The Chinese authorities momentarily lost control over public information this weekend when their desperate endeavours to cover up the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl lead to violent riots in the south-western Guinzhou province. Web users destroyed officials' attempts to downplay the enormity of events by continuously posting images and accounts of the protests.
Online accounts say that after her body was found in the river, local residents said that Li Shufen had been raped and murdered by three relatives of Yuhua county officials. However, the three accused were released without charge after eight hours following the results of a basic autopsy which reported that she had committed suicide. When her uncle, who she lived with, complained about procedures, he was so badly beaten that he was taken to hospital. Information about the attempted cover-up soon got onto the internet and