An Internet APB in China
What does APB stand for? This acronym is used in American law enforcement to mean All Points Bulletin - that is, a bulletin broadcast to all parties, often with information about a suspect who is to be detained. On the Chinese Internet, the netizens will sometimes ask the forum webmasters to issue an APB to identify or locate a specific person on a matter of great common interest.
The following is the case of a blogger/forum participant known as the Northern Drifter Swallow (北漂燕子). Her claim to fame was the posting of a series of 33 photographs of herself over a 10-week period in a sina.com post titled "86 kilograms to 42 kilograms -- the full weight-reduction diary.". Here is a representative sample of those photographs (augmented by more photographs from Tianya Club and Qidong News). Each photograph is matched with her corresponding body weight at the time. Just bear in mind that all this happened in just 10 weeks.
86 kilograms; Chaoyang Park, Beijing
83 kilograms; Xian
80 kilograms; Victoria, Canada
76.5 kilograms; Vancouver, Canada
73 kilograms; Fuguo Undersea Park, Beijing
70 kilograms; Calgary, Canada
66 kilograms; Butchart Garden, Victoria, Canada
64 kilograms; Roger's Restaurant, Beijing
62 kilograms; Vancouver, Canada
56 kilograms: Vancouver, Canada
53 kilograms; Victoria, Canada
52 kilograms; Victoria, Canada
50.5 milograms; Victoria, Canada
49.5 kilograms; Victoria, Canada
48.5 kilograms, Toronto, Canada
45 kilograms; Toronto, Canada
44 kilograms; Guilin, China
42 kilograms; Beijing
The original forum post consisted just the photographs without any explanations. The demand for an APB comes from two different directions (see Wenxue City and China.com):
Direction #1: "Please share your secret weight-reduction method with me! I'm desperate and I can never find anything that will reduce my weight"; "I beg you to help us because we are still trying to fight against our fat! How long did it take you? You must share your successful experience with me!" "Please tell me! I urgently need to know. I hope that you can appreciate how I feel. I will be grateful if you can use your magician's hands to make us all pretty!" ...
Direction #2: "If she really lost that much weight, she should have kidney failure already!" "This just has to be a hoax because it does not even remotely look like the same person!" "What makes you think that this is a weight-reduction diary? Why can't you read the photographs in the reverse direction as a chronology of a weight-gaining problem over a much longer period of time!?"