Witch-hunt Rocks Conservative Korean Internet

A new scandal involving Ilbe and dangerous exposure of personal information has added to the split between the conservative portal and much of the progressive Korean internet. The latest conflict centered around an Ilbe user uploading a post making fun of a popular fashion and beauty web forum named ‘Soul Dresser’ (SoD). Sharing SoD material on other sites is against the rules of the SoD community, and led to a witch-hunt for the users personal information and merciless threats against her private life. Conservative news outlet New Daily covered the aftermath.

The incident is related to the larger phenonmenon of ‘Ilming-out’, the newly-coined term for the process of publicly admitting that one is an Ilbe user. The infamous reputation of Ilbe means that few users want to be known publicly for reading the site. Ilming-out can be a dangerous move for any public figure, as KoreaBANG reported here in the case of Jeon Hyosung, member of the girl group Secret.

From New Daily:

A member of ‘SoD’ hunted down for leaking posts to ‘Ilbe’

Controversy was sparked when a member of the online community ‘Soul Dresser’ (SoD) hosted on Daum was ‘witch-hunted’ for taking posts from SoD to Ilbe. According to Ilbe and SoD netizens, some SoD netizens made ‘Ms. A’ write and rewrite a letter of apology for breaking the rules. Even after the apology, SoD netizens kept leaving comments calling for ‘more severe’ punishment for Ms. A.

“She has to be humiliated in real life.”

“It would be better to put up posters at her school identifying who she is and let her student council know [that she uses Ilbe].”

“I hope her social life suffers.”

“She needs to learn how harsh the real world is.”

“I hope her personal info is revealed and she gets humiliated.”

“Her face should be revealed to everyone so she gets humiliated.”

SoD is a closed community that is hard to join and there is a tacit rule that posts on SoD should not be taken elsewhere. Ilbe netizens criticized SoD that it was being too harsh in its persecution of Ms. A for sharing posts with Ilbe.

“They ganged up on the female university student and made her write a letter of apology.”

“If the comments on the website [SoD] were that bad, the conversation on Kakao Talk and private messages must have been much worse.”

Across the internet, netizens are criticizing SoD users for going so far as to reveal Ms. A’s personal information and make personal attacks. If she files a lawsuit against the abusers, they can be punished by the Personal Information Protection Law. According to the current law, if you illegally use someone else’s personal information, you can be sentenced to up to 2 years of imprisonment or a fine of up to 7 million won. However, it is known that Ms. A wants to resolve the matter in private.

Let’s take a close look at how the SoD members threatened Ms. A. First, a SoD member demanded a letter of apology from her. She wrote it and sent it to the member twice. Below are screen captures of the conversation and the letters of apology.

SoD_apology_letter

Despite the two letters of apology, another SoD member wanted to give her a ‘more severe’ punishment and asked other members for their opinion.

SoD_punishment

SoD_poll

Poll
- Make her put up a poster at her school where she apologizes for her comments and includes her real name.
- Make her upload a sincere letter of apology onto both Ilbe and SoD.
- Make her show her comments to her parents and listen to what they have to say.
- Make her do community service.
- Make her get psychiatric treatment.
- Let the media write about this.
- Inform her school about what she did. (Fax to her discipline, student council or school newspaper.)

This is just what was revealed outside. You can imagine the lynch mobs or the people’s court happening on the private sections of the forum. The internet has become a scary place.

Comments from Nate:

atoa****:

She will make lots of money from the lawsuit, ke ke ke ke. How stupid can you be to reveal her personal info? Ke ke ke ke ke

barg****:

“Because that is true democracy!!!!” Ke ke ke ke

jjw7****:

I got goosebumps when I read they considered forcing her to read her internet comments to her parents…. Those guys are extreme….

carc****:

She wrote a sincere letter of apology. What more do they expect? If it was against the rules of the forum to take their posts to another website, she just needed to apologize for that. It is irrelevant to let her school know about the matter, demanding community service from her and dragging in her parents? Even suggesting psychiatric treatment? Who do they think they are to punish her like that? Do they make any sense? Just because she uses Ilbe? I think it is them who should get some psychiatric help…

anon****:

“You know our democratization is good democratization! Meh!”

rrea****:

I’m a housewife in my 30s who uses Ilbe. I have no interest in politics but I ask questions in the cooking, smart phone and computer forums on Ilbe. During the presidential election period, I was forcefully led to Ilming-out in a meeting. I’ve never been more humiliated than that time in my life. They were in a rage, saying Ilbe is even more trashy than DC. They didn’t listen to a word from me and ridiculed me. I cut contact with them. Women can be very scary…. Please take this opportunity to make an example of those SoD people.

hyun****:

In the meantime, one of the SoD members asked a question on Jisik iN, ke ke ke.

“The admin misled me and I just followed what everyone else was doing. I’m not guilty, am I??? I’m really innocent and I only bashed her. It’s alright, isn’t it?”

The desperation of an SoD member who wanted to escape this mess, ke ke ke ke ke.

kwon****:

“Isn’t this the democracy of our own league?! Atta! Fear not! Fack!”

jyc1****:

Ke ke ke ke ke ke ke, daebak. What is SoD? What a nobody site, ke ke ke ke. They add ‘gui’ at every sentence ending, ke ke ke ke ke. Gui gui. What the hell are you guys doing, ke ke ke ke. I hope you go gui gui at the police station too, ke ke ke ke. Their speech is daebak. Those SoD peeps tried to act all tough only to get punched back, ke ke ke. If you want to pay the settlement money, you will have to sell a couple of your designer bags, ke ke ke. They aren’t bootleg, are they? ke ke ke ke

sign****:

Just what you would expect from Kimchi bitches, ke ke ke.

ramk****:

Even for heinous crimes like murder, robbery and rape, suspects are entitled to a trial before any punishment. Look at those jwajoms who immediately punish a dissenter. Even for criminals, access to their personal information is limited to protect their human rights. Look at those jwajoms who reveal a member’s personal information just because she uses Ilbe. Are they some super justice institute or just thugs? Jwajom parasites are not even human…

worl****:

I checked what’s up with Ilbe and it’s nothing special. Compared to DC Comedy Gallery back in the day, Ilbe is decent. What’s the problem? Do they have something like right-wing phobia? Did Ilbe organize any protest or attack police? Ke ke. I don’t understand why they are so desperate to bring down Ilbe, ke ke.

pku0****:

Hello, restless Pann netizens. In this case, a female community called Soul Dresser revealed a member’s personal information and threatened her. Due to her unrepenting attitude, the victim is experiencing extreme mental distress. Let me add links for more explanation.

Their unrepenting attitude
Threatening her and revealing her personal information
Proof 1
Proof 2
No sense of guilt
Overall situation

Apart from gender, political orientation and everything else, they should not be forgiven.

godn****:

The settlement money will be tens of million won. She must have been damaged a lot psychologically. If you have to pay for all that…duh duh. It is scary that someone’s privacy could be squashed just because she is an Ilbe user and it gives me goosebumps to think those SoD users believed they were acting normally.

king****:

Why is it such a big sin to use Ilbe? Fuck, a rape incident happened during a meeting between Today Humor users but it’s no big deal. Yet they always claim all murder and rape cases come from Ilbe bugs. I haven’t seen that. Then they even call Ilbe jongbuk when it is Ilbe where Kim Jung-il and Jung-un are made fun of with Photoshop everyday. Is that democracy to scapegoat and witch-hunt Ilbe netizens for every heinous crime with no proof? How is this different from North Korea? Lefty commies just can’t hide their nature, tsk tsk.

On a related topic, an Ilbe netizen uploaded a comic strip and tried to express the ostracism and hypocrisy he experienced after his schoolmates in real life found he is an Ilbe user. For those conservative netizens who just want information but do not want to deal with the harsh jokes, stigmatization and aggressive community culture of Ilbe, a new web forum Fact Wiki has been created as a ‘clean version’ of the site.
From Ilbe:

bug-boy-1
bug-boy-2
bug-boy-3

Another Ilbe netizen expressed his protest against the ‘persecution’ through a comic strip. While it was highly popular on Ilbe, many netizens also pointed out that the Ilbe community is guilty of the same double standards.

From Ilbe:
ilbe-bug-protest-1
ilbe-bug-protest-2
ilbe-bug-protest-3

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  • namepen

    If you are going to regularly post derogatory remarks about women, the disabled and homosexuals you don’t really have the right to complain when people take umbrage.

    Although those SOD members really are a bunch of little sods.

    • naked_molerat

      I know, right? Even on the Ilbe “persecution” comic strip above, the guy talks about how Ilbe users are “unfairly persecuted by the Leftist Internet” and yet the imagery they use for their imagined persecutors are:

      1) Skatefish (“홍어” – Ilbe’s derogatory term towards Gwangju citizens): for those who grieve about people who were killed in the Democratization movement. (Because people upset about horrifically losing their loved ones are just prejudiced jerks, amirite?!)

      2) People wearing Joseon-era hats and fashion: refering to TodayHumor users and in extension “leftist” people.

      To top it off, they portray politically left-leaning people as brainwashed by propaganda. Both people on the right and left are influenced by “propaganda” they see on the news. What makes them think *they’re* completely free of bias? Hypocritical much?

      I’m sorry, but if you regularly refer to users as “faggots” and “cripples”, women as “cunts” and have the WEBSITE DOWNVOTE BUTTON as “democratize”, it’s a little difficult to sympathize with you regardless of political orientation.

      And to be on topic, yes the SOD members are kind of nuts.

      • john freyan

        I particularly like the way the Ilbe folks, themselves a product of propaganda campaigns conducted by dictators like Park and Chun, accuse the progressives of being brainwashed by propaganda. Logically speaking, who is more likely brainwashed – the people who are parroting the lines from the Park/Chun era (“Gwangju movement was North Korean secret agents trying to overthrow the government!”), or the people who are being accused of being brainwashed under a free, actually democratic government?

  • yellowgod

    Again shitty article?

  • Beenhereawhile

    I, for one, like these articles – it’s something that isn’t regularly covered and is generally inaccessible to non-koreans. Dynamics of relationships between political groups online play out many aspects of Korean culture offline.

    • Sillian

      True. This site is about netizen reactions. Netizens are often extremely divided on many political issues and there are constant battles going on at comment sections under news articles. Depending on which side dominates the comments on that day or which website you choose to look at, you can see very different netizen reactions. Understanding the netizen dynamics lets you understand the background behind these comments we get to see on kBang.

      • JJ

        “Understanding the netizen dynamics lets you understand the background behind these comments we get to see on kBang.”

        True. But that takes some effort. People are just too lazy to put into that effort required to really understand the dynamics behind Korea, other then go by what they read in ESL Cafe. It’s much more convenient to say “all Koreans think like ___, the end”.

  • Bryan Cheron

    Is admitting to reading Ilbe in Korea somewhat comparable to someone admitting they are active on Stormfront?

    • jon776

      Come on dude… stormfront is filled with hardcore nazis. It’s more like admitting that you watch fox news.

    • chucky3176

      Ignorance is a bliss. You should really read the site before you come up even with that kind of ignorant comment. Just in case you can’t read Korean to come up with your own opinion, instead of regurgitating what you heard:

      Most of the topics at Ilbe is about political infighting (conservatives versus liberals), Korean women (bad girls vs good girls). Most are internal political fightings with flash of sexism, and any other topics are mostly fringe topics.

      Don’t believe all the hype you read.

      • Sillian

        Hey…he is just asking a question out of curiosity.

    • RegisterToPost

      Ilbe is the Korean version of 4chan’s /pol/ board

    • mr.wiener

      I read stormfront sometimes. It’s nice to know what the idiots are thinking [thinking?] .I read white watch too , but I think it might just be a piss-take.

  • Guest

    “Ilbe” did same things to others several times. Now they have soul-mate (or soul-enemy).

  • harvz

    Korea bang has been translating the worst news stories lately. I can’t fault them for putting out such a small amount of stories, since there probably aren’t as many Korean translators as there are on the Japanese and Chinese sister sites, but the articles translated lately are absolute garbage.

    There are much better stories out.

    • poko d

      It’s always better off visit the mother site, not translated ones.

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