Human-flesh search engines β€” renrou sousuo yinqing β€” have become a Chinese phenomenon: they are a form of online vigilante justice in which Internet users hunt down and punish people who have attracted their wrath. The goal is to get the targets of a search fired from their jobs, shamed in front of their neighbors, run out of town. It’s crowd-sourced detective work, pursued online β€” with offline results.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/magazine/07Human-t.html?hp=&pagewanted=all