Bloggers slammed for ‘poo-poo girl’
The “poo-poo girl on the subway” incident, which created the latest online buzz, was later found that the woman was mentally unstable.
This case and several others showed Internet users are sometimes quick to harshly criticize and make comments about a situation without learning the exact details or hearing the full story.
On Wednesday, a blogger posted a photo taken on a subway train between Seoul and Bundang, Gyeonggi Province, last Monday. In the photo, human excrement was in the middle of the floor of the train, urine forming a dark line and tissues placed on top. The blogger said a woman relieved herself there and left while a dozen of passengers were watching.
Following the post, bloggers immediately began denouncing the woman with the nickname “poo-poo girl.” They said they couldn’t believe how such a thing could happen. “Swearing at the elderly, smoking and drinking beer, and now defecating. What will be the end of barbarism on the subway?” a blogger lamented.
Some wondered why other passengers on the same train didn’t stop her.
The next day, a blogger who claimed to be another witness said online that the woman looked mentally challenged.
With no more witnesses or comments, the case has been concluded as a mistake by a psychologically unstable person. Police are searching for the woman but admit they may not fine her if she really has mental problems.
Afterward online criticism has died down. Instead bloggers comment on how Internet users jump to conclusions, as many users often pour verbal attacks on alleged wrongdoers without properly understanding the situation.
In February, a shabu-shabu franchise restaurant Chaesundang came under attack after a pregnant customer claimed that a waitress there kicked her in the stomach as she complained about poor service.
People got furious about Chaesundang, boycotting the restaurant, and the restaurant made a public apology. But a police investigation found her claim to be false: there was a row between the customer and the worker but no kicking. The customer then apologized to the company.
In another case called “gukmul (stew) woman,” the full account later showed the alleged offender was not at fault. On Feb. 20, a boy running to get water at a cafeteria of a downtown bookstore collided with a middle-aged woman who was taking her hot stew on a tray to the table.
The nine-year-old boy’s mother claimed the boy suffered extreme facial burns but the woman just left without apologizing.
Bloggers nicknamed the alleged offender gukmul woman and criticized her.
But a surveillance camera recording showed it was the boy who dashed toward the woman and the boy ran to his parents immediately after the collision.
The woman’s hand also got burned and the footage showed her pouring cold water on her hands. She voluntarily appeared before police and said she left the scene because she thought the boy and the parents had already left.
An Internet user, badaeuisin, said, “The most important thing is the inside story. Libeling people wrongfully is an offense.” Another blogger, sunrace, said, “Seeing the buzz, I think those who take and upload photos of such incidents are the real troublemakers. Not everyone in the world is perfect, and human beings sometimes make mistakes.
If there’s a problem, we need to solve it by finding a right solution. But people spread the photos everywhere and pour criticism as if they are huge issues. It is those people who have mental problems.”