m a r k a n d e y a

Their usual hijinks…

Posted by Brian on April 26, 2006

Via the Nomad, we get this:

South Korean pop singer Rain was ranked the second most influential figure in the global entertainment industry, according to poll by U.S. Time magazine announced Wednesday.

Rain, a 23 year-old heartthrob often labeled as the Korean Justin Timberlake, garnered 28 percent of public support in an annual poll conducted by the weekly magazine.

The Nomad offers me some praise for "calling it," but while I would love nothing more than to take credit for superlative prognostication skills, predicting Korean netizens to stuff internet polls is about as safe a bet as predicting the sun will rise tomorrow… it's a gimme if there ever was one.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, any time, and I repeat, any time, a Korean is included on any sort of internet poll as "the best" or "top" whatever, the Korean netizens will descend on it like gangbusters and boost their chosen one towards the top. Can you imagine how broken the results would have looked if Rain had taken the top spot from Ang Lee? Who on earth could say that Rain is the Most Influential Figure in the global entertainment industry without breaking into tremor-inducing fits of laughter?

(And speaking of Lee, and this is merely speculation on my part, it looks like he may have received similar tribalistic support from Chinese net users)

Particularly galling is the way Yonhap reports this news straight, with nary a caveat to the reader that maybe, just maybe, given Korean netizens' history of similar ballot stuffing, this poll can hardly be trusted (even without going into the non-scientific nature of such online polls in general).

Long time readers of my blog may remember this little graphic I made a few years ago:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

If I remember correctly, I made that graphic in response to Korean netizens seeing to it that about half of the 2002 World Cup All-Star team was from Korea. As you can see, it's still applicable today.


One Response to “Their usual hijinks…”

  1. Pelagius said

    This story explains a few things…

    “South Koreans have considerable faith in the internet as a source of news, according to an opinion poll carried out for the BBC and Reuters.”

    No word yet on whether the poll received 8 billion votes from S. Korea…

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