Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Opinion About Korean Netizens

Recently, Tablo, the member of Epik High, and one of my favorite artists faced a slew of criticism from the Netizens regarding the legitimacy of his college degree.  As of right now, the case has closed and the government has verified his college degree as legitimate to calm the Netizens.  It all began as a harmless statement from a single blog stating that one should question the validity of Tablo's college degree, because it sounds extremely hard for him to have graduated in 3years. This simple statement brought in tremendous amount of negative attention on to not only the validity of Tablo's college degree, but also his personal life.  I am writing to criticize the current state of the Netizens and its social ideology.

Netizens are interNET citIZENS, in which they form a single community on the internet without any identity.  In USA, most clashes between Netizens are simply confined to blog entries or comments on Youtube.  However, in
Korea, Netizen clashes can cause the outcome of a success of a celebrity's album or a movie.  In some cases it has had impact on the political arena as well. During the 2007 presidential election, one of the bloggers created a propaganda poster of one of the candidates (Park geun Hye), and the poster spread with the help of Netizens.  This event had a pretty significant impact on her candidacy and she was not elected as a president
along with various other reasons.  In Tablo's case, one of the blogger managed to not only destroy his credentials, but also convince the nation to believe that he was a fraud.

What I personally dislike about Netizen trend is the idea of jumping on band wagons.  During Tablo's case, the majority of the Netizens verbally attacked him stating that he is a fraud with vicious words.  When he was
cleared of these allegations, the very Netizens, who criticized him with lethal words, simply changed their words and started the attack on the people who first initiated these allegations. I know it is easy to anger
people on the internet because you're identity can remain anonymous, however, when it goes too far to destroy a career and a life of a person, where is the line drawn? Internet is a truly amazing technology with tremendous powers with more potentials to be discovered.  I know Koreans have implemented their Netizen idea very well, and works to help many people.  However, they have also managed to find a way to use that idea to change an outcome of various events.  Through this blog entry, I just wanted to bring awareness about the current state of Netizens in Korea and I realize that while it was biased against the system, I really hope that Korean netizens change their way of criticizing other persons through online.        

Picture credits to kpoplive

By: Austin Yi 

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