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'Holy War' seeks revenge on SJ fans

  • Source: Global Times
  • [09:30 June 09 2010]
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Internet users post a thread online, declaring a "Holy War" tonight at 7 pm. Photo: Shen Weihuang

By Shen Weihuang

A "Holy War" may commence tonight at 7 pm against Chinese fans of South Korean boy band Super Junior, who embarrassed their compatriots by apologizing to the singers for the chaotic episode that took place on May 30 at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

The angry Chinese were Tuesday afternoon still planning the online attack of popular Chinese forums dedicated to the boy band on Baidu.com and other major Chinese websites. They said they would overwhelm the forums with hundreds of threads and viruses per second to cause the servers to collapse, essentially a form of hacking the system.

But by late evening Tuesday, the website, ak558.org, being used to get others to join their cause had been blocked.

Those organizing the retaliation are upset over the incident that took place at the Expo Performance Center, when thousands of fans stampeded the park to get a hold of free tickets to the concert led by Super Junior.

But many were left disappointedly empty-handed as organizers only had some 2,000 tickets to give away. Rumors said that the chaos even left one person dead and another seriously injured though officials denied such reports.

The "war" was called for after Chinese fans of Super Junior apologized to the boy band on their official website, blaming organizers inside the Expo Park for the situation that got way out of control.

"Many people said bad words to Koreans and our SJ (Super Junior), I feel sorry, very sorry," said a Chinese fan on Super Junior's official website.

But the online aggressors claim that the Chinese fans should not have apologized to Super Junior, losing face for Chinese, as several soldiers and volunteers inside the park were also pushed down and beaten by fans - who they say should have been thanked by fans for their efforts, or at the very least, included in the apology.

The idea of a "Holy War" originated from the gamers competing in the online game World of Warcraft, where play-ers team up to destroy their enemies. The logic behind the game has since been used by Internet users in China to block or attack websites of celebrities who are considered to have offended Chinese people.

The latest such "war" to come into the mainstream occurred in 2008, after an online video clip showed a member from another South Korean boy band Tohoshinki pushing down a Chinese fan at the Incheon International Airport.

Several days later a fan of the group apologized to them on behalf of the Chinese people, causing a "war" on the band's Baidu.com forum, which was flooded by 200 threads per second over a period of two hours.

According to Yang Wenhua, a professor of psychology from East China Normal University, the fans relate more to Korean culture than the attackers.

"These types of incidents are more cultural in nature than political," she said. "In Korean culture, apologies are commonly seen; they say that their sorry for very small things."

"But in China, it's different, people don't really say that they're sorry," she added. "So, misunderstandings or even feelings of resentment can be ignited."