Daniel Lee aka Tablo. Image Credit to ax3battery.com
I don’t know how I feel about the Internet anymore.
Its become quite evident that its a very open and generous space, and people can easily take advantage of it. The Internet provides us with a means to express our speech and thoughts, without really giving us boundaries.
Reading the story about the Korean Boy Band immediately made me think of another scenario, very similar, but much more terrifying. It is the story of the front leader of Korean Rap Band, Daniel Lee aka Tablo. Tablo is a part of the group Epik High, and their band is one of the most popular in Korea and they have also made a name for themselves here in the US. [Wired Article: The Stalking of Korean Hip Hop Super Star Daniel Lee]
The reason why I thought of this article is because rumors started on an Internet forum changed his life. A rumor started on a fan site that challenged his College Diploma Credentials. Many of his fans turned on him, fast. Tablo received mass amounts of hate mail, personal threats, and more. Over just a few weeks time, he went from being a superstar to being a hermit, someone who never left his home.
This leads me into the second chapter of what Shirky writes about, motives.
Why would someone start this rumor and why do others believe something that is simply written on a forum. This blurs the lines between amateur and professional, and if those two words mean anything on the Internet at all. If a credible news source has published and article, saying that Tablo had fakes his college diploma, his fans would have a legitimate reason to hate him (not threaten him or anything else!). But someone online, only known by a forum handle and nothing else, had written this… and so many people believed him. What’s so scary about that is these actions were based on intrinsic motives. They wanted to defame this musician and they wanted to hurt him, based on lies written on the Internet.
This really goes to show how scary and powerful the Internet can be… and if the people using it have cruel motives, well then… who knows what else can happen.
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