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The Chinese “Human Flesh” Web: the first decade and beyond

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Chinese Science Bulletin


Human flesh search (HFS), a Web-enabled crowdsourcing phenomenon, originated in China a decade ago. In this article, we present the first comprehensive empirical analysis of HFS, focusing on the scope of HFS activities, the patterns of HFS crowd collaboration process, and the characteristics of HFS participant networks. A survey of HFS participants was conducted to provide an in-depth understanding of the HFS community and various factors that motivate these participants to contribute. This article also advocates a new stream of Web science and social computing research that will be important in predicting the future growth and use of the World Wide Web.

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The authors thank Guanpi Lai for his help in collecting data during this research. This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (90924302, 91024030, 71025001, 70890084, and 60921061), the US Defense Advanced Research Projects through two seedling grants to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the US National Science Foundation support for EAGER (IIS-1143585).

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Fei-Yue Wang.

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Wang, FY., Zeng, D., Zhang, Q. et al. The Chinese “Human Flesh” Web: the first decade and beyond. Chin. Sci. Bull. 59, 3352–3361 (2014).

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