Netizens Discuss Stigma Over Political Orientations

From Nate Pann:

If you are politically conservative, does that mean you are an Ilbe bug?

I hope you don’t argue for your political orientations in the comments under my post.

I’m a female university student in her 20s. If you want to classify my political orientation, let me say I’m closer to the conservative side.

I met my friends after the local election today. I don’t usually like to talk about politics with friends so when they talk about politics, I usually just listen. But today, they particularly asked me who I voted for.

I didn’t want to lie to them and also wanted to tell them my thoughts for the first time. So I told them I voted for a conservative candidate. They were so surprised. They all support candidates from the progressive side. Then they asked me if I support the conservative party. I said it is far-fetched to say I’m a supporter of the party, but their outlook on national security and some policies are similar to mine. And I also told them I was only listening to them so far because my political stance is a bit different from theirs. I knew the mood would get awkward and it really did. But they were still like “Well, we can have different thoughts, ke ke” and it seemed we were moving past it with no trouble.

Then, this friend named ‘A’ sarcastically said, “How is that any different from being a supporter of the party…” I didn’t want to continue the conversation about politics so I just said, “Is that so? Maybe I’m a supporter then, ke ke ke” and other friends laughed, too. I thought we had really moved on. Other friends left and I was walking with A because we were heading in the same direction. She was not very responsive when I talked to her. Then suddenly, she called me an Ilbe bug bitch. I was taken aback.

I heard from A that Ilbe is a far-rightist community. A always talked about what she called atrocities committed by Ilbe. For A, ‘Ilbe bug’ was the most insulting curse. I was stunned when I heard that from her. I just stood still. She cursed me more and I got pissed off, too. I had to get her back. I said, “All you read on internet news sites is celebrity gossip and I’ve never seen you read a book since high school. Whenever you pretended to understand politics, it made me cringe. I haven’t told you that I support the conservative party because I knew you would act like this…” We argued and A left saying she doesn’t want to talk to a crazy bitch any more.

I was so frustrated to lose a friend after getting called an Ilbe bug just for supporting a conservative party. Not everyone can think alike… It is not wrong to have different thoughts…. Funny but I cried my balls out when I got home. It seems I will never talk about politics with friends.

Lastly, I want to tell you that being politically conservative doesn’t mean being an Ilbe bug. I hope you don’t make the mistake of denouncing conservatives as Ilbe bugs. Why are all young people supposed to be progressive? People have different upbringings and values. Being different doesn’t mean being wrong or evil. It is rather more dangerous if everyone has the same thoughts. I also hope our country prospers and becomes better. Don’t judge someone by their political orientation, please.


I am writing an epilogue because some people may be wondering what happened afterwards.

I got a phone call from another friend who was at the cafe yesterday. She asked me if I wrote a post on Pann. I said it might be my post. She said A told everyone else who was at the cafe about our argument on Kakao Talk chat. A changed the story a bit but she said A admitted to her fault and would apologize to me. But I haven`t gotten any message from her so far so maybe she has no intention of apologizing. This is the end of my story.

It seems my post has caused some misunderstandings. I feel uneasy because it was understood in the wrong way. I didn`t post this to argue about which party is right or wrong. I just wanted to tell you that I wish people wouldn’t judge you based on your political orientation. I can`t make good judgements because I`m still a student who has lots to learn. I couldn`t delete this post because I haven`t read all your comments yet, but I will delete this as soon as I finish reading them. Thank you for reading my post and leaving comments to advise me.


Koreans’ political orientations identified by respondents. (Grey: moderate, orange: progressive, blue: conservative)


Koreans’ political orientations identified by objective criteria. (Top: consistently progressive, middle: in-between, bottom: consistently conservative)

Comments from Nate Pann:
25 :

Being conservative doesn’t mean supporting Ilbe and the Saenuri Party is not a proper conservative party. What you also may not realize is that the Democratic Party or the NPAD is not progressive. They are conservative. That misconception is as strange as calling the American Democratic Party progressive. And you said you are a conservative yourself. What kind of conservative party in the world attends a military event of a country that colonized their country? You said you like their handling of security issues, but they slashed the Military Reform Plan 2020 and gave permission to construct the second Lotte World that obstructs flights around the Seongnam Air Base which is an important military base. Also, how can a representative of the party brazenly say “Citizens were deceived by election pledges” when they were criticized for not implementing those pledges? I’m politically moderate-conservative, but I can’t understand how you can support Saenuri. If you still voted for them knowing all this, that’s a problem. If you weren’t aware of these, that is also a problem because it means you don’t pay enough attention to politics.


Being conservative doesn’t mean being an Ilbe supporter. It would be more correct to view Ilbe as a group of people who seek sensationalism and bash weak people to feel better about themselves. It was the media that created the notion that Ilbe users are conservatives. They say if you analyze Ilbe posts, only less than 20% of the posts are political. Most posts are to bash someone or spread sensational rumors. Think of diseased former President Roh Mu-hyun’s photoshopped images, the newly coined Kimchi girls, etc. Despite this, some people promote the equation that conservative = Ilbe and try to defame conservatives. If that friend keeps going on about Ilbe bugs and such, one option would be to realize what kind of person she is and end your friendship with her.


Being conservative doesn’t mean supporting Ilbe. Those who think like that must be ignorant… It doesn’t seem any different than saying all girls are Kimchi girls.


I’m not sure about those who claim to be progressive but at least my acquaintances who are equally or better educated than me are all politically conservative. They are level-headed and rational about the real world while progressive kids tend to be daydreamers who emotionally approach matters. For example, they get hooked on words like “loyalty” that don’t involve rational and objective judgement. Anyway, since it’s getting tougher for young people to make a living, they tend to become more emotional and idealistic daydreamers who turn into progressives.


After the last presidential election, my friends asked me who I voted for. I said Park Geun-hye and they treated me like an alien, too. They said to me things like “No wonder because your family is well off” (Not really) “Why did you vote for her when she will make your life harder?”, etc. Democratic Party supporters were telling elderly people to stay home and not vote, but I wished those in their 20s, who thought life for young people would get harder and the nation would collapse if conservative politicians are supported, with no opinion of their own, had stayed home. When I asked them why they voted for Moon Jae-in, they said, “Because I hate Saenuri”, “Because Park Geun-hye is the daughter of Park Chung-hee”, and “Aren’t the Democrats good guys?” There was no better articulation. In this local election, one in four in their 20s voted for conservatives, which is not a small number. But to my friends, I just said I voted for Park Won-soon. I don’t really enjoy talking about politics with them and if I told them honestly, they would treat me like a weird one again, ke ke ke.


It’s truly disgusting when they act like they are enlightened because they are politically progressive. There may be a couple of fellows like that around you all.

맞아요 :

I’m also a woman in her 20s who’s politically conservative. I don’t know whether there are a lot more progressives among young people, but I try not to talk about politics because I don’t want to be treated like a strange person. My friend who’s also conservative said she doesn’t go around talking about her political view for the same reason. Not all people in their 20s are progressives. It’s just that conservatives don’t say it because they may get ostracized.


Those who don’t even usually watch news are affected by the mob mentality and bash all conservative supporters calling them Ilbe bugs. How ignorant.


Sigh..fucking lefty zombie bitchesㅡㅡ Those stupid bitches who don’t even understand what basic words like economy and finance mean always talk fucking loud about politics. There are even psychos who still believe the mad cow disease rumor among lefty zombie bitches. Those lefty zombie bitches who were going crazy claiming the subway fee will be increased to 10,000 won as of January 15th, 5 months after, you guys still ride the subway with no problem, don’t you?? After causing all that fucking fuss, is there any single lefty commie bitch who feels sorry about that?? As usual, they shut up as if nothing happened and go back to everyday life and get fooled by more baseless rumors to bash Park Geun-hye..^^ Rinse and repeat indefinitely…tsk tsk. Fooled by a few bullshit comments on social media and fake posts written by an elementary school student, even after they got debunked, these pavlovian ignorant lefty zombie bitches make decisions on voting, just like the OP’s friends, tsk tsk. Although they went fucking apeshit because of the mad cow disease hoax, they are like “You don’t die because of that” when residual agricultural chemicals were found in school meals. This bullshit.. ㅡㅡ They should judge what’s right or wrong apart from which party they support, but they don’t practice rational thinking in daily life. Their mind is usually filled with celebrity gossip and what they have seen on social media. They get fooled by unrealistic and populistic welfare policies…hah, no, these bitches don’t even understand these words so they can’t even be fooled by those. They just get fooled by social media. When an Ilbe bug dude posted the English lyrics of “Dancing Queen” claiming that it was Obama’s speech about the danger of mad cow disease, there were retarded bitches, self-proclaimed aware citizens who didn’t even read the post and just voted it up saying “Even Obama is opposing it” ^^ Even if you say Obama spread words about danger of mad cow disease singing Dancing Queen, those psychopaths would take that as a fact as long as it bashes the government…^^ Even idiots like Ilbe bugs can sort out facts. Those lefty zombies are worse than bugs..he he…I hope they study what happened to South Vietnam, ke ke ke. Of course, they will never do that. ^^ Since when have they seriously read books or watched the news, tsk tsk.


Equating conservatives to Ilbe users just tells you they are idiots;


Your friend is cosplaying as an aware citizen in full force, ke ke ke ke ke ke crazy ke ke ke. I like some ideas from the progressive side, but it feels like progressives are too divided among themselves and get nothing done. From the conservative side, I like their outlook on national security. So I’m like moderate. After the Sewol ferry tragedy, I checked Facebook. I saw a lot of rumors on the timeline and people pretending to be aware citizens. ㅡㅡ It’s good to be progressive but it’s really disgusting when they spread propaganda.. I make my own decisions. ㅡㅡ I voted for the conservatives this time, too. My friend is on the conservative side, so we can have good conversations. I would be really mad if someone heard us and called us Ilbe bugs because I find Ilbe bugs really disgusting. ㅡㅡ Also, they call you an Ilbe bug when you are just using the Gyeongsang dialect, ke ke. Ilbe bugs simply put ‘no’ at the end but in the real dialect, they use ‘na’, ‘no’ and ‘go’.

22 :

I’m a moderate. Most people around me are progressives except for my parents and some professors. They tend to bash you if you say you are a conservative. Not all of them are like that but if you listen to them, they seem to think everything they claim is correct, logical and righteous. However, they turn a blind eye to the wrongdoings of the party they support or they aren’t just aware of those or they don’t even want to know in the first place. They just argue that the other party is dirtier. When I see people like that, it’s a bit frustrating and they look like religious fanatics because they insist that only their party is right..;; This may also happen in other countries, but I think our country needs to fix this. There should be a limit to how you criticize your opponents. It’s excessive these days. I don’t think they are any different from those mean netizens who blindly bash celebrities and spread rumors about them.


Certainly, kids in their early 20s have very superficial knowledge of politics as they just pick up what’s floating around on the internet. They pretend to be progressive and get fooled into thinking following progressives is the only righteous way. What I want to ask them is to have their own opinion and not go overboard with superficial knowledge. Moderates like me dislike both Park Geun-hye and Moon Jae-in. I just vote for pledges or political moves they have made.


There is no cure for Roh Mu-hyun stans… I would vote for Saenuri just because Roh stans are disgusting. For real…if they only shut their mouths, I would be able to vote without any prejudice towards a certain party.


There are no true conservatives or progressives in our country. They just indulge in turf war to occupy power. Half of the people who claim they are conservative or progressive never even read a book about that but they made the decision after reading some sensational internet posts or from their parents’ influence. It doesn’t make sense to take a side when it is all for the nation and citizens to prosper. Real considerate people think conservatives and progressives should work together instead of being factionist. They should accept good points from each other and work together like cartwheels.


There is no conservative party in our country. There are only conservative idiots.


Leftists are weird, ke ke ke ke ke ke ke. They always go on about helping out commoners, ke ke ke ke ke ke ke. Do they really think if the leftist politicians seize the throne, they would push forward policies for commoners? Nonsense. It’s all for display and populism. Universal welfare? Ke ke ke ke ke. Overthrowing the powerful??????? Don’t you know? NPAD lawmakers are also big powerful people, you fools;; They are not commoners ke. The number of their seats in the National Assembly don’t fall much behind the ruling party members and they get paid the same salary. Their corruption could be even worse;; Exploiting the Sewol tragedy with Lee Jung-hee, demanding President Park Geun-hye to resign, cosplaying as victims, etc. Do you know these are all bullshit? It was revealed that opposition party members were involved in dirty laundry with Chonghaejin Marine. Those self-proclaimed aware citizens make me shiver.


Many of my friends support progressives and when I say I support conservatives, they always accuse me of being thoughtless. They don’t even explain why supporting progressives is such a thoughtful decision. And they still just go on about dictatorship… They even shamed this friend for supporting Park Geun-hye in front of me even though they knew I’m a conservative. So I don’t talk about politics with them any more. It seems progressives are more self-righteous and arrogant.


I hate to support progressives even more because progressive supporters think weird of me when I say I support conservatives. I don’t know why they blindly claim we are wrong but they are right. So I also keep my mouth shut when they talk about politics. Not all young people are progressives.

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  • I love liberal K-Pop girls…easy…and sleazy

    • Dave Park

      You should go for Chinese girls then. Regardless of their political beliefs, so much easier and sleazier.

      • Boris

        Apparenty all the girls in the world are now easier and sleazier, so why go for only Korean or Chinese when you can have a buffet of international dishes!


  • 금정산

    She’s too disingenuous for me to take her seriously. But still, she has a fair point to make. People need to be more mature and accept others have a different perspective to them.

    • Zappa Frank

      yes, but she cannot say do not judge people for their politic ideas. Besides among things that could break friendship for sure there is difference in political ideas.. (no always but often)

      • 금정산

        I don’t think her problem was being judged for differing politcal ideas. It was the reaction she received and being labelled an Ilbe bug. Difference in political ideas shouldn’t break a friendship unless there is something extreme or not being able to accept differences – which some people can’t.

        • Zappa Frank

          difference in political view imply a really different vision of the world, different values, and so on. I don’t think a real friendship is possible with such big difference. Yes, can hang out for have some fun for a short while, but to have a real friendship is a bit harder because values are different

          • 금정산

            In some cases yes, in some cases no. There are degrees to differences in political views, and you may even disagree with some policies of the party you vote for.

            People do form closer friendships to others with similar values and vision of the world. Indeed there are different levels of friendship. Sometimes really it matters, sometimes it doesn’t. It also matters to some people more others – depending on how open-minded they are.

            Different religious or political views generally don’t worry me (because I don’t think people can choose their beliefs and there can be more similar values in the friendship).

            But if it was to a higher degree – like Islamic extremism or a cult… well I couldn’t be close friends with someone when there are too many dissimilar values.

          • David

            Did you really mean to say you don’t think people can choose their religious beliefs? or was that a misreading on my part?

          • 금정산

            You read correctly.

            I think it doesn’t matter how hard you try, you can’t force yourself to believe something. You can make the choice to got to church, read the bible and listen to preachers – these are actions which can lead to a belief – but I don’t think you can actually choose to believe.

  • Zappa Frank

    i like the mass generalization. she voted for conservative and A, one person only, accused her to be an ilbe bug… A even wanted apologize later…. in respons most netizen complain about all leftists with generalizations even grosser than the one done by A….great.
    by the way, how you cannot judge people from their political orientation? is a non sense..

    • [email protected]

      Can you point out where the generalizations are? I can’t seem to find them

      • Zappa Frank

        look at the last three comments for instance

    • Balkan

      Calling someone a bug is really bad, especially telling this to a friend. Although A said she would apologize, that never happened.

      • Zappa Frank

        lefty zombie bitches on the opposite is to praise?
        i don’t say A was right, but many netizens are no better with their comments, still generalizing about how progressive are or think (and with offensive expressions)

        • David

          True, this is a case of two wrongs don’t make a right. A was wrong in her treatment of her ‘friend’ but the posters also were intolerant of progressive views. However, I do give some of the posters a little slack. It seems many were simply venting frustration for being treated the same way this poor girl was treated. When are we going to learn, discuss and disagree, don’t hate.

          • John Smith

            not happening, at least in Korea any time soon.

  • Eric0912

    I don’t see why judging people based on political views would be considered strange. What could be better? And why would one want to be close friends with groups of people who doesn’t share one’s view of the world and the humans inhabiting it? If you want to be able to discuss anything deeper than what to wear for your next date, I think it’s more or less a necessity.

    People who “don’t care about politics” are peculiar.

    • David

      only having discussions with people who already believe what you believe is simple mental masturbation, why not just talk to yourself in the shower?. I have many friends who have a wide range of political views (some pretty wacky ones) but talking with them (as long as you respect each other) is always fun. When you have discussions (and even arguments) it not only opens you up to new ideas (which people who like to think enjoy) but it helps you to better understand your own point of view, by explaining it to others. I have been involved with it on local and national election levels and eve I know all of life is not politics (and when I am in the states I teach it in high school) so why would you cut yourself off from a person simply because you have different political ideologies?

      • Eric0912

        I’m not very surprised I was misinterpreted, but, okay: My main point was that I do think political opinions are a great way to judge people, if one’s into the business of judging people. I didn’t suggest people to only have discussions with people that are exactly the same as themselves, but I personally wouldn’t surround myself with that kind only (at least not nowadays, when a bit older). Maybe I simply got tired of discussing the same things over and over again, and want to get past that? I’ve heard “the other side’s” arguments, and I probably won’t be switching ideology over night, thus would rather discuss issues within that sphere: I’d rather discuss how to solve problems related to sexism, homophobia and racism, than discuss whether or not women are biologically better suited for kitchen work than men, if gay people deserve human rights, and if some people who believe in a hidden force from above are better than some other people believing in another hidden force from above. Maybe it’s just a sign of getting old and tired. (Sometimes I still enjoy those pointless battles, it happens.)

  • Yaminah Jamison

    I dunno I have a best friend who has been there for over 10 years but then again, we don’t talk about politics. I’m one of those I don’t care peoples but it’s a bit more to it than that. Just as I think people’s friendships can be deeper than political views. I think some aren’t considering that there are those who aren’t in depth about it than others. People of different religious backgrounds can still be friends.

    Eh just my view but what would I know? I’m not into politics *shrugs*

  • Renjick

    Conservatives all over the world are idiots, that’s no surprise.

    • David

      I think you have proven who the idiot is by your complete misunderstanding of the article.

    • jon9521

      Tell me how it is then that every communist country has failed economically and just about every capitalist government has thrived. Look at the Europe (ex UK, Germany) they still have not recovered from the financial crisis. Look at how Japans economy has improved since Abe (Conservative) has been in power. Look at the US economy. The idiot word clearly does not apply to Conservatives

  • KCdude

    I’m a Canadian monarchist here in this dangerously republican country. I hate every politician here. So, I have no reason to talk about Korean politics in Korea in the first place. But I love to talk about world history with others because Koreans don’ know much about history on average.

  • KCdude

    There is much bigger and more serious political divide if a country has a presidential system similar to the one in the USA (I’m looking at you, South Korea and Nigeria, who happened to have similar political problems to each other).

  • Anna Presman

    I keep reading about this Ilbe, but what is it about, exactly? Is it similar to 4chan?

    • KCdude

      4chan + Stormfront[dot]org + Free Republic + South Korean setting = Ilbe

      • Arendelle

        What kind og website is Sotromfront? Never heard of it.

        • It’s pretty much the single worst website on the Internet. Based on the translations I’ve seen from koreabang, it is much, much, much worse than Ilbe. Do yourself a favor and don’t even give it a second thought. You wouldn’t want to get sucked into such a miserable cesspool of hatred.

          But to give you a short answer, it’s a white supremacist site.

          • Zappa Frank

            stormfront is a joke. but i find amusing that even on chinesmack some people use exactly the same theories (very often changing to push another side)..

          • balls

            Koreansentry is a Gyopo version of stormfront. It’s all “y-dna” this and “Jewish multicultralist globalist cultural marxists” that. The funny thing is that most of them don’t have the balls to actually live in Korea. They are happy enough to reap the benefits of living in the decedant west, all the while bitching about it.
            The moral is, there are idiots everywhere.

          • Small twon

            Huh ! I didn’t know there are korean version “” ..good to know human being are same everywhere

          • balls

            Sure waygook has a number of idiots. But people aren’t there discussing the genetic factors that make certain races better. Or how mail-order brides and migrant workers should be rounded up and deported on mass. Or the Jewish zionist conspiracy against Korea. Koreansentry has all that and more.

            Waygook is bascially a site for esl teachers most of who are in their 20s to talk, piss and moan about teaching in Korea.

          • Small twon

            So that site is like “expath**,klo**,rum dia***,black****,ox*****…(list is …very long… as you know )..” I am sad ..but not surprised .. sometimes I wish I am Christian so I can have faith God will nuke us all and sort out who got a F5 visa to heaven..

          • bumfromkorea

            The moment such sites started *manufacturing* and repeatedly used ethnic slurs (i.e. “Klowns”), they join the prestigious ranks of Koreansentry and Stormfront (arguably equivalent, though the size of Stormfront far outstrips that of Koreansentry). Not to mention the matching vitriol. Some of them, I genuinely become worried about the Koreans that they see in their daily lives – including their own families.

            Ilbe, on the other hand, is despicable for an entirely different reason (though it has its racist moments too – ex: Its treatment of Assemblywoman Jasmine Lee, a *conservative* politician and a Filipino-Korean). When the Ilbe Insects called the Sewol victims “Fish cake soup”, hijacked the yellow ribbon Remembrance meme to promote their own site, and openly wondered if the female victims engaged in orgies with the male survivors before death WHILE THE SHIP WAS STILL SINKING? They gave up their rights to be treated like a human being.

            An Ilbe Insect is not a conservative. You have to be human first before you can be a conservative, and there are decent Korean conservatives out there (such as Governor-elect of Gyeonggi Province, Mr. Gyung-Pil Nam).

  • Insomnicide

    This is just like some idiots who think right-wingers are all Nazis.

    • Black_Plague

      Reminds me, I once got accused of being ‘brainwashed’ by the Saenuri Party simply because I pointed out possible consequences of reunification and that a good number of North Koreans might actually attempt an insurgency if it ever happened :3

  • Arendelle

    I wonder how those Ilbe members would feel if they know how often they are mentioned in Korea-related foreign forum. Proud of themselves, maybe?

  • commander


  • Black_Plague

    “but they slashed the Military Reform Plan 2020”

    Those plans are still going ahead. ROK’s set to reduce the Army’s manpower of 500k+ troops down to about 400k (and cutting 47 active-duty and reserve divisions to 24) by then, but with more emphasis on firepower and technology. Divisions that remain are likely to have more troops each, since they’re only cutting about 20% of the Army’s manpower as opposed to half the divisions.

    K2 and K1A rifles are set to be supplanted by the K2A and K2C, while also throwing out what’s remaining of the M16s and M1 carbines. The mechanized infantry divisions are now finally getting their hands on the K2 Black Panthers and more K21 IFVs, plus there’s also the purchase of the AH-64E attack helicopters and production of the Surion utility helicopters (with attack variant planned as well) that are to replace the UH-1s and MD500s.

    And that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

    The major thing that’d be most concerning though, is the fate of the KF-X project (aka stealth fighter) due to budget concerns and as to exactly how long it’ll take for the new equipment to make a significant presence within the ROK military. Even after years, you can find recent countless photos where ROK troops still have the M1 helmet and no body armor, wearing only equipment-bearing vests.

  • Bryan Cheron

    This made me chuckle: “All you read on internet news sites is celebrity gossip and I’ve never seen you read a book since high school.”

    • Doge Wallace

      Sounds like the typical 20s voter in the U.S.

  • Truck Furniture Maker

    Let me save you the mystery; neither side cares about you or the common man. In every nation on earth the government is out for themselves and no you are not one of them.

  • Smith_90125

    Great. The US’s fucked up binary political spectrum is spreading. How dumb do people have to be that they can’t grasp there are more than two possible viewpoints?

    In actual, functioning democracies (e.g. Europe, Canada) there are multiple political parties and multiple political stripes. There’s also less corruption.

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