A frame grab from the CCTV Focus Report program on Thursday shows Gao Ye giving an interview to CCTV. [Photo: Yangtse Evening Post]
A university student named Gao Ye who slammed Google China for offering links to pornographic websites during an interview with China Central Television (CCTV), has since been identified by internet users as a CCTV intern.
During CCTV's Focus Report program on Thursday, Gao Ye complained that Google China was having negative effects on his classmates because the search engine was offering links to pornographic sites on the internet. However, on Friday morning, one internet user discovered Gao Ye's profile on Chinese social networking site "xiaonei.com," and discovered that the student was actually working as an intern at the television station. The profile included a picture of Gao Ye, proving his identity. Further proof of Gao Ye's identity has come to light through blogs published by both him and his friends. One of CCTV's staff working on Focus Report also confirmed that the student is an intern at the television station in a conversation with a reporter from the Yangtse Evening Post.
The revelations set off a cyber manhunt for Gao Ye, whose private information including the university he attends, his instant messaging identity and cell phone number has been released on the internet. Private details of Gao Ye's girl friend have also been disclosed, with some bloggers criticizing the pair in their posts. Gao Ye and his girl friend had to delete their own blogs on Friday night.
However, some internet users have shown reservation about the extent of the cyber manhunt. One contributor to an online forum wrote that while Gao Ye's puerility could certainly be criticized, his family and girl friend should be left out of the debate.
The topic has aroused heated debate on the internet with some users questioning whether Gao Ye's accusations were even that controversial; and others suggesting CCTV may not have done anything wrong in interviewing one of its interns.