uploading an avatar has not matured, the failure rate was high. Only a few [such accounts] have an avatar, or they were uploaded manually later.

“4. The software was developed for them by me the idiot. Now, I quit!!”[273]

According to this “Shi Jing Fei,” he got to know a Mr. Liang on a forum because he scolded Han Han frequently. Later, this Liang told him that he belonged to Fang’s camp, and asked him to develop software which could be used in Fang’s fight against Han Han. The required software should have the following functions[274]:

1. Register accounts in batches; every step should be performed automatically, except for entering the verification codes;

2. Generate comments on Han Han’s posts automatically, and if someone respond to the comments, the software should be able to respond back with pre-determined sentences;

3. One person should be able to control many such accounts, which should be able to follow a predetermined person simultaneously, to make comments, and to repost;

4. Capable of acquiring many IPs to break Sina’s anti-spam mechanism.

According to “Shi Jing Fei,” Mr. Liang was extremely generous, promising him that once he developed the required software, he won’t need to work for three years. And it seems that the person was satisfied with the payments. The software was finally run by about 50 accounts on weibo.com, and their prowess was increased by several hundred folds.

So, why did this guy want to reveal the secret? He said there were many reasons; however, he mentioned only one: he found that Mr. Liang tried to steal the source code from him.

The robotic weapon used by Fangangsters in the Hanly War
The above images are the interface of the fraud software posted by its developer, allegedly commissioned by Fang Zhouzi or one of his top associates.

The person did admit that he doesn’t have direct evidence to show the connection between Mr. Liang and Fang Zhouzi. So, was Fang involved in the scheme? What was his response to the allegation?

A little more than two hours after the article by “Shi Jing Fei” was posted on tianya.cn, it was reposted on weibo.com[275]. With the help from the big Weibo users such as Mr. Luo Yonghao, who used Fang’s method of spreading rumors or leveling allegations by asking “Is it real?”[276], it became one of the hottest posts of the day on the website, being reposted for nearly 3 thousand times in 24 hours, and more than 4 thousand times in total; the question “Is it real?” was asked for more than 2 thousand times - 2,247 times to be exact; and Fang Zhouzi was directly notified of the existence of the article, and asked for a comment, for more than 4 hundred times - 472 times to be exact. Here are some of the comments:

“As expected, sina.com won’t bother to take care of the matter. The only way to solve the problem is to require the registrants to use their true names, and after that these water armies will be dead immediately once they are exposed to light, and Fang Zhouzi’s status as the Hierarch of the Internet will also be shaken. ……Ask Mr. Fang again: Do you think you have been really helped by these water army zombies who can only repeat the dirty words to attack and curse Han Han’s supporters? Will we retreat because of being cursed or know your nature better?”[277]

“It is the time for common knowledge popularization! What kind of person is Fang Zhouzi? 1. Nominally a fraud fighter, actually the king of fraud; 2. Nominally a fund for fraud fighting and personal safety, actually the fund for purchasing water army; 3. Nominally fighting against crimes, actually causing insurrections; 4. Nominally reasonable questioning, actually rumormongering and framing; 5. Nominally being obsessed with truth, actually covering truth up. Please teach me every righteous person: should a thug like Fang Zhouzi be eliminated?”[278]

“There is absolutely no doubt that Fang Zhouzi has sockpuppets and water armies. I have not only experienced several times that these sockpuppets came to my microblog to curse and scold, I have also saved the evidence of large scale public relation campaigns by these sockpuppets. However, I didn’t know they used this kind of method until now.”[279]

“I have checked some of the people who have been cited by Fang Zhouzi, and [they] are indeed water armies, their registration date is recent, the number of fans is from several to a few dozens. All of their posts are supportive of Fang Zhouzi, and their followers support Fang Zhouzi entirely, and they change their IDs frequently.”[280]

“It explains why whenever Fang Zhouzi’s water army came to my microblog they came all of sudden like a flood, and after finishing their curses they retreated altogether. I incline to believe it is real.”[281]

Guess what was the John Maddox Prize winner’s response? He adopted an upgraded version of “the last strategy of the imposters whenever their frauds are brought to light”: he pretended to be blind and dumb on the first day, and on the second day, he escaped from the scene by making the following announcement:

“I am on the road to a place without internet access and cell phone signal. If I don’t post on weibo.com in the next one or two days, it is not because I am arrested by Xiao’s Court of Law in Wuhan.”[282]

Yes, till this day, nearly 3 years later, people are still waiting for the John Maddox Prize winner to “prove his own innocence” on that matter, and I guarantee you that he will never do that, despite the fact that he will keep asking other people to prove their innocence till the day of his death.
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