Part 1: Video surfaces on Facebook showing foreign men mistreating Korean woman
Part 2: Is the Facebook video fake?
Part 3: More on the Facebook video
Part 4: Today's Facebook video update
Part 5: Korea Herald follows up on the Facebook video
Part 6: A conversation with 'Last Known Survivor'
Part 7: Reports on the staged video
Part 2: Is the Facebook video fake?
The Korea Herald is reporting on this now.
Last week I posted about a video of expats mistreating a Korean woman which had been posted on Facebook. As the Marmot noted, the Seoul Sinmun reported on it last week, as had JTBC, Wikitree [a 'social network news service'], and the Kukmin Ilbo. "Well, that could have been worse," one might think, but then today commenter Ben pointed out that the World Views blog at the Washington Post has a post about the incident by Max Fisher, whose tweet about it first brought it to my attention. Here's a tiny snippet:
The video first surfaced, subtitled in Korean, on June 8, when it was posted to YouTube and embedded on the Korean Web portal, Jagei.com. It made several rounds on the Korean-language Web but was quickly removed from YouTube, which cited a policy “prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten.” Though it had attracted over 24,000 views in its short life on YouTube, once the video was gone, discussion around it largely ended. One month later, on July 8, it was posted again, this time to Facebook. It is still up, having generated more than 800 comments, mostly in Korean, and it’s been shared 251 times. Outrage against the two Western men (it’s not quite clear where they’re from) has grown so fierce on the Korean Web that it’s been covered in several Korean outlets.Commenter King Baeksu takes Fisher to task for providing next to no new information (only the bit about it being posted on Youtube June 8 and at Jagei.com was new to me), though my criticism would be more that this report has caused a story which initially was covered only by four media outlets here to now be reported by Yonhap, Asia Gyeongje, Munhwa Ilbo, Money Today, NoCut News, Herald Gyeongje, Aju Gyeongje, Ilgan Sports, Seoul Sinmun (again), Kyunghyang Sinmun, Segye Ilbo, E Today, Sports Seoul and the Maeil Gyeongje. Nicely done.
The one good thing to come of it - perhaps - are these comments, the first of which King Baeksu pointed out:
thelastknownsurvivorThis is followed by another comment:
11:14 AM GMT+0900
This is a video made in Bedlam bar in Itaewon in January 2011. All the people were paid actors / actresses. The director is Korean and wanted to get famous for doing some edgy viral videos. This is one of them. He tried to release this over 2 years ago and nothing happened all the websites took it down for its graphic content. I know all this because I am one of the men in this video. I do not condone the actions that I did. But this was a paid acting job no one was hurt. The actress was wearing fake gums to make her teeth look bad and everyone left the shoot smiling and shaking hands.
I have passed on this webpage to the director asking him to come forward. It is up to him if he wants to reveal himself. 2 and a half years ago he wanted this kind of fame I do not know if it will do his current career any good.
I have sent John Power the information and the proof that I have in confidence that he will be able to interview the Director and get his side of things. I have also sent an email to Max Fisher offering him the directors name. The fact is the director released this initially but nothing happened. He did release it without any details but that was 2 years ago. I have no idea who this new source is and if they know about the making of this video.If this is true, it certainly puts a different slant on things (and the desire to give a huge thumbs up to the guys who participated in it!). It's also plausible. Back in early 2010, a friend and former coworker, who was fonder of Itaewon than I, visited Korea for a month and we headed there a few times.
All of you are right to question the validity of my claims but I do not want to post the directors name on a public website for fear that he could be mistreated. I will leave it up to the press and the director to put out the truth.
On the first visit we stumbled upon Bedlam (which had recently opened, I believe), and had a good time chatting with the staff and owner (the bar was mostly empty). On other visits we met Korean customers, including artsy types, one of whom was an assistant director who had worked on a Kang Woo-suk movie, if memory serves. So, like I said, it seems plausible to me. Two unanswered questions were always 1) Who posted the original video (in English), and 2) Who translated it, made subtitles, and reposted it?
I'm just curious whether, if the comments above are true, the media will report that the whole thing was a hoax, or give that a pass. If all of the outlets that reported on the WaPo story today were to report such a thing, it could make for a nice 'don't believe everything you read on the internet' moment, depending on how its spun. I'd tend to think it would be reported as a hoax, but I have been disappointed before.