At least hundreds Chinese children are being abducted on any given day from their parents. They will be resold several times, until end of in the hands of some 'beggar camp', where they would be confined in cages and trained to be a qualified children beggars. Many of them would be further fixed by pouring acids on their body, or amputation of all 4 limbs, so that they look more visually appealing to sympathetic walkers passing by. At the beginning, many of these child slaves were acquired from poor families in remote rural countryside or government run orphanages. In recent years, because of 'high demand', the major source changed to abduction from busy intersections in major cities. Many city residents' children went missing this way every day, including many from rather well off background. It has become a nightmare for all young parents, and a great factor in social instability. However, police rarely act on these kind of cases, even when the family was able, after extremely hard works and with a great deal of luck, to identify the whereabout of their missing children, because there is little room to make profit. But the most daunting task is to find the children in a country as large as the US, with 5 times the populations.
Scholar Yu Jianrong had an idea on how to fight this with, what else, Twitter (or micro-blog as commonly referred in China). Yu set up a micro-blog account where people can post pictures all the child beggar they ran into in real time, so that parents who have children missing can see them and identify them and act accordingly. Yu suggested a standard three steps protocol: 1) Give a small amount of money, not too little that the child would be beaten by their master as punishment for incompetent, not too much that they will not appear the next day; 2) quickly take a picture of the child with recognizable face features using cell phone; 3) send the picture to the micro-blog website dedicated for this cause.
Within days after the page was set up, more than 100 thousand people 'followed' the thread. More than 2,000 pictures of children beggars were uploaded.
Yu's ingenious idea marked a historic moment where the Internet was put into real use to attack a social issue with tremendous impact on the entire society from bottom to top elite. To make money, the children slaves would have to work in prosperous cities where people are in general more tech-savvy and eager to participate for a good cause (think, 'Egypt'). This operation could eliminate the motivation for children slave in China, and destroy the entire production line.
The police's inaction is evident from the existence of many well-known long established children beggar training camps with no harassment from the government at all. For example, in the picture a young child with missing legs were being trained in Gongxiao Village, Gongji Twonship, Taihe County, Fuyang City, Anhui Province. Many local communist officials are share holders of this kind of businesses. Begging industry has been the sole major revenue source for this extremely wealthy area. Most people are involved in children slavery industry one way or another.