Girl behaving badly pursued by netizen nemeses
Last Saturday, the cleaning lady’s daughter made a posting on the local Web portal Nate, the country’s third largest, saying that her mother was verbally abused by the student May 13 for failing to toss out a milk carton on a shelf in a campus toilet.
“Since the day I was born, I’ve never felt more miserable and useless than today,” read the post. “My mother was insulted in all sorts of ways by a female college student who’s just around her daughter’s age.”
The daughter alleged the student swore at her mother and demanded she throw away a paper milk carton in a public toilet. The cleaning lady explained she didn’t move it because there was milk left in the carton, so she thought it belonged to someone using the facility. According to the daughter, the college student cursed at her again and left the toilet.
The cleaning lady followed the student into a room where female college students are allowed to rest, sleep and study, and demanded an apology, the daughter wrote. The student cursed at her again and told her to do her job. She threatened to beat the cleaning lady if she didn’t leave the room.
The daughter’s posting has received 584,000 views as of today and topped the portals’ search list.
The authenticity of the story was hotly debated Sunday until a three minute, 30 second audio file of the altercation was uploaded onto the Web on Monday.
Within hours, the student became the target of an Internet-based witch hunt. Photos of a female student and her address on a local social networking site spread on the Web, but the university said the hunters identified the wrong female.
Information sociology experts said widespread use of the Internet and handy gadgets such as cell phones make life convenient but they can infringe on an individual’s privacy.
Kyung Hee University and its student council on Monday issued a public apology for the incident. Kyung Hee officials are examining CCTV records to find the student, who will be subjected to punishment by the university’s disciplinary committee, the university said.
No one knows who recorded the altercation and uploaded it.
“The cleaner said she didn’t, and we’re presuming that one of the female college students in the room recorded it with her cell phone,” an official from the university said.
The daughter who started the Internet storm now has regrets.
“I didn’t know things would become this big,” the daughter said in a message posted Monday. She pleaded with netizens to stop the witch hunt. “My mom doesn’t want her to be punished by the school. She simply wants her apology.”
By Kim Mi-ju, Kim Hyo-eun [firstname.lastname@example.org]