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Korea's Online Aggression a Taste of the Future? 309

DerGeist writes "Imagine your life ruined by an organized mob that convicts with scant, unreliable evidence. Fueled only by hearsay and rumors, an invisible horde of your fellow citizens begins bombarding your snailbox, email, phone, work, school and family with threats, insults and general harassment. You are forced to drop out of school and quit your job as a result of constant attacks. You are shunned and ridiculed in public as anywhere you go, you are instantly recognized. Although it may seem to be just a second-rate Hollywood nightmare scenario reminiscent of "The Net," this sort of "organized mob" justice is being dealt out freely in South Korea where net usage is booming. So freely, in fact, that almost 1 in 10 of 13-65 year-olds has felt its sting. Could this trend hit the U.S.? Will policing net behavior eventually become necessary?"
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Korea's Online Aggression a Taste of the Future?

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  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @11:44AM (#15927558)
    The U.S. citizen has lost all notion of public shame. What in South Korea gets you ostracized, in the U.S. get you on "Entertainment Tonight".
    • by epo001 ( 558061 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @11:48AM (#15927604)
      I think that as we have also lost much of our sense of community in the US and the UK this kind of social pressure won't really have as much hold here.

      One could suggest that South Koreans really need to get out more.
    • by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <{wgrother} {at} {optonline.net}> on Thursday August 17, 2006 @11:58AM (#15927686) Journal

      The U.S. citizen has lost all notion of public shame.

      On the contrary, we've inverted public shame, turning "innocent until proven guilty" into "trial by public opinion." We're usually shaming the wrong people. Take this break in the JonBenet Ramsey case -- turns out it wasn't the parents, but some nut-job ex-teacher. But back 10 years ago, they were hounded by the media and public opinion was decidedly against them. True, they didn't make themselves look good, but the fact is people were browbeating them, hoping they'd confess.

      The fact is, we have a "pile on" mentality here in the US. Once something is out in the open and there's even one piece of information that can be flogged (or blogged) to death, people jump on the bandwagon without using any critical reasoning skills. So yes, this could happen here, but to the wrong people, for the wrong reasons.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Rotten168 ( 104565 )
        There's a theory that this guy who claimed to have killed Ramsey never set foot in Colorado and admitted to the case so he'd be extradicted to the US (Thai prisons are kinda bad). The whole event just doesn't seem likely IMO.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by planetmn ( 724378 )
        Wow, you got "innocent until proven guilty" and "turns out it wasn't the parents, but some nut-job ex-teacher" within three sentences. Until he's convicted, doesn't your first statement still hold true?

        -dave
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Billosaur ( 927319 ) *

          Normally I would say "yes," but if you've seen the videom the guy confessed. Now I don't know about you (and IANAL), but when you confess to a crime, doesn't that usually count as an admission of guilt?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Black-Man ( 198831 )
            Unless his some nut-job admitting guilt to get publicity. Its been known to happen. His ex-wife has said they were living in Alabama at the time of the crime and he didn't travel to Boulder.

            • And his ex-wife might be trying to gain a little temporary publicity for herself. Or maybe he made a trip she didn't know about. Also, she's an ex-wife, meaning her motives may be suspect. Look, it comes down to this: he's confessed. Now, the Boulder PD has to go over his confession, match it to what they know of the crime, and decide if he's a good fit for the evidence, or if he knows something only the killer may have known. Guilty or not, he's set himself up to be the murderer and now it will require sol

          • Never heard of someone confessing to something they didn't do.. that just sounds insane. :|
            • by mrxak ( 727974 )
              I've heard of it plenty of times. It's not as rare as you might think. This is high profile case and people who want attention can get it by making up crazy stories. And they can always say later it was all just a mistake, and without evidence a recanted confession means less than you might expect.
          • Nope. He could be a nutjob. Or a publicity hound. Or he was so obsessed with the case (as reports say) he ended up believing he did it.

            I could confess to the killing of Jimmy Hoffa. Doesn't make it true.
          • by badasscat ( 563442 ) <basscadet75@NoSpam.yahoo.com> on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:46PM (#15928083)
            Normally I would say "yes," but if you've seen the videom the guy confessed. Now I don't know about you (and IANAL), but when you confess to a crime, doesn't that usually count as an admission of guilt?

            Confessions are never taken at face value by any judge or jury worth its salt, nor should they be. I've been reading a lot about this guy over the last day (almost impossible not to, with the news coverage) and he sure seems like a guy who's been obsessed with the whole case for a while and also has been convicted of sex crimes in the past. He's obviously not all there in the head. Doesn't mean he didn't do it, but it's looking more and more like a big hoax to me: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/08/17/D8JI9JDG0 .html [breitbart.com]

            Karr told investigators he drugged and had sex with the 6-year-old beauty queen before accidentally killing her, a senior Thai police officer said Thursday. An autopsy done a day after her body was found said a blood screening showed no drugs or alcohol in her body but said she had vaginal abrasions.

            His ex-wife also seems to have an alibi for him, saying he was with her in a different state when this murder occurred. Now, it seems to me that if your ex-wife is giving you an alibi when you're already a convicted sex offender, she's probably telling the truth. What possible motive could she have other than to just see justice done? (Which in this case would mean catching the right guy, not just some guy who says he did it.)

            We'll see. But I think a lot of you here are proving the point of the original article in this thread - you're jumping to conclusions about guilt when right now, there is more saying this guy is innocent than otherwise. (And anyway, you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in this country, in part because of things like false confessions.)
            • by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <{wgrother} {at} {optonline.net}> on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:56PM (#15928194) Journal

              We'll see. But I think a lot of you here are proving the point of the original article in this thread - you're jumping to conclusions about guilt when right now, there is more saying this guy is innocent than otherwise.

              The problem is -- his confession challenges his innocence. In essence, he's saying "I did it" and expecting everyone to agree. For the prosecutors and the police, the hard part becomes turning their way of thinking around and going "how can we prove this guy isn't guilty?" Guilt or innocence defined by law sometimes has little to do with guilt or innocence in fact or deed.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jd ( 1658 )
            Normally I'd agree with you. There ARE psychiatric illnesses that will cause people to confess to crimes they didn't commit - there was one famous case in England where a person admitted to killing one of the people he was confessing to. There are also cases where pressure is applied to obtain a confession, but there wouldn't really have been the time in this case. Having said that, it's impressive that there are multiple official versions of his arrest - including who had originally arrested him and what f
        • He said he was responsible. But that it was an accident, not murder.
      • by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:21PM (#15927852)
        Take this break in the JonBenet Ramsey case -- turns out it wasn't the parents, but some nut-job ex-teacher.


        I must be old fashioned. I generally don't believe in convictions until a Jury has heard the case.

        The ex-wife of this teacher has now stated that he was with her in alabama when the killing occured, and another witness said he was obsessed with reading reports on the Ramsey killing as well as some another girl who died in california.

        While he's said some things which weren't public, he's also said some things which contradict the evidence.

        So you'll forgive me if I don't convict him in public. Think maybe I'll wait for the police to investigate and go from there.
        • by jfengel ( 409917 )
          Which is why I'm finding the Ken Lay case interestingly ironic. "Innocent until proven guilty" is itself kind of an oversimplification. A jury has heard his case, but he had avenues of appeal left open, which he cannot pursue on account of being dead.

          Intuitively, I want to say he's been found guilty by a jury, and the anecdotal evidence is more than enough to convince me that he's guilty in truth. What little justice can be done by fining his estate seems entirely justified.

          But with appeals left unpursued,
          • by mrxak ( 727974 )
            The option to appeal does not make you not guilty if you've been convicted. All it means is that you have the opportunity to spend more of your money in an attempt to avoid jailtime for a crime you're legally guilty of.
      • Piling on the person is not exclusively American thing, it is common to all human animals.
      • by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @01:04PM (#15928274) Journal
        It is kind of different in East Asia, though. There is more of an expectation that you will not seek attention to yourself.

        The Japanese hostages in Iraq were treated much more harshly by public opinion than American or European hostages were in those countries. Keep in mind that they were aid workers who had gone to help the Iraqi people but the Japanese public were quite hostile to them after their rescue, and they had to apologise to the public for the trouble and embarrasment they'd caused the government. (News story here) [nzherald.co.nz] (blog post here) [ito.com]

        This despite the fact that the deployment to Iraq was itself unpopular, and most people opposed it. I think the hostages were seen as embarrasing the country with the attention they were getting, and seeking fame for themselves.

        What you describe is just people leaping to judgement of who commited a murder, which happens in every society.
    • by john82 ( 68332 )
      Do not equate the popularity in circles of "Amateur Hour" shows and vapid quasi-celebrities as a blanket indictment of the American public. If your position were correct, extortion would be expunged as well as there would be no point. I think you'll find the FBI would beg to differ.

      No, I think this sort of harassment could indeed find a foothold in the States.
    • by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:03PM (#15927728) Journal
      The U.S. citizen has lost all notion of public shame. What in South Korea gets you ostracized, in the U.S. get you on "Entertainment Tonight".

      I can think of several examples where spammers' personal info was posted to Slashdot, and the (alleged) spammer was subjected to harassment in virtually all of the ways described in the article.

    • by cunina ( 986893 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:05PM (#15927745)
      Wow, it took only one post for someone to take a story about Korea and turn it into an anti-American rant! Well done, Slashdot.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by ph1ll ( 587130 )
      Sounds like what happened to anybody who opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003

      :-P

      I wonder how long it is before the Bush administration adopts the same tactics...?

    • by Travoltus ( 110240 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:16PM (#15927821) Journal
      For instance, you can get on places like MySpace or USENET, pose as your victim, and start saying crazy things that will eventually find its way to future employers.

      Or you can pose as other people saying nasty things about that person and make it sound like a large number of people hate this person.

      Using anonymous proxies (or remailers on USENET) will make you increasingly resistant to being discovered and punished; but even if you are, that person will still have to clear their name with employers and such that don't know the "rest" of the story (such as, it's all a lie and perhaps their attacker is now in jail). The thing is, employers would rather not hire people mired in that kind of drama; so even if God tells them the truth, that only bolsters their decision not to hire the victim of such online malevolence.

      This has all the elements it needs to be the next wave of domestic terrorism in America: anyone can do it, and the damage can be overwhelming. Plus, law enforcement is typically too slow and unconcerned with dealing with people who do this, and when this wave of terrorism hits its stride, civil courts will be crushed by all the thousands - or millions - of court cases, as every Tom Dick and Harry in the world takes advantage of what will be seen as the most powerful weapon of mass defamation in history.

      I say "in history" because it's super cheap (free), super easy, super effective and super devastating, if the harasser knows how to do it right in the correct forums where information will propagate far and wide.
      • This has all the elements it needs to be the next wave of domestic terrorism in America: anyone can do it, and the damage can be overwhelming.

        Yeah, in a movie perhaps. You forgot to mention why won't anyone think of the children!
        • Stick your head in the sand and say it doesn't exist and the truth goes away, eh?

          I can make that scenario I described happen in 5 days flat. I've actually done all those things to online bullies before. There's a guy in Illinois who can't get a job because he threatened to sodomize a USENET poster's kid and I posed as him reposting his remark at local web boards and even had someone post his remarks on paper on a few telephone poles.

          Yeah, he got an attorney, and yeah, I offered to fly out and answer to libe
          • I can make that scenario I described happen in 5 days flat.

            Whoopity freegin doo. You and your crazy schemes are so far away from "all the thousands - or millions" of people doing it that it ain't going to happen. If you seriously think your anonymous plots theory has any sort of scalability, then think again. It is self-limiting, the more people who do it, the less impact it will have because the more well-known it will be. The only long-term effect will be in raising people's awareness that you can't b
            • "It is self-limiting, the more people who do it, the less impact it will have because the more well-known it will be. The only long-term effect will be in raising people's awareness that you can't believe everything you read."

              Apparently 1 in 10 North Koreans are a victim of this behavior... evidence that its impact is not diminished despite many, many North Koreans using this tactic. There's no real world evidence to show America would be any different. If what you said was true, celebrity gossip would have
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sploxx ( 622853 )
        But maybe if you have millions of people doing this, no one is listening to net gossip anymore?
        Maybe this would even let people judge others by their actions and not their image in public :-)
  • Nope... (Score:5, Funny)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @11:45AM (#15927564)
    Could this trend hit the U.S.?

    No, because every smart admin trys to block all IPs from Korea!

    Oh do you mean could rumors and shit started by people in the US hit hard here? They already do. People are always into drama, especially online. They are hiding behind their computers and believe they are anonymous.

    There's really nothing better than receiving threatening e-mails at work and home as well as subscriptions to gay magazines, threats of violence against your home, family, and dog just because you locked a thread on a forum.

    It really makes the Internet fun.
    • Re:Nope... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:21PM (#15927849) Homepage
      People are always into drama, especially online. They are hiding behind their computers and believe they are anonymous.

      They believe they are anonymous on the highways in their cars! Look at the assholes cutting people off, tailgaiting, passing on the shoulder, cutting people off, etc..

      Our fellow humans do not act civilized unless you can reach out and smack them... Then they act civilized.

      in a car, online, they act like assholes. Always have and always will.
  • If they are issuing "real" threats or abusing services, they should face the consequences of those abuses. It shouldn't require any new Internet Police(tm) or anything like that, the e--mailer/ISP/local rules for harassment, etc, or abuse of service should do it.
    • If they are issuing "real" threats or abusing services, they should face the consequences of those abuses

      Threats don't seem to be the main issue; slander does. People going hog-wild and spreading rumors, out of some combination of ignorance and malice. From the article:

      Since last year, dozens of people have been indicted on charges of criminal contempt or slander for writing or spreading malicious online insults about victims like Kim Myong Jae. They face fines of as much as 2 million won, or $2,067.

  • by krell ( 896769 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @11:47AM (#15927593) Journal
    ....but there is going to be hell to pay once their server farm of Vic-20s sends all those viruses through Fidonet at 300 baud in order to bring America's SychroNET and C-NET C64 BBS user base to its knees.
    • but there is going to be hell to pay once their server farm of Vic-20s sends all those viruses through Fidonet at 300 baud in order to bring America's SychroNET and C-NET C64 BBS user base to its knees.

      Nope, they've seen the latest Norwegian research [com.com] and are moving up to ip-packet-carrying birds. The good news is that you can disable that network with a 20-gauge shotgun, and in a pinch, those pigeons are actually edible. Pheasants (which originate in Asia) are better eating [uplandlife.com], but don't home as well, and t
    • Want proof? Fearless Leader hasn't lost a game of StarCraft in six years!
      • So Kim Jung Il wants to play 1 on 1 with the US in StarCraft instead of a 1 on 6 game? Sounds reasonable I guess.
        We need to stop him from building so many command centers with nuclear silos...
  • by amightywind ( 691887 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @11:48AM (#15927607) Journal

    Who needs the net to ruin lives when you have the traditional media? Ask the parents of JonBenet Ramsey or Richard Jewel about having your life ruined by false accusations. Do you think CNN will ever have to pay for either spectacle?

    • by twifosp ( 532320 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @01:20PM (#15928427)
      I think CNN and all major media outlets are sick in this regard. There should be more journalistic integrity in the field. However that being said, they are just catering to a hungry maw of the public. Who's fault really is it? Apparently more people want this kind of drivel than to read about what our leaders are doing with us. Apparently, the leaders encourage these kinds of distractions so they'll be more interested in this kind of drivel than what our leaders are doing with us.

      Don't place 100% o the blame on the cook when the customer orders a pile of fried shit.

      Honestly, this case and many like it should have never made national media level attention.

  • by JGuru42 ( 140509 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @11:48AM (#15927609)
    It's just a larger scope than it used to be.

    Small towns used to be this way (and still are) where every small little thing get talked about and blown out of proportion.

    In the town I grew up in merely having a young males car parked outside a young females house while he goes and visits another young male across the street will spawn all kinds of rumors and anger.

    Television has been doing this for quite a while, just take the recent developments in the Jon Benet Ramsey case. I can't even remember at this point why everyone threw so much anger at the parents.

    Until people stop hating at first site this won't go away.
    • From TFA:

      "Rather than being an arena for sound debate, the Web bulletin boards have to some extent become a place for verbal defecation," ...ultimately, the portals say, the users who post on the Web should be responsible for content.

      Welcome to Web 2.0, where every Joe Sixpack can post whatever content they want. The only remaining barrier to entry is learning to use a mouse, keyboard and web browser. No wonder the web is now full of shit.

      Also from TFA:

      A poll taken in November showed that nearly one of 10 S

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:26PM (#15927878)
      In the town I grew up in merely having a young males car parked outside a young females house while he goes and visits another young male across the street will spawn all kinds of rumors and anger.

      Mildred, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several members did not approve of her extra-curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.

      She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon.

      She emphatically told George and several others that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing. George, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn't explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.

      Later that evening, George quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred's house ... and left it there all night.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:35PM (#15927976)

      I can't even remember at this point why everyone threw so much anger at the parents.

      Because parading a child on stage dressed as a cheap whore is no way to treat a 5-year-old.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stuntpope ( 19736 )
        I've seen photos of her dressed similar to Shirley Temple [konformist.com], dressed as a Vegas showgirl [crimemagazine.com], dressed as a school girl [kcci.com], a Nashville country queen [jonbenetindexguide.com], but I haven't found the "cheap whore" photos of her. Sure, the Mom dolled up her daughter, but why the intense animosity? Playing dressup with your daughter doesn't lead to the conclusion that parents were involved in child sex abuse, which is a leap that many made.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, 2006 @11:49AM (#15927611)
    The nannies, values police,and the do-gooders will do anything to get the cops policing our wild-west network into some surburbaned picket-fenced wasteland. This excuse seems as useful as all the "for the children" excuses.
  • ...just ask Patricia Ramsey.
  • OK, umm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rhesuspieces00 ( 804354 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @11:51AM (#15927635) Homepage
    I'm trying to visualize "1 in 10 of 13-65 year-olds" being "instantly recognized" and "shunned and ridiculed in public" anywhere they go.

    While an amusing image, I'm having a hard time believing it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kwerle ( 39371 )
      That's because it's the same old inflammatory BS that has become standard fare on /.

      From TFA: one guy has his life ruined from net->reality hostility.

      Also from TFA: "A poll taken in November showed that nearly one of 10 South Koreans from 13 to 65 said they had experienced cyberviolence."

      Whatever the hell that is.

      Thanks, editors.

      Let me do my share: the editors are jackasses. There now they have all suffered cyberviolence, too. Just like the single dude in this article.

      Could we start tagging articles a
      • Could we start tagging articles as flamebait? Please?

        No. Please remember what flamebait is: a message that is likely to receive emotionally charged or otherwise strongly opionated responses. Just look at the reply numbers listed at the front page: it's the flamebait articles that get hundreds if not thousands of replies.

        Slashdot is not a news source, it is a conversation forum and needs replies to survive. For that reason it must have plenty of flamebait articles to keep people posting. It cannot surv

        • by kwerle ( 39371 )
          I'm not saying that they should stop posting this tripe (though they should). Just please label it so that I know to move along.
  • by amliebsch ( 724858 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @11:52AM (#15927643) Journal
    Harassment is harassment, whether it takes place in person or over the net. Stalking is stalking, online or not. The laws we have are already adequate to cover these scenarios. The only problem, of course, is identification, but no law will help solve that.
  • They have no Seoul.
  • Probaly will evolve, if not already happening, into online gang warfare's first.

  • Things are still being figured out. I think the powers that be will finally conclude one day that John and Jane Doe cannot be allowed to access the Internet without being identifiable to law enforcement. Hopefully we can convince the politicians not to let that happen, but seems like every other week there's a new ignorant Internet law on the table.

  • Gangstalking (Score:2, Informative)

    by dustinl4m3 ( 460530 )


    Reminds me oddly of this:

    http://www.gangstalking.ca/ [gangstalking.ca]

    Also, watch the video:

    http://www.eharassment.ca/videos.htm [eharassment.ca]
  • It just goes to show you that that the internet is going to be responsable for the complete downfall of society. we need good christian values. If you boiled one offender in oil a week in public this sort of thing wouldn't get out of control. Heck if parents beat their kids regularly said kids might not go out and hurt other people
  • Just clean up the damn dog shit!
    • Sadly, with over 110 comments in this article, only yours and one by Valtrax remembers the dogshit girl.

      Would we have a politer society if we all knew that our every move was being watched, not by Big Brother, but by Big Web? I don't know. But I do know that I'd rather have people like that girl outed as a rude citizen than have that sort of thing swept under the carpet.
  • I don't think this kind of thing is likely in western countries. The likes of South Korea have teched up really quickly, and I think they haven't had time to develop a healthy sense of skepticism about what they read on the net. Sure, there are sections of society that will believe anything they read here in Britain (and presumably most western countries), but in general we seem to be pretty good at differentiating between reliable and unreliable sources of information, and acting accordingly. In countries
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      The likes of South Korea have teched up really quickly, and I think they haven't had time to develop a healthy sense of skepticism about what they read on the net.

      If you think the general American public is any different then I have some nice florida realestate to sell you cheap!

      most americans believe every single thing they read online, most will believe it is indesputeable fact if a friend emails it to them.

      Sheep act the same no matter what country they are from. Look at all the damned "new computer viru
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:09PM (#15927769)
    It already DOES happen. The guy who uploads naked pics of his ex, the guy who took a mugshot of his ex-buddie and posted it to somethingaweful, and not to forget the Star Wars Kid.

    And let's not even get close to afternoon TV and other forms of "entertainment" that resemble a freak show more than anything.

    Could it be worse? Would "online mobbing" be worse? Hardly. Online only means that more people learn about it, but 99.9999% of those don't care at all. They don't know you, wouldn't even recognize you if they met you on the street. What matters is your peers, and it is fairly easy to tell them about whatever you did supposedly do or say, with or without the 'net.

    If you really want to mob someone to the point where he loses friends and family, you don't need the net. You only need gullible people, and they are running free in our streets.
  • by dochood1966 ( 996087 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:14PM (#15927810)
    I'm an American with a Korean wife. I speak Korean, and my wife, kids and I watch Korean TV shows together. We especially like the game shows. The game shows mostly have popular stars as participants.

    Certain participants are so popular, that if a not-so-popular star insults a popular one (even during a game called "Dangyon Haji", or "Of Course", where the OBJECT of the game is to insult the other person until they quit), that not-so-popular one will get bombarded with hate e-mail, hate-posts, and sometimes they even get bombarded by physical objects! Their popularity drops dramatically. Some stars have been known to lose intentionally to avoid earning the wrath and ire of the "fans."

    I don't think this has anything to do with the fact that they "teched-up" rapidly before online etiquette was formed. This has more to do with emotion-driven Korean culture. The word "fan" comes from "fanatic," and that is what some of the "fans" really are!
    • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @03:32PM (#15929719)
      I don't think this has anything to do with the fact that they "teched-up" rapidly before online etiquette was formed. This has more to do with emotion-driven Korean culture.

      I don't have a link, but maybe 2 months ago I read about a similar story in China where an online mob seriously harassed a married woman and a man she was supposedly having an affair with before it became known that the woman's estranged husband made up everything just to get back at her and none of it was true. I'd say it's really an Asian thing as opposed to a Korean thing.
  • See, for every story of privacy invasion from the police which prompts people to want better encryption and being anonymous on the web, once in a while there's an article like this one that doesn't make me want more protection from privacy invasion. Think about it, if people could make death threats like this totally anonymously, without any chance of being caught... I want those people to leave trace somewhere so they can be caught.
  • by Pao|o ( 92817 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:21PM (#15927850)
    Last year my uncle has been the subject of his ex-lover's efforts to destroy his reputation on TV, Philippine newspapers & local blogosphere in a bid to get their child back, win in the court of popular opinion & for money. His ex-lover used her media & political connection to go on live TV to accuse my uncle of being a murderer, land grabber, gangster, etc (basically making him out as a Hannibal Lector if he was a lawyer) and told people to look him up on the Internet. Seeming she couldnt mention his name due to legal reasons she had to mention a Philippine Army General who harassed our family 15 years ago as a key word so people would know who he was.

    You see my uncle is a lawyer who is a giant question mark in the mainstream media & the general public and it doesnt help his name shows up in a lot of court decisions posted on our government's Supreme Court website. For the curious by-stander who just happened to have a casual interest you would automically assume my uncle was truelly that "evil" seeming he was mentioned in so many contraversial Supreme Court cases. I do not blame people making such brash assumptions seeming court documents are long, wordy & use very legalistic terms that would cause any non-lawyer to scratch his head and make wild guesses. It is far easier to trust a female celebrity guesting on the local equivalent of the Oprah who bashes my uncle as the devil than to make the effort to get the whole unvarnished truth through court documents.

    Because of these lengthy legal papers people automatically think all the things the ex-lover said was true, that he was a real monster.

    If only people took the time to read the legal papers they'd see that the ex-lover was manipulating them. It pisses me off that the ex-lover had to dredge up our family feud & shame that legally ended with a Philippine Supreme Court decision back in 1991. I will probably never forgive her for that.

    I can relate to the Korean fellow whose reputation was tarnished because of very malicious rumors & half truths spread by those who make assumptions.

    I know a lot of people dont like lawyers but please, no taste-less jokes that lawyers deserve this kind of flack. I also know by not including links my post doesnt pack the punch that would really make the discussion & I apologize.
  • In most countries, Internet users oppose government attempts to censor the Internet. In South Korea, however, in both government-funded and private surveys, a majority of people support official intervention to check unbridled freedom of speech on the Internet.

    Oh I get it now... Throw around a few anecdotes of people who got harassed using the intarweb, the thinkofthechildren crowd stands up and starts spewing forth its usual crap (such as somethingmustbedonewhereisthegovernment), and presto, censorship

  • Such total lies, this could NEVER happen here.

    Mod down any comments that suggest otherwise.

    I have already downvoted all of DerGeist's comment history for even suggesting this blasphemy.

    And I have some naughty photos of timothy in a compromising position with CowboyNeal, who volunteers to host them if he doesn't take this absurd story DOWN DOWN DOWN?

    Mob justice is SO not American.
  • In Korea, only old people harass others.
  • Old News (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pike ( 52876 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:26PM (#15927884) Homepage Journal

    I couldn't help thinking that Poe (others too, probably) already thought of this 150 years ago, specifically in Some Words With a Mummy [eserver.org] , written in 1850.

    "We then spoke of the great beauty and importance of Democracy, and were at much trouble in impressing the Count [the mummy] with a due sense of the advantages we enjoyed in living where there was suffrage ad libitum, and no king.

    "He listened with marked interest, and in fact seemed not a little amused. When we had done, he said that, a great while ago, there had occurred something of a very similar sort. Thirteen Egyptian provinces determined all at once to be free, and to set a magnificent example to the rest of mankind. They assembled their wise men, and concocted the most ingenious constitution it is possible to conceive. For a while they managed remarkably well; only their habit of bragging was prodigious. The thing ended, however, in the consolidation of the thirteen states, with some fifteen or twenty others, in the most odious and insupportable despotism that was ever heard of upon the face of the Earth.

    "I asked what was the name of the usurping tyrant.

    "As well as the Count could recollect, it was Mob."

  • As long as they apply (which, logically, they should) to internet harassment no new "policing of the Internet" or new laws are required.

  • And by "we" I mean the governemt? Is't this what the sex offender registries, the public shaming spots for "johns" that were caught trying to buy a little on the side, and several states up and coming meth dealers lists all about? You can argue that the first is about public saftey to a point, but why is it so public? Why does someone in Duluth MN need to know the address of a level 3 sex offender in Baltimore MD? The one about about johns is unabashedly about shaming, and the last is as well.

    Sera

  • Already happens (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @12:40PM (#15928014)
    A female friend of mine was emailed by some guy on her myspace account. She told him she wasn't interested in dating, and he proceeded to email everyone on her "friends list" that she had an STD, this list included friends, family, coworkers, ex-boyfriends etc... So she's been trying to do 'damage control' for 3 weeks now at this falacy.

    Even though it was probably some 'script kiddie', this kind of stuff being emailed to nontechies can be mortifying.

  • Kim Myong Jae's estranged girlfriend....

    Twist Kim, a singer and comedian,

    "In the past few years, the Internet has grown in South Korea explosively," said Kim Sung Ho, secretary general at Kinternet,

    Is it just me or could the Korean peninsula use a massive U.S. airdrop of new baby-names?

    Or nevermind. We really wouldn't want to incite an onslaught of Kim Jong Il's new Taepodong missiles.

  • If the scorn comes directly from public knowledge of your actions, it makes this an interesting problem.

    On one hand, it kind of makes sense--you did it so people finding out you did it is only passing along information...

    On the other hand, it's EXTREMELY easy to abuse (Fake a picture or movie), and with the masses on the Internet, the scale of the response is likely to be much larger than deserved.

    Are our private lives are supposed to be "Private"? Are we are supposed to be able to "Get Away" with doing thi
  • I can say that internet usuage is bred into just about everyone over there. When on the subways/trains nearly everyone is either playing a game, texting, or e-mailing over their uber-phone. When they are not doing that they are taking pictures of themselves to send to their friends and/or use for some sort of web use. I love Korea and am planning upon returning soon, but I can understand why the medium is the internet over there for these type of situations. Heck, you could get 100mbs down and 20mbs up VDSL
  • by 27,000 ( 987534 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [00072F]> on Thursday August 17, 2006 @01:29PM (#15928519)
    We have people like that. For half a decade Internet sites and journals have been raided by vigilantes. Years ago Something Awful would promote an offensively stupid website and encourages users to 'visit' its guestbook, invariably flooding the guestbook with spam and Goatse, or crashing the site with their own Slashdot Effect. Unprotected LiveJournals were obliterated under the mass flood of Tubgirl. It was both terrifying and awesome, in its Internet-limited no-one-gives-a-rip scale.

    /b/ is the next level up. All forced anonymous. They've brought moronic commercial services like Habbo Hotel, Furcadia and Second Life to a halt, overloading servers and disrupting legitimate users. The /b/tards have stalked accidental celebrities with nigh-disturbing fervor. Cracky Chan and the like. They've moved up to destroying deviantArt accounts, recently having suggested one user change her password to something a /b/tard suggested... social engineering for dummies.

    Now, when tens of thousands of these people are concentrated in one small country, they seem to reach mass and their actions spill into the real world. They also become shielded from internal conscience. When the legions of American vigilantes want blood they tend to restrain themselves from crossing into real world criminal behavior, and a sane few have shown they can temper the mania of the masses. In America, cliques of vigilantes are seperated and mingle little. Single system administrators like SA's Lowtax, YTMND's Max, or 4chan's Moot can kill their isolated mobs. South Korea seems to present a more united front - hell, even their search portals name the most popular target/victim of the day. Their culture isn't strikingly different from American online culture. Their fanatic individuals are far more common, however, and their offensive actions are coordinated across servers, while voices of reason are fractured and lost.
  • Extremely old news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @04:14PM (#15930146) Homepage Journal
    Whoever wrote this article has obviously never used Usenet before. If they had, they'd know that was the original home of net vigilantism. If you got someone angry with you there, getting cancel requests sent out after your original post was a *best* case scenario. Worse things involved massive cases of libel, people publicising contact information, (such as phone numbers/snailmail addresses) people issuing death threats, and in the very worst scenarios, people attempting to actually carry said death threats out.

    It's not so true now...but years ago, a person had to be very careful what they said online. You'd never know what unhinged lunatic might see your words, take them personally, and then decide to do something about them.

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