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[NEWS] 130514 Summary About Hyosung & "Democratization"


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#1 clayray3290

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 07:45 AM

First of all, please approach this news with a mindfulness that as international fans, sometimes it is difficult or perhaps even impossible to fully understand the context and the connotations of certain events that take place in a different culture in a different country. This is a complicated issue and it is hard to grapple with, but we should still try to take care to respond appropriately and also to try to be understanding of other viewpoints and refrain from making blanket statements.

We will try to present just the facts and I confess that it's hard for me personally as well to understand the entirety of the situation, but we'll do our best to give you a thorough explanation of what is going on. After publishing this summary, we will most likely not continue to cover more articles about this incident.
  • On the 2013.05.14 radio broadcast of Choi Hwajung's Power Time, the Secret members played a game where they were given two options and each member would say which one they preferred. This was to be a 'test of teamwork' to see if all of the members would agree on one thing. Out of the several pairs they were given, the Secret members all agreed three times. When the MC said that, Hyosung said, "저희는 개성을 존중하는 팀이거든요. 민주화시키지 않아요." which translates to "You see, we are a team that respects individuality. We don't force democratization."
  • The term "민주화" or "democratization" had been taken as slang in an online community called Ilbe to, essentially, mean something negative. Ilbe seems to generally be considered as a group of internet users who commit heinous acts with a general disregard for respecting others. (I can't profess to know much about Ilbe at all, but there is an in-depth article in English here about Ilbe as a conservative political group and explaining the origin of Ilbe. Warning, there is some offensive language in this article and it does seem rather heated, so please take it with a grain of salt.) According to that article, they use "Democratization" as their down-voting button.
  • Some netizens therefore claim that Hyosung was using the word "democratization" negatively and more aligning with the way that it is only used in Ilbe. These netizens continue by saying that therefore, Hyosung is an Ilbe user, which carries along with that many terrible connotations.
  • In addition, for a historical context, because of the many travesties that occurred in Korea's history to get to the point of freedom they have now, including the Gwangju Massacre (of which the anniversary is soon, on the 18th), democratization and democracy can be seen as a serious thing. It is possible that some netizens are upset that Hyosung used the term so lightly, as if to belittle all of the struggles that people have suffered.
  • TS's statement is that Hyosung accidentally misused the word and she meant to use "민주적이다," which would be that the team is democratic. Hyosung also wrote an apology that she published on Twitter that translates as such:

    Hello. This is Secret's leader Jeon Hyosung.
    I would like to apologize for my improper expression in my comments in today's 'Choi Hwajung's Power Time.' I am deeply reflecting on how I used an inapproriate word without knowing the exact definition of it. I am very sorry. I will take care not to have an incident like this happen again.
    Once more, I would like to formally apologize.

  • At this point, some netizens then wrote comments about if that is true, how Hyosung must be stupid to not know the definition of "democratization" and to not use it correctly. It has led to some comments that go so far as to even demand Hyosung being edited out of the Infinity Challenge episode that is to air, as it is about Korea's history, and especially due to the charged political history of Korea, some netizens are taking this to be extremely offensive. However, some netizens are also taking this to commentate on the witchhunt nature of netizens and also the state of society in general that could potentially lead to Hyosung hearing this word used improperly and taking it to be appropriate. It also seems that this has led Ilbe users to take this opportunity to make a joke of it and mass purchase Secret songs.
As for how big of an issue this is, it is hard to tell. That is, it is certainly a big issue in that it was searched for enough to be at the top or near the top of the search rankings for the big search portals in Korea. But it's hard to say whether this will have an impact on Secret's promotions and future, as it is also hard to say how widespread this is, considering that netizens are not always representative of the general public.

Again, as international fans, we see things from a different viewpoint than those who are in Korea and it is difficult to fully understand the whole story. But this is a collection of what we have gathered about the incident, and we have tried to present this information to you as factually as we could. If you have additional factual information to add to this or any corrections, please let us know.

#2 xKimmiex

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 07:54 AM

I'll post this at akp forum if it's alright or should I link to this site instead so that people will visit S4T?

#3 LadyJ

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:01 AM

Thank you, Clara. This was very imformative and well put together. I think this will help people grasp the situation a bit better and help people understand both sides of the argument.

Personally, I feel it's a bit extreme to accuse her of being an Ilbe user. It was clearly a mistake and misuse of the word. A dumb mistake? Yes, but certainly one without ill intent. We've all been there...I hope the public keeps that in mind when they address this issue.

If she was aware of the words meaning, the proper context she should be using it in, as well as the definition, connotation or association with the Ilbe community she never would risk her image and Secret's careers like this. If she were an Ilbe user all along, she never would say this at all because she would understand how controversial the word and the negative public reaction that would await her. She simply mispoke, and probably saw the word somewhere on the internet not even realizing where the origin of it came from.

These are just my personal opinions and not that of S4T, or any other staff member.

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#4 wthouse

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:19 AM

Thanks sooo very much Clara for your hard work!

So...I just want to post my thoughts.

In all honesty I can't imagine Hyosung being part of the Ilbe community and I think it's true that she simply misused the word.

Is it possible for her to not know the word 'democratization'? Yes.

Is it ignorant of her to not know it? Maybe.

Is it blown out of proportions? Yes and No.

Yes being that it was obviously a slip of the tongue, she didn't know the meaning of the word, she'd already apologized about the issue, that the term 'democratization' is an internet slang and unbelievable as it may be but not everyone knows all the internet slangs existing, and that the Gwangju Movement originally did not have anything to do with the word 'democratization'.

No being that this controversy took place at a really unfortunate time since right now it's really close to the anniversary of the events (5/18), and that the event in itself has a high importance to South Korea's current democracy and ruling.

Everyone is harsh on her because it seems as though she's making light of the democratic movement in ways Ilbe users do. I don't think we can understand things fully because we're not from South Korea and it has nothing to do with our history. But I will say k-netz are ridiculous at bashing her for not knowing an internet slang, and the connotations of using it in the way that she did.

Stay strong, Hyosung!

#5 YeeKeat

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:40 AM

Thanks Clara for the translation! :)

My thoughts on this is that it was an honest mistake from Hyosung.. She may have used the word thinking of another meaning! Abit harsh that they call her an Ilbe user just because she misused the word! Besides, she apologized misusing the word.. Hope everybody will get over this incident and not cause any problem for her and Secret!!

#6 kopxpert

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

Thanks Clara :)

All I care about right now is that this issue wont have a negative effect on SECRET's TV appearances. That's what's most important to me. People can say all they want but as long as SECRET keeps appearing on TV, I'm a happy man. I never really cared much about chart ranking and stuff, I just want to keep seeing them on TV. What's done is done.

PS: K-Netizens will always be K-Netizens and I think I get why this is a big deal but what bothers me is that ILBE are treating SECRET like heroes, as if SECRET represents their community. Hopefully, ILBE is not big enough for mainstream media to give much attention to bc that may effect Secret's TV appearances (not only Hyosung's but other members as well)

#7 LadyJ

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:55 AM

Thanks Clara :)

All I care about right now is that this issue wont have a negative effect on SECRET's TV appearances. That's what's most important to me. People can say all they want but as long as SECRET keeps appearing on TV, I'm a happy man. I never really cared much about chart ranking and stuff, I just want to keep seeing them on TV. What's done is done.

PS: K-Netizens will always be K-Netizens and I think I get why this is a big deal but what bothers me is that ILBE are treating SECRET like heroes, as if SECRET represents their community. Hopefully, ILBE is not big enough for mainstream media to give much attention to bc that may effect Secret's TV appearances (not only Hyosung's but other members as well)


Same. They are already calling her "ILBE Goddess" and the ILBE community is making things so much worse by feeding into this. (Which isn't surprising.)

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#8 ubst

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:52 AM

Thanks for the indepth explanation.

It sounds like a complete witch hunt to me.

This Ilbe community sounds a lot like 4chan...basically a niche online community where extremists aren't banned. How in the world is she supposed to know a term that's used in some random niche community, no matter how negative or inflammatory? The general netizen community has no idea what really happens on 4chan...and similarly, I bet most knetizens don't have a clue about Ilbe.

She's an idol...not a history major or a netizen who spends endless hours online.

It's like the other STUPID witch hunts, notable the idiots who screwed over that rapper that went to Stanford. The vast majority of people don't care. But a small, teeny, tiny niche community is going to be idiots about this.

The Ilbe community is probably laughing their asses off right now, trying to figure out how to make this blow up bigger and get more press. That's what 4chan would do.

If the knetizen community was smart, they would let this go and not give the Ilbe any more attention. Clearly, she just misspoke...how can anyone really think she's an Ilbe? That's so stupid.

Sigh. My poor baby... :(

#9 Kid-Simple

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:53 AM

Thanks for the calm explanation. It's easy to forget how different (i.e. foreign) Korea is sometimes since they are exporting Hallyu to the whole world. I hope the people there will be forgiving and accept Hyosung's honest apology.

#10 CarolinaPanthersFan2013

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:26 PM

You really did a pretty good job explaining the whole situation with Hyosung because I truly stand by Hyosung and I know that she absolutely made a honest mistake. I understand that some people are trying to get the PD of "Infinity Challenge" to edit Hyosung out but I know that it's absolutely not going to happen because he will show her face during the show's upcoming special. And in general, I know that Hyosung won't have a problem getting over the situation and I hope that the K-netizens can at least leave the poor girl alone and go find something to do with their irrelevant lives. This is absolutely too much for Hyosung and everyone needs to just leave her alone for once

#11 SFK4

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:32 PM

Oh fuu*k this bad. I've spent an hour reading articles, comments and trying to digest what really happened. In Korea this is quite a big deal.

She is not an Ilbe user for goodness sake. But she probably take a peek on Ilbe or saw users making comments like that on articles not knowing these people are Ilbe users. There's a big chance she migh think this is a new cool word and used it, not knowing what it really meant. If she really was an Ilbe user like so many netizen thinks, she knows using this word is a suicide. But then again she used it anyway which means she doesn't know what it fully meant, which means she's dumb for not knowing the word. Which is better than being an Ilbe user.

I really don't know at to what extent this will affect Secret's career. Ilbe users are treating Hyosung as a goddess and SECRET too, they are even mass purchasing Secret's song and albums as sign of support. That's bad.

I wish Hyosung the best. And netizens leave the poor girl alone will ya. :)

#12 ubst

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 03:02 PM

Oh fuu*k this bad. I've spent an hour reading articles, comments and trying to digest what really happened. In Korea this is quite a big deal.


Is it really that bad?

I can't believe that anyone would take it seriously. Clearly, anyone with a brain would think that she just made a meaningless mistake.

And really, how widespread is the knowledge of the misappropriation of that word, anyways?

I think it's the usual news outlets making a big deal out of nothing and some moronic knetizens having fun at Hyosung's expense.

I doubt that anyone is seriously offended. They are probably laughing about making a sweet idol cry and suffer. Trolls.

#13 wthouse

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 03:04 PM

This Ilbe community sounds a lot like 4chan...basically a niche online community where extremists aren't banned. How in the world is she supposed to know a term that's used in some random niche community, no matter how negative or inflammatory? The general netizen community has no idea what really happens on 4chan...and similarly, I bet most knetizens don't have a clue about Ilbe.


Yeah I think the ridiculous part is that some people are angry at her because she didn't know what the term was supposed to mean. The funny thing is that the word in itself isn't derogatory or terrible. It's only bad because it's become an internet slang used by Ilbe users. So the thing is they're angry she didn't know those kinds of people uses that word in that way -_____- Honestly how is anyone supposed to know all the internet slang in the world?

-----

Most of the people who comment online are obviously people who spend hours on the internet so they would know. Honestly we haven't heard the general point of view of actual Korean people since K-netz only represent a small part of it.

#14 SFK4

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 07:30 PM

Is it really that bad?

I can't believe that anyone would take it seriously. Clearly, anyone with a brain would think that she just made a meaningless mistake.

And really, how widespread is the knowledge of the misappropriation of that word, anyways?

I think it's the usual news outlets making a big deal out of nothing and some moronic knetizens having fun at Hyosung's expense.

I doubt that anyone is seriously offended. They are probably laughing about making a sweet idol cry and suffer. Trolls.


The BAD part about this is if common Koreans associate her being an Ilbe user. Knetizen troll knows its just an honest mistake, but they are hungry for another scandal and would probably use this to joke about her in every Secret or Hyosung future articles. Not everyone has the time to know the full story, like T-ara's scandal and now they are labeled as bullies when it was KKS who's behind the curtain.

I can see some netizens in real life, when Hyosung is brought up in a discussion, they'lle be like "oh you mean, the Ilbe idol?" even if it's not true. And the worst part is Ilbe users are treating her as a goddess or hero, of course jokingly.

I really hope that this thing will be forgotten in a few weeks or so. It's just absurd to think that they made all this fuss out of one misused word. Aigoo.

#15 xKimmiex

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:35 PM

I don't know if it's the effect of the controversy but 'Yes' official facebook page have removed Hyosung's picture from their header.

#16 _Rayne

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:56 PM

I don't know if it's the effect of the controversy but 'Yes' official facebook page have removed Hyosung's picture from their header.


Oh wow, I hope she won't lose her contract over this. I thought you said they removed all of her pictures on the facebook at first. Hopefully they're just updating the header?

#17 secretimebeauty

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:32 PM

I really hope that this will die down soon and those stupid ilbe people will stop fueling oil to the fire and make things worse!!! I believe in hyosung and I don't believe she is a user of that site and i really think it's really just a misuse of the word. I hope Secret will stay strong and hyosung's image can be restored!!!!!! I really hope it wont escalate like t-ara's scandal. That would be absolutely horrifying...

#18 ubst

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:58 PM

I seriously think it's just a few reporters and knetizen trolls making a fuss.

It should be clear to any kpop fan that she simply misspoke a few characters. It's not like she came up with a new word. It's the same word with a different suffix.

I think TS and Hyosung responded correctly by releasing a simple statement and tweet. Simple and perfectly plausible (and true) explanation. That's all that is necessary. To do anymore would make it seem like she really did something intentionally bad.

Ilbe and the reporters just want some attention. That's it. Once there is nothing new to report, it will pass. I'm sure.

She made a minor mistake and is the target of an obvious knetizen witch hunt. They will not find anything. She is a sweetheart...there is nothing negative to find about her.

And really, I don't think it's blowing up or a big deal or anything. Any scandal, even a minor one, of a celebrity will result in a reaction like this. Hyosung is one of the more famous idols and this is a somewhat surprising. That's it.

#19 klogg

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:01 AM

I don't know if it's the effect of the controversy but 'Yes' official facebook page have removed Hyosung's picture from their header.

They changed the main preview pictures and most smaller ones of the two latest items added in show that had Hyosung as model.
http://www.yescode.c...TYLECD=YSWBP413
http://www.yescode.c...TYLECD=YSWBP501

I think it's just a temporary thing until everything calms down because they didn't change anything on the older items yet.

#20 LadyJ

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:09 AM

I seriously think it's just a few reporters and knetizen trolls making a fuss.

It should be clear to any kpop fan that she simply misspoke a few characters. It's not like she came up with a new word. It's the same word with a different suffix.


Actually, I had a question about that. My Korean isn't advanced enough to really know this, so I wanted to ask you or Clara or any of the other Korean speakers here...

According to netizens, ILBE is the only person who uses 'democratization' with that particular suffix since it has come to have a negative connotation. Is that true? They said using 민주화 is 'democratization' but saying "민주화시키다" is extremely uncommon and only associated with ILBE because it means 'forcable democratization'. Or something along those lines...

(I mean -- she could've read the term from anywhere, maybe saw an article or comments discussing it, so the idea that she MUST be ILBE based on that alone is such a flawed argument anyway...)

I just was really confused, and wasn't sure if this was accurate information or something exaggerated to skew the point of view of the commenters.

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