The Marmot's Hole

Korea... in Blog Format

Tag: The Netizens (page 1 of 4)

Sit down for this: Netizens misbehaving on social media

I know, I was shocked, too:

Amidst worldwide claims that Australian referee, Barbara Csar, failed to point out some faults in Heidemann’s play, such as maintaining the correct distance and starting before the clock began ticking, Korean netizens searched online to find out more about the referee and Shin’s opponent.

Csar and Heidemann were easily located on Facebook, and soon their walls were full of messages rebuking them for what happened. When their accounts were blocked from public view, netizens started to write on the wall of Heidemann’s boyfriend, and revealed contact information online.

Many, however, are concerned that this will cause emotional strife between Korea and Germany, including German media such as Der Spiegel, a weekly magazine that wrote an article titled “Referee Csar Insulted on the Internet.”

Not sure what this means, either:

The high rate of Korean athletes involved in judging controversies has the country up in arms, in particular, whether the referees are biased against Team Korea. Sports watchers are saying that despite improved performances by South Korean athletes, the prowess of the country’s sports diplomacy has yet to develop.

The country currently has two members on the International Olympic Committee — Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee and Moon Dae-sung, former Olympic taekwondo gold medalist.

Jesus H. Christ, a half-country of 50,000 million currently sits No. 3 in the gold medal count. How much more above Korea’s weight do they want the country to punch?

On a slightly positive note, Mongolian judoka Naidan Tuvshinbayar took silver in the 100 kg weight category, losing in the finals to a Russian as President Putin looked on. He was the reigning gold medalist (not to mention a Hero of Labor!), so I suppose this is something of a disappointment. All things considered (and by all things, we mean Uncle Vlad sitting in the stands), though, it wasn’t such a bad result.

Oh, and just out of curiosity, is there an archery team out there not coached by a Korean?

And about that ‘Something Something Girl’ series

If you were clicking around looking for the “Apgujeong Chest Girl” yesterday and today, you won’t find her.

This incident does probably say something about the whole “○ ○ 녀” series, though. As does this.

Who Said the Gov’t Lacks a Sense of Humor?

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has filed defamation charges against the netizen who posted a video of Olympic gold medalist Kim Yu-na seemingly avoiding a hug from Culture Minister Yu In-chon during a post-Olympic welcoming ceremony at the airport.

In its complaint to police, the ministry said the minister was just trying to congratulate Kim as he gave her a bouquet, but the video was edited to make it look like he was trying to molest her.

And people wonder how Korea ended up on a list like this…

It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone’s Server Goes Down

Granted, it’s really, really hard to feel sorry for 2ch, but I hate news like this:

An army of Korean netizens apparently attacked the Japanese Internet forum 2ch for their anti-Korean postings, including those targeting Korea’s Olympic gold-medal-winning figure skater Kim Yu-na, causing the site to shut down on Monday.
The attacks were triggered by comments praising Russians for the killing of a Korean student in Moscow.

Some postings claimed that the killing was not racially motivated and Russians were doing “good deeds” after the event occurred.

The denizens of 2ch were also posting stuff claiming Korea had bribed Olympic figure skating judges. Online security officials estimate that more than 10,000 Korean netizens participated in the attack, according to the KT.

Some netizens operate under the impression that attacks like this are a “display of Korean power.” I wonder if they’ll be saying the same thing when it’s Chinese netizens crashing their sites…

UPDATE: See this for the play-by-play (HT to WangKon)

Dragons, Nationalism and Chin Jung-kwon in the LA Times

Culture critic Chin Jung-kwon might have gotten savaged by certain quarters of the netizen community for daring to say “D-War” sucked, but he did get an LA Times interview out of it.

The money shot?

“They are fanatics, and they are mobilized on the Internet,” Chin says. “It’s dangerous. This is a country where people put their whole lives into Internet culture and where success is measured by the number of hits you get online. That’s why you see all the media writing about the greatness of ‘D-War.’ ”

The pressure to generate online traffic leads to this broad consensus, Chin says.

“There is a wholly different logic in Korea,” he says. “This era of blind patriotism must die out.”

Rough Night Out, Eh?

And in local news, a 50-year-old civil servant at Gyeongsangnam-do Provincial Hall was arrested in Changwon on charges of fleeing the scene after he hit two parked cars while driving drunk.

The best part, though, is that after he was caught, he not only refused to take a Breathalyzer test, but he also allegedly assaulted — twice! — a 32-year-old American English teacher who tried to stop him from drunk driving and turned him in.*

*Translation edited.

See also here — video footage included! (HT to SweetLou)

So, I Take it You Don’t Like Foreigers Very Much, Then?

Well, these are some very angry netizens. This Photoshop job, while cute, probably says a lot about the mentality of such folk. Some of the forum names are quite amusing, too — “Japs Never Change,” “Dirty Chinks We Must Watch Out For,” “Island Chinks, Taiwan,” “India, Kingdom of Fraud and Rape,” “Paki Beasts,” “African Trash Nigerians,” “America, International Gangsters,” “Hot-Tempered Playboys, the Italians,” and my personal favorite, “Smelly White Bastards.” Linked mostly for entertainment value. (HT to Mongdori)

Where in the World is Richard Chamberlain

And in this installment of “What I Learned from Today,” I learned that there was a 1988 version of the “Bourne Identity” staring Richard Chamberlain.

The Power of Food Bloggers

If you read Korean, the Hankyoreh’s “Esc Magazine” ran an interesting piece on how food bloggers can kill restaurants.

우리 Site 생각 — An Old Meme in A New Place

Our man at the NY Times, Choe Sang-Hun, has written a good article on why is not popular in Korea but, lo, he also describes something of the psychology of why Naver is popular instead of Google.  Choe writes:

In this country, where more than 70 percent of a population of 48 million use the Internet, most of them with high-speed connections, people do not just want information when they log on; they want a sense of community and the kind of human interaction provided by Naver’s “Knowledge iN” real-time question-and-answer platform.

So where the tall, tombstone-style apartment has replaced the village of the sixties that so many left when they came to Seoul, instead of meeting around a village well or at the village collective house, many find a sense of community online, through sites like Naver or Daum. 

Newspapers’ War on Portal News Services

Over at the Guardian’s blogs, Roy Greenslade notes the Korea Online Newspaper Association’s war on the portal sites:

Here’s an extraordinary development. Korean newspapers have decided to impose a seven-day restriction on web portals that promote their news content. It means that, after a week, net users won’t be able to search for news through the portal sites. Instead, they must visit each individual newspaper’s online site to find a specific article.

That measure takes effect from July 1.

Frankly, I can understand how papers might demand that headlines link to the newspapers’ websites ala Google. Sure, that might cut down on the netizen commentary some and hurt the community atmosphere of a portal site like, but seeing how it’s the papers doing the hard work of actually producing the news, outbound links seem perfectly reasonable, IMHO.

But a week limit on news searches? I’ll have to visit the website of each and every newspaper to run archive searches? Absolutely ridiculous. I’d go as far as to say a national shame — in the world’s most wired nation, news searches are about to regress to the pre-Internet days.

NEC Bans Partisan Online Commentary from Today

Well, children, today is the day when the National Election Commission ban on writing messages in support or opposed to specific presidential contenders [Korea Herald] goes into effect:

A person who violates the election laws could face a prison term of up to two years and a fine of 4 million won, it said. “Not all people writing those kind of messages would be punished. It is important whether the messages in question intend to influence the election,” an NEC official said.

“So far, writing messages on portal sites supporting or opposing specific contenders were allowed. But the act is prohibited from today. Similar acts on personal homepages or blogs are also disallowed,” it said.

Good luck enforcing that one, especially when Korea’s top law enforcer, President Roh, is so enamored with the nation’s election laws that when he’s not violating them [Chosun Ilbo, English], he’s seeking their repeal [JURIST]. names Grace Park to Sexiest Women Golfers list has picked the eight sexiest lady golfers, and rounding out the group at No. 8 is Korea’s “voluptuous” Grace Park.

And she didn’t even have to release a nude calendar like Sophie Sandolo (NWS) to do it!

Coincidentally, the website made the mistake of conducting an online readers’ poll with a Korean in it. When the Chosun Ilbo (among others) ran its piece on this, Park was in fourth place with 11.2 percent of 1,160 votes. She’s now No. 2 with 24.2 percent of some 5,520 votes (OK, I admit, I voted for her, despite a fondness for Italians who pose nude) and poised to overtake Australian Anna Rawson (26.1 percent) on the leaderboard.

Vote early.  Vote often.

When It Rains, It Gets Messy

As some may know, “Bi” or “Rain” — the popular Korean singer — has had to postpone his American tour because another band — whose name is “Rain” — has taken him to court for trademark infringement. Well, fortunately “Rain” (the singer) does not use a logo that looks like like a Starbucks logo but the very odd thing is that the American band “Rain” is a “tribute” band that plays nothing but Beatles ™ songs.


During the course of events, some netizens were angry, in fact so angry that they searched the web and found another band named “Rain” in Kansas and hosed their guestbook with mean, nasty thoughts:

You guys are pathetic. If you want to become ‘big time musicians’ why don’t you worry about yourselves, instead of suing an already successful Korean star. Is this some ditch effort to become known? Sure your getting attention now, but it’s not the kind that’ll make you famous. Keep hurting your reputation with this lawsuit, see if any of us care.

Saturday, June 09, 2007 – Russia

to which these gentlemen in Kansas replied:

We are not sueing anyone. We are a different band named Rain. Please leave us alone. We just play in our area of the USA and we know there are other bands named Rain. That’s fine with us.

So, to summerize, an American “cover” band that only plays the music of another famous band is suing against a Korean singer who just happens to have the same stage name as they use for their group and, in reaction to such crassness, the singer’s fans go online to lavish insults and complaints upon yet another band that has the same name as the singer and the cover band that they have mistaken for the pseudo-Beatles band.

Now, even as I write, the monsoon is coming and I know I will never name a child of mine “Rain” due to some nameless fear that may never have a trademark.

A FTA Copyright Disaster Coming?

As most know, the US/South Korean FTA (free-trade agreement) has recently been concluded but there is some concern that the FTA — as it is now — will allegedly cause Korea to give up all fair-use material that currently is on the internet, in South Korea.

One should note, however, that the concerns expressed by the author seems to play up a potential threat to P2P services and the massive illegal book copying that goes on at universities in Korea, rather than any real concern about academic and political freedom in South Korea or any real threat to IP rights and issues. I know that my Korean “webhard” space will not vanish since it is used for legal purposes. There are simply no legal grounds or motivation for the Korean Government to put an end to “webhard” services such as the one I use.

IMHO, this complaint is a non-issue since the copyright concerns mentioned in the FTA seem legitimate and reasonable — per what I have read — and this complaint is most likely an attempt to get Korean netizens and students (illegal text book copiers) to agitate against the FTA, even now. Here are a few gems from the referred site:

Copyrights and patents were originally introduced in the Anglo-American legal system to stimulate creativity and technological development, the ultimate goal being benefit for the society as a whole. The recent developments of restrictive ‘IPR’ regimes violate the original spirit of these provisions. Applied to countries with historically different knowledge regimes, the ramifications are enormous.

“Historically different knowledge regimes” such as Nolbu’s “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is also mine”? or this boner:

Korean human rights and other civil society groups point to the lack of fair use provisions and the chilling effect this will have on the development of knowledge sharing tools, critical discussion, artistic expression and education. They also are concerned about the great potential for abuse: These provisions can be easily invoked by authorities to justify surveillance and outright censorship on political, cultural and social grounds. Memories of such a society are still fresh. Koreans fought hard to free themselves from long decades of authoritarian rule (much of which was at least indirectly US-supported), establishing one of the worlds most vibrant democracies.

Again, this is the same clever artifice used to promote an anti-America agenda and to derail any real attempt at examining human rights violations by North Korea, primarily by pro-North Korean elements, in the south, that have hidden and continue to hide under the mantle of Korean nationalism.

This nonsense seems to have fooled someone at boingboing as well. Pity.

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