China’s infamous “human flesh search engine” in which vigilante internet users turn on individuals to make their lives miserable claimed a life after a doctor, who was targeted online, committed suicide last week.
Trouble began for pediatrician An Yingyan (35), a resident of Diyang in Sichuan province, after she collided with a 12-year-old inside a swimming pool. The boy and the doctor got into an argument and her husband is said to have intervened aggressively, dunking the boy’s head into the pool and hitting him. An is said to have gone to the changing room where her family claims she was assaulted by the boy’s mother. The two families then went to the police and An’s husband apologised to the boy after counselling.
However, the boy’s family reportedly landed up at the hospital where An worked and demanded action against her. A video of the incident was posted on Chinese social media allegedly by the boy’s family, stating that a minor was assaulted by a government employee.
Internet users then ganged up against the doctor, posting her personal details and photographs on the web. An consumed over 500 sleeping pills while sitting in her car last Saturday, as per media reports. She died after being taken to the hospital.