Saturday, January 29, 2011

Annoying Things About Korea #7: On Facebook, I Can Be An Instant Celeb

Korea has a fake identity problem, and Facebook is making it worse
There is zero doubt about the genius of Facebook.  You can find lost friends (and Lost Seoul)s on Facebook, you can find join groups with others who have things in common with you, and you now, increasingly, you can play video games.

In Korea on Facebook, You Can Name Yourself Almost Anything
Go ahead and type in the name of a famous Korean person on Facebook.  Try Yuna Kim (or Kim Yuna or 김유나).  You will find an entire list of them.  Do you see what I mean?  Now if you really want to be a Fan, or join a group, which do you join?

Korea is the Wrong Place for this Problem
Of course, there is no good place for identity theft.  Unfortunately, for Koreans, this particular problem strikes a nerve.  A few years ago, an "expert" who was employed by the Blue House (Korea's phrase for the president's residence) was understood to be a fraud, a person who had faked her credentials.   A very famous Korean expert in DNA research was found to have forged the results of cloning experiments.  The Lost Seoul has pointed out that many English teachers are, in fact, unqualified to teach the very highly-qualified, and highly-educated employees at Korean companies.  The Lost Seoul calls on Facebook to make sure that you cannot name yourself a name similar to a celebrity.  Facebook needs to do a better job of this in Korea which has had a very ugly recent history where people represent themselves as someone they are not.

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