Adblogger Gets Death Threats etc. Over Human Rights Ads posted on Her Site

By Matt Van Hoven 

Our colleague and friend Ask Dabitch Wappling, who writes commentary on the 43,000 ads she hosts on commercial-archive (Adland) told us yesterday that she’s been receiving death threats and serious trolling attacks from pro-Chinese Web junkies.

The ads in question were produced for the Red Cross of Sweden, and depict images of human rights violations by Nepalese armed forces. Accompanying the images are the logos used for the 2008 Beijing Olympic games. For instance, the track and field (running) logo is set in the corner of an image of a man running from armed forces during what appears to be a protest.


Much more, including links to the images, after the jump.

Other ads in the campaign show people getting hit with sticks, punched and tackled to the ground. Respectively, logos for baseball, boxing and wrestling accompany those images.

The controversy in this issue transcends human rights issues &#151 and indicates via the Olympic logos that China is responsible for the attacks depicted within the ads. However, the most outspoken Chinese supporters in this matter have pointed out that the armed forces pictured in the ads are in fact Nepalese, not Chinese (apparently their blue uniforms are from Nepal). The so-called false imagery has many Web savvy Chinese up in arms &#151 to the point that they have sent death threats to not only Wappling, but also the Swedish Red Cross.

Wappling said the Red Cross has had it much worse than she, by way of threats and DOS attacks on their Web site.

Furthermore, Wappling said that her servers have crashed at least three times due to DOS attacks. Her site has also apparently been attached to the word “prostitute” in Google search.

“If this happens to me &#151 an adblog that simply showed a campaign &#151 then what do real journalists who write about China have to endure? That’s scary,” said Wappling.

See the ads here.