Microblogging tools like Twitter and Weibo have become one of the fastest ways to disseminate a message to the greatest number of people. Sometimes, for those who are foolish enough not to think about the consequences of their message, it could hurt them. Many celebrities and famous people including President Barack Obama, have been embarrassed after sending things out to hundreds of thousands or even a million followers.
This story is not new in China but it is still interesting. Last month a scandal broke out after Chinese netizens discovered a 20 year old lady named Guo Mei Mei Baby, was allegedly spending Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) donation money on lavish luxury items like a Maserati sports car.
The posts showed the young women boastfully posing in front of and inside her Maserati and carrying designer bags. In some ways, this is where Weibo in China is more dangerous than Twitter because it allows you to post more media types like images and video. And of course images and video speak more volume than pure text.
The controversy has landed CRSC, China’s biggest charity organization in a lot of trouble after heated allegations of corruption. Guo Mei Mei labelled her Weibo account as the Commercial General Manager of the China Red Cross Chamber of Commerce. Weibo users than started to wonder what her connection was with CSRC and if she was misusing public donations on herself. Guo’s suspected boyfriend, Wang Jun, was a board member of the Zhonghong Bo’ai Asset Management Ltd. Corp., a for-profit company connected to RCSC. However, Guo later denied on her microblog that Wang Jun was her boyfriend. Of course this then led donators to demand their money back.
After damaged credibility, RCSC has tried to appease the public by approving national audits and investigations relating to insider corruption. RCSC president Hua Jianmin also said at a national anti-corruption conference in Beijing “Incorruptibility and cleanness are the lifelines of the Red Cross’ work in China,”
So what happened to Guo Mei Mei Baby herself? Recently, she was invited by a famous economic professor on a tv program to publicly announce that her spoils are from her mother who got rich from stock market investments. Also they tried to clarify the relationship between her and Wang Jun, saying that he is her godfather and not her boyfriend, reasoning that’s why he gave her the Maserati…what a nice ‘godfather’. Even more ridiculous is the fact that Guo Mei Mei Baby is trying to turn this bad publicity into fame by releasing music single and wants to be featured in a tv show. This has further enraged the public, but they feel there is little they can do besides berate her on Weibo.