From the beginning of the controversy, Fu Ping sought to link the criticism of her book with the story of "Chinese hacker attack" on western governments and media. During the question and answer session after a speech in March, 2013, Fu Ping said:
I certainly is on the attack by the Chinese at this point. The day after New York Time had a story broke on Chinese hacking on New York Time, I woke up with 2000 hate mail in my email. And I’m still on the attack by the Chinese. If you go on Amazon and look for Bend not Break Ping Fu, and you will see the full scale of the attack on me. They completely bombarded my book site, and if you saw the titles of five hundred comments, doesn't matter it is one-star or five-stars, they are all smear.Katie Baker made the same linkage on The Daily Beast:
They are not just attack me, my family, my colleagues, but anyone who go voice something authentic get attacked. This is attack to democracy.
While the human flesh search phenomenon has helped expose injustice, it also has been trained on individuals to humiliate them publicly or to punish those who do not align with a strongly nationalist viewpoint. Indeed, recent hacking attacks on prominent American media outlets seem to have been aimed at publications deemed critical of China’s leaders.The Debunking:
The "Chinese hacker attack" story was a media sensation for a while, until the more recent disclosure of American government's own hacking activities severely dampened the enthusiasm. No matter what really happened at New York Times and other media sites, neither Fu Ping nor Katie Baker has produced any evidence that Chinese government sponsored hacker attack could be at work in the wave of public opinion against Fu Ping's book.
It is an attempt at guilt by association, pure and simple.
If Fu Ping truly believes that the 2000 hate mail she allegedly had received is an "attack to democracy," she should have turned them over to FBI for a thorough investigation already.