China: Vlogger Helped Child Labor Back to School
by Meng Zhang
Xu Alun, a middle-aged vlogger hammering away at a point that “truth is power”, published a series of self-made shocking videos in Ku6.com, a popular video sharing website in China. Through a 3-episode continuous coverage, Alun exposed a moving story of three child coal haulers in Biji, a small city in the south, and with an effective online advocacy of QQ groups organized by Guo Jun, the story tended to circulate immediately among the netizens, arousing great public concern.
Almost half a million people have clicked on Alun's videos since he released his first work on the child coal haulers in February. Cooperated with Ku6.com, the netizens began to make a donation for the three children in order to help them back to school, and finally, under the increasing pressure from the Internet advocacy, the local government decided to engage in the aid program, which further promoted the cause. Vlogger Alun, the originator of the whole activity, eyewitnessed the process of the government aid and published another two relevant videos in his blog.
“It's really beyond my anticipation, I never thought there would be so many warm-hearted netizens supporting me,” Alun said, “in the beginning, I only wanted to spread the story via Internet.” “I think as a citizen of the People's Republic of China, it is our responsibility and obligation to expose the negative phenomena in the society.” According to another active participant of the cause, Xu Alun is a 40-year old businessman who used to work in the media more than 10 years and has a studio of his own where his documentary videos are made. He is optimistic about the outlook of citizen media which work depending on blog, BBS and instant messaging program in China, including his video blog advocacy.
The two QQ groups which had played an essential role in the cause kept encouraging their new members to widely propagate the aid program for the child labor and their close connection with the videos' author helped them become an information center where people may get the latest news about the child haulers. However, the online action was not an all smooth sailing amid Chinese deficient confidence in Internet. “In fact, we were all under great pressure. A lot of people were watching us and had their own ideas about what we did,” said Guo Jun, the one who created the first QQ group for Alun's video blog advocacy, “some people said we were just a bunch of idiots and only talked without actions and someone thought this was a fraud.” “Whenever I felt exhausted, I would watch the videos. The children's sufferings made me carry on.”
According to Alun's latest video, all the three children have been back to school and well resettled. With the extensive influence of the cause, more child labor in Bijie city are being found and saved.
Tags: China , Child Labor , Freedom
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