The Jakarta Post
The portrait of Kim Jong-Hyun, a 27-year-old lead singer of the massively popular K-pop boyband SHINee, is seen on a mourning altar at a hospital in Seoul on December 19, 2017. (AFP/Choi Hyuk)
For Korean pop (K-pop) fans, especially those grouped in Shawol, the fandom of boy group SHINee, the week started off in tragedy following the shocking news of vocalist Kim Jong-hyun’s apparent suicide at the age of 27.
However, insensitive tweets from the account @MemeComicIndo (MCI) marred what was supposed to be a mourning period and ignited anger among Indonesian Shawols.
The comments even prompted one fan to send the anonymous account a legal notice.
Uci (not her real name), 35, decided to report MCI because she was fed up with the lack of empathy shown by its user.
“What [@MemeComicIndo] did was out of the line. Joking about someone’s death is tasteless, let alone degrading someone’s death and comparing [the dead] to an object,” she said.
Uci was referring to one of MCI’s tweets that quickly received intense backlash from Indonesian netizens and has since been deleted.
The tweet, posted late on Tuesday, read: “Thousands of people are killed in Palestine, they are quiet. One plastic commits suicide, they cried over him.”
South Korea is well known for its plastic surgery industry.
Insensitive tweets from the account @MemeComicIndo (MCI) marred what was supposed to be a mourning period and ignited anger among Indonesian Shawols. The tweet, posted late on Tuesday, read: “Thousands of people are killed in Palestine, they are quiet. One plastic commits suicide, they cried over him.” (Twitter/MemeComicIndo)
One of MCI’s administrators issued an apology through his Facebook page on Wednesday.
“I don’t really know the [singer] who died, or why he died or whether he had already been buried,” the post read. “But out of nowhere, a bunch of K-Popers attacked me, saying things like ‘what if it was someone in your family who died’ and other offensive comments.
“However, I realized that I have to be patient in dealing with these childish people. And after checking the original tweet, I failed to see what was so offensive about it, though other people might see it differently. So, on behalf of MCI’s administrators, I apologize to all [K-pop fans].”
The apology, however, was also taken down after netizens criticized the post for being insincere.
The legal notice, which has been received by MCI administrators, demanded that MCI issue an apology on its account and those belonging to its administrators, as well as in newspapers or online news sites.
Uci also demanded that MCI administrators meet her at a specified address, which she included in her letter on Tuesday.
Uci gave MCI a 24-hour deadline to fulfill her demands. If it failed to comply, she vowed to sue them under Law No. 11/2008 on electronic information and transactions (ITE).
MCI has not responded to The Jakarta Post’s request for comment.
A copy of the legal notice was also sent to the Communication and Information Ministry. The ministry’s spokesman, Noor Iza, told the Post that the ministry had never handled cases related to social media feuds.
“People could submit their complaints at aduankonten.id if they find inappropriate content on the internet. We will then deliver their complaints to the police, who will later decide whether to investigate the matter,” he said.
Uci, a K-pop fan since 2006, decided to take legal action because she wanted to spread awareness about suicide among Indonesian netizens.
“I’m doing this because I think some Indonesian netizens lack sympathy when it comes to issues like this,” she said. “When Chester Bennington [Linkin Park vocalist] died, people treated him with respect. Why didn’t Jonghyun get the same treatment? Is it because he was a K-pop idol?” Uci questioned.
Though Uci has so far been the only fan to take legal action, many Indonesian Shawols have echoed her sentiments toward MCI.
The hosts of music program DahSyat were also slammed by fans for making insensitive comments about Jong-hyun on Tuesday, which led to the hosts issuing an public apology the next day.
Jonghyun’s death on Monday shocked K-pop fans around the globe, who expressed their grief on Twitter by changing their profile picture to an image of a red rose, Jong-hyun’s favorite flower.
In Indonesia, several vigils will be conducted by Shawols to honor his death. Jakarta fans will gather on Saturday to conduct a candlelight vigil in front of the South Korean embassy.
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