A former school bully from Zhejiang province, China is now facing three months detention for spreading false rumors about a high school classmate that he posted to an online forum.
The man, identified as 25-year-old Jiang Qi, appeared before the Wenling People’s Court on Thursday to appeal the verdict in the defamation case that was brought up by his former classmate, Wang Jingjing, according to Yangtse Evening Post via South China Morning Post.
Wang, who is also the same age as Jiang, has been a victim of bullying ever since 2009. She suffered different kinds of bullying at the hands of her classmates at Zhejiang Wenling High School, from verbal to physical abuse.
They even went as far as to start up a rumor and circulate it online, claiming that Wang was a prostitute and that she falsely claimed she’s extremely wealthy. At one point, a fellow student slapped her repeatedly on the face after the rumor broke out.
Wang developed depression after this incident. She became suicidal and reportedly tried to kill herself several times.
However, her past eventually followed her, even after she graduated from high school and went to college. The student bullies from her previous school managed to track her down and continued tormenting her by posting insulting comments on several online forums and social media sites to defame her.
Eventually, Wang compiled 14 screenshots of insults and other defamatory comments that the man left on Zhihu, a social media site in China, and eventually filed an official lawsuit against him.
Wang presented key evidence in her case against Jiang using his post, where he claimed that she “only charges 500 yuan (US$80) for a night”, which has since been viewed 6,278 times.
Luckily, this proved integral to a positive outcome in her fight. It turns out, the country’s top court and prosecutors announced in 2013 that when an online defamation rumor receives significant views of more than 5,000 or shares of more than 500 times, the court can find the perpetrator guilty.
Those who are found guilty can face up to a maximum sentence of three years of prison time, according to Reuters.
“I hope victims of campus bullying and cyber violence can protect their own interests and rights like me, and don’t let their lives be ruined by someone else’s mistakes,” Wang said while speaking to China National Radio.
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