Tuesday, December 05, 2006

One degree of separation for all

A co-worker asked me before I left work today, "Did you hear about the porn actress English teacher?"
"Oh, so you know all about this then."
"About...what exactly?"
"Oh, you don't know? She worked with Julie*."
"Really? She worked at Superenglish Academy*?"
[* obviously fake names]

Turns out the Korean teacher busted for starring in porn videos filmed in Canada worked (until last week) at my former employer's academy (where a former co-worker also works). As may be already clear, the porn star on staff was fired immediately, and her name removed from the school's webpage, which was just one of the measures taken as the media attempted to visit the school or bombard it with phone calls. Obviously, for the entire staff, the answer to any question is "I don't know." I feel bad for my former boss, who would certainly be much happier if there wasn't a porn star on staff putting the school at the center of a media circus. While I could see a number of the students' fathers suddenly taking a keen interest in meeting with their childrens' teacher as being a good thing for the school, I think Korea has a ways to go before people will accept porn stars as public servants; it's not Italy, after all. [This quip would work much better if hakwon teachers were actually public servants, but whatever.]

It seems the Ministry of Information and Communication has lifted the block on her overseas website (it wasn't viewable a few days ago - I'm assuming it was the MIC). A search with her stage name makes it clear that this woman has gotten a lot of exposure (ahem) on various overseas websites, so there are numerous chances for Korean netizens to view her work. While I imagine this may all be very embarrassing for her, what may be even more embarrassing is her exposure by netizens in Korea.

Curious to see what the netizens had been able to dig up about her, I searched for her real name, and found a cached page posted on a message board yesterday (it's been removed since then) which is little frightening due to how much personal information it contains. As her cyworld address is revealed at the end of the post, it is the likely source of the information, which leads us to one of the more obvious lessons that the netizens can teach us (if the dog poop girl hadn't already brought it to the world's attention): In cyberspace, anyone can be a single degree of separation from anyone else, depending how many digital crumbs they scatter about. It took a half hour conversation with someone who had met this woman for me to learn a few details about her, but it only took whoever found her cyworld page a few minutes to cut and paste private details of her life and post them all over the internet. Too many digital crumbs allow netizens to make a meal out of you.


matt@occidentalism said...

Hi. I don't think it was the MIC blocking it because it was blocked overseas as well. I think she took it down to remove the evidence of the extent of her 'crime'.

Still, she seems crazy to think she wouldn't be found out in the "most wired country on earth".

Ken said...

Wow...almost working with a porn star. I've never (knowingly) done so. I wonder if she might have been going for some sort of global fame...