Celebrity News
Moon Geun-young targeted by netizen slander
by | November 17, 2008 | 74 Comments

You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. Or, in Moon Geun-young‘s case, you’re damned (by netizens) if you donate regularly to help those in need, with your intentions constantly called into question.

After being lauded as an “angel of kindness” by many, Moon currently finds herself the target for abuse after it was recently made known that she has made contributions to various charitable causes anonymously throughout her career, which amount to somewhere in the 850,000,000 won range (with the current exchange rate, that translates to approximately USD $600,000).

Some samples of the types of comments? “What’s 850 million won to a celebrity?” (I say: The same effing 850 million won that it means to the rest of us.) “It’s a ploy to raise her salary.” (As far as I know, prodcos don’t raise fees for being charitable.) “It’s just a scam to donate anonymously when their name is revealed later anyway.” (This one I agree with.) People are going so far as to delve into Moon’s family history, hurling regional slurs and commie labels her way. (I guess “socialist” is the new big insult?)

Of course, you don’t get to be such a huge target of netizen idiotry without amassing a loyal fanbase as well, and Moon’s are countering, “If people are going to get abused for good deeds, who’s going to donate?”

With the situation thus, a political figure has even stepped forward to issue a statement. On November 17, the Democratic Labor Party said, “Calling Moon Geun-young a commie is a sign of social pathology… We as a society must stop these abnormal personal attacks.”

Moon Geun-young, on the other hand, has remained silent on the matter. One source said she is maintaining a “no comment” stance on the issue and is solely focused on filming for her current drama, Painter of the Wind.

Via DongA.com


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74 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Sue

    le goddamn fucking sigh.

    as for her ‘no comment,’ i think that’s the way to go.

  2. belleza

    ““What’s 850 million won to a celebrity?”

    And in fact, even though Moon Young is, I think, an A-list earner, 850 million will be a big, big chunk of her current income this year. She’ll feel it too.

    Moon Young is in a unique position from other young star, because future greatness is kinda expected from her, exceeding merely just acting well. In turn, she’s taken on the challenge of being a role model, as well as establishing her identity as an artist. She’s amazingly, amazingly self-possessed for somebody still so young and under the public eye.

    “Of course, you don’t get to be such a huge target of netizen idiotry without amassing a loyal fanbase as well, and Moon’s are countering,”

    Yeah, and to be fair, the laws of averages come into play. You take the good, you takes the bad, you take them both, and there you have the size of Moon Young’s tremendous celebrity.

    ““If people are going to get abused for good deeds, who’s going to donate?””

    They even get abused by some English language sites whenever they do a good deed.

  3. Roots21

    What the heck is up with netizens nowadays?! I’m glad a political figure is stepping up this time and I hope poor Moon Geun-young isn’t taking this to heart.

  4. Stawr

    is it just me? or does her eyes look a bit crossed in that picture…?

    • 4.1 Nu

      They are very close, but that is not the issue here.

  5. Maica

    Please do not mind them Moon Geun-young! Just do what you think is right. Do not let those distractors overpower your kindness. :)

  6. Jane

    Personally, I’m a huge Moon Geun-Young fan, so I’m totally on her side in this issue. I really hope that all the netizens that are hating on her right now start to see how great her deeds really are. I don’t know, I just think it’s really unfortunate and unfair that it’s so hard for celebrities to do GOOD things.

  7. cc

    OMG…what’s up with netizens these days…

    MGY, your “no comment” was right!

  8. pabo ceo reom

    I know you can’t based this on looks, but really Geun-young doesn’t look like a person to manipulate her reputation through charitable giving.

  9. ")

    MGY do what u think is right…

    as for “cruel” netizen… GTH… hahha

  10. 10 orangemania

    wats wrong with ppl, ppl get in trouble for doing good, and get in trouble for doing bad. y r so many netizens so negative now a days, i even avoid those gossip sites cause it just ruins my appetite.

  11. 11 Rihanna

    this what we call with HAVE-TO-KILLED-NETIZEN okay with criticized acting , but this too, they must be sick i hope korean soon made their regulation to solve this netizen problem

  12. 12 mina

    what ever the motive is, the money is for a good cause…

  13. 13 epyc

    Haven’t people learned from the sad suicide of Choi Jin-Shil?????

  14. 14 Mindy

    poor Moon. yeah she should just go with “no comment” and ignore the bs. Why not criticize celebs that never donate huh? Complainers are always going to have something negative to say either way

  15. 15 Gloria Park

    It is absolutely amazing to see the public turn on a celebrity so quickly without so much as hesitation or compassion. The Korean public is fickle and aggressive, as evidenced by what happened to actress Choi Jin-Sil, and my heart goes out to Moon, who though only in her early twenties has done more than most in helping the unfortunate and changing the world for the better. Her intentions have been well-received before, as you allude to her being called an “angel of kindess” for her charitable efforts. As such, it baffles me as to why people are so critical of her 850 million won donation to charity. Do you think that Korean society is unique in its unyielding, increasingly harmful antagonism toward celebrities? Or do you think that Korean celebrities in particular are more inherently vulnerable or defeated against such attacks? Cyber bullying is extremely problematic in not only belittling people and destroying their spirits, but also humiliating and disgracing their reputations. I hope that people will begin to realize that cyber abuse, though seemingly insignificant and minor, has the potential to do great damage to a person’s life. What could possibly be the reasons behind attacking Moon for donating money to charity? What has caused this irrational suspicion of celebrities, including the most innocent and positively-received ones?

  16. 16 purpledayz

    PLEASE. im praying that she wont get too emotional and turn to suicide like how other net-slander drives korean celebrities to..


  17. 17 Rihanna

    Gloria PArk i ma agree with You

  18. 18 m

    people have no sense these days – donation is donation. at least it’s for a good cause no matter what the reason. quite sure a lot of these charities could use all the help they can get. in regards to the amount being a drop in the bucket for the stars, let’s see what these people (those who criticize) are donating & see if their percentages match up.
    kudos to her though, for donating anonymously, at least at first, though i wished she would have kept it that way. unless someone else leaked the info, it makes it look more like a publicity stunt. really like the “no comment.” shows class. :)

  19. 19 Emily

    People are so bitter these days. Hope MGY don’t take these dumb netizens’ words to heart.

  20. 20 Penn

    That is the most ludicrous thing I’ve heard. A person doesn’t have to give part of her income to others. That’s why when someone does, it’s called charitable. For anyone to think being charitable is being socialist is simply moronic. There are plenty of selfish people in this world as it is. Think of all the top executives who make millions of dollars each year but won’t even provide Christmas luncheon for their employees. So for anyone to give $20 or $600,000 to others in need, it’s a good thing.

  21. 21 invisibelle

    Aww. Well, I guess it sounds like she’s handling it okay. I swear, celebrities should have to take a class on how to ignore bitter-about-life netizens.

    By the way, is anyone subbing POTW? I went to start watching it last night and couldn’t find subs being released anywhere.

  22. 22 bee

    im sorry dramabeans. im new. what and who are netizens?

  23. 23 Penn

    You might check out http://www.viikii.net/ for subs of POTW.

  24. 24 sleepy

    Think of all the people who get to benefit from the celebrity’s donation & voluntary works. The amount may mean nothing to the stars and not much to normal people, but it does mean a lot to the needy. The mere fact that those celebrities are contributing back to the society and helping other people is worth applauding. Not to mention that such acts also encourage some of their fans to follow suit and do something to help less fortunate people. Even when the stars do it for personal purposes (which I don’t believe is Moon’s case – she has always been low profile about her charity), the most important thing is still that there are people whose lives have been improved thanks to their deeds, and that enough is worth our recognition and respect.

  25. 25 tokai

    Invisibelle, better check here:

  26. 26 Abby

    Netizens need to get off celebrity’s backs and mind their own business!! Do we really want another suicide? Netizens never learn do they.

  27. 27 acutelife

    nah, i think those netizen are just jealous they dont make as much as MGY

  28. 28 lovin it

    moongeunyoung do what you think is right! totally on your side!

  29. 29 Cindy

    man, Korean netizens are whack.

  30. 30 Ivuson

    Idiots. The internet has brought alot of great things to this world but the rise of the netizen is the slime underneath the hero’s boot. Nameless, faceless losers who have nothing better to do but to anonomously make the lives of others miserable by bashing every aspect of their lives(bashing on charity? really?) They have no accountability or remorse and probably take great joy in negatively affecting the lives of celebrities. It flies in the face of all old time values like privacy, honor, and respect. If the real world ever begins to take on the personality of the web world then that will be a truly sad day indeed.

  31. 31 Sevenses

    *facepalm* Sometimes the internet just fails so hard. You know the netizens are all secretly offended that they didn’t get a share of the money.

    Moon is an industry veteran, so hopefully she’s weathering this. Plus, free publicity! 😀

  32. 32 Rachael

    …What? Is she donating to “The Society for Kicking Puppies Every Thursday” or something? The average person is quite illogical in their statements when enmassed I swear. Some netizens take the “I’m so jaded and cynical!” persona way too far.

  33. 33 robbo4

    These creeps are no different, to me, than arsonists who anonymously start fires and derive great pleasure by witnessing others in pain. As difficult as it is for these losers to comprehend, some people, are just ….nice.

    Bless you, Miss Moon; Compassion for others needs no explanation. It is the lack thereof that should be met with derision.

  34. 34 kate

    miss moon..i support you all the way…”fighting”

  35. 35 Rihanna



    korean sick!! can they be a person who adore people for a while, envious is all in the netizen heart

  36. 36 mimi

    we all in same thought about netizen, that’s ok for me about acting critics i don’t believe this things even critised to??

  37. 37 popcorn

    This is retarded (not what you say dramabeans but what the netizens are saying). So a person donates anonymously and is revealed it’s said that it’s a scam to raise her reputation. So that person actually donates under his/her own name and I’m pretty sure the saying will goes similar to, “If you really want to donate you don’t need to say your name.” So a person changes her mind and not donate at all. Guess what? Those who are in need aren’t being helped like they should.

    What I say is donating in itself is already a good deed. I think any donation, whether big or small, is admirable. It’s the thought that counts.

    I seriously hope that those people who are so skeptical should stop and think have they ever donated before or have they done anything to help others beside sitting in front of a computer and typing hurtful words to those who even bother to help, even if it’s scam to raise popularity or whatever the hell that person desires.

    =_=’ People are messed up.

  38. 38 Will

    netizens… in this case must be really dumb to even try to slander this nice girl. does a person have to be poor and “donate” to be accepted as the “angel?” she’s just doing a good deed and brainless netizens just have to go on and say what their crazy brain tells them to… tsktsktsk

  39. 39 cc

    it’s just not koreans that are attacking her. i was on popseoul the other day and this douchebag kept on bringing up her family’s “commie” history.

    it’s absolutely ludicrous how hateful people can be.

  40. 40 uuhh

    Waaahhh… Waaahhh… get over it. Celebs get dissed.. oh la-di-fricking-da. Can’t believe all you people getting all worked up over an annoying little actress like her. Personally, I wouldn’t mind never hearing about her again.

  41. 41 selva

    I knew this is gonna happen after the news about her being the donator is revealed :(
    people should really grow up… they expect that any celebrity who is charitable is looking for some fame or credits <_<
    she’s such an angel, and the poor girl had to listen to all of this crap :(
    anyway, I prefer if she stays w/ the “no comment” for now until everything ends smoothly.

  42. 42 uuhh

    Haven’t people learned from the sad suicide of Choi Jin-Shil?????

    epyc – Nov 18, 2008 at 3:32 am

    That woman had SERIOUS issues to kill herself. Mental issues that none of us could even begin to understand. Should EVERY single writer of a blog be worried over someone who wants to hang herself? PLEASE…

    People have the right to say WHATEVER they want. It’s called freedom of speech. Look into it.

  43. 43 Passer-by

    I guess you failed to notice the fact that it isn’t netizen versus MGY thing. It IS NOT. Actually behind the all the netizens’ bad replies, there was a crazy little old stupido “Jee Man Won” who connected her family (MGY’s grand-father was a socialist a few decades ago) to the society’s appraisal mood to her (Some political party criticised LMB, Korean president who promised his whole fortune to donate to the society, but has not doen yet, comparing to MGY’s huge donation, and this Jee Man Won guy got upset since he doesn’t like ppl look up to this socialist’s grand-daughter. So he made some crazy remark on her, maybe she’s being used as a model of the REDS as a good example of their political agenda. Totally bullshit. HOWEVER, there are certain ppl who accepted this kind of political propaganda, and they do spread those criticism on the net. It’s not about ppl’s anti-celebrity sentiment or anti-MGY sentiment at all. Ppl who are making this fuss are just extremely-stupid-right wingers. More of Korean public are rather upset to this Jee Man Won guy and his losers. So don’t get this matter wrong. It’s not the kind of Choi Jin Shil’s case nor something like korean netizen’s aggressive nature at all.

  44. 44 paranblue

    well, its just annoying because everyone will view the glass “half-full” or “half-empty”… and everyone will have something to say good or bad… but what annoys me is that the people who look at things so negatively are just so rude and obnoxious… seriously, at least the actress is donating!!! (& also, i really doubt that everyone A-list celebrity earning a lot, donates a large hunk of their paycheck to the needy)

    netizens should really be more thoughtful as they post things up— (just because you’re not seeing the person face-to-face, does not mean that people should just be just ABSOLUTELY mean and inconsiderate….)

    seriously, if they are going to be just plain old mean about her donating, i really doubt that anyone in the world would want to donate or give back to the needy…

    gosh, one of the very bad sides effects of the internet— cyber bullies!

  45. 45 s hee

    moon gyeong — you did it for a good cause & just move on — your fans incldg me are on your side! don’t let it bother you ok? aja aja

  46. 46 Nancy

    You know, I am sick and tired of people who do nothing but critize others who trying to make a difference. Whether she did it for publicity or not, it is helping someone in need. That’s the whole point of giving. She is a celebrity so of course stupid netizens will criticze her WTF, go girl! I know first hand what it is like to hear these kind of comments and she handle it maturely, the way adults are supposed to!

  47. 47 cbcnamja

    Those netizens are probably jealous because she has money to donate. I bet those netizens never donated a cent in their lives. Moon Geun young is still very young, so I hope she could take the heat. I’m with her all the way!

  48. 48 noob

    wtf? How can anyone criticize people who give to the needy?!!? Let’s see how those netizens feel when THEY are the ones who need help from charities! And charities only run becuase good people in the world give a part of their possessions to others. Geez….

    MGY! Don’t let these pathetic, scrooge-like, negative, cynical, netizens get to you! They are only a very small minority because when you think about it rationally, who doesn’t like kind people?

    Re #32 RACHAEL: “…What? Is she donating to “The Society for Kicking Puppies Every Thursday” or something?” lmao so true. these netizens, whoever they are, are probably the type that WOULD donate to organizations like that.

  49. 49 juno

    I’m here just to send MGY my absolute love and adoration for her works and her donations.

    Donating should not be made into a big deal in the first place as in we should all do our part. So what if her grandpa is/was a socialist?! Even if that ideology is unacceptable in current climate, we should trigger down the ‘blame’?!

  50. 50 vanessa

    wow. despite what she might make, i’d like to see what anyone else would contribute. she gave it anonymously too. jeez, some netizens are just out there.

  51. 51 Empress80

    WOW, some netizens really have nothing better to do with their time. Ok, so she donated in anonymously and then her name was revealed. Whether it was her or her camp that later disclosed this information at least the woman was able to help out other folks in need. 850,000 million is the same to her as it is to the rest of us. Yes, she makes millions each year with her projects but the girl works hard for her money. It’s not like she is some heiress that just tosses money around like it was nothing. If anything, netizens should be asking other celebrities to help out folks in need. Whther they give 850 won or 850 billion won, at least it will go out to those less fortunate.

  52. 52 ji

    netizens are nuts. can’t they leave people alone? the only point i can agree with is why donate anonymously if your name will be released later anyways. i do think more of her for donating to charities & having no comment about those negative remarks.

  53. 53 miranda


    Song hye gyo acting criticized bad That’s ok
    kim tae hee acting criticized bad That’s ok
    movie criticized bad That’s ok
    jung ryeong won is i line That’s ok

    moon geun young did charity was criticized too??,
    she must be a role models

    i just weird with korean netizen why Sluts like hyori never been criticized
    her lack talent, body only and unnecessary kissed too
    these loser!! netizen !.

    that politician should be on hell , he must has lee money than geun young

  54. 54 Ter


    These netizens are becoming altogether too boring and predictable… I applaud Moon for taking the no-comment route! Seriously, these netizens are so mundane, uncreative, and petty that it’d be a waste of precious effort and time to bother responding to them.

  55. 55 Miki

    Whatever. Giving charity only works as publicity if the netizens care. The ones slandering her name is only giving her more publicity (which, in their opinion, is what she wants. So they’re totally counter-acting themselves).

    And 600,000 is a HUGE amount, no matter if you’re a celeb or not. They’re capable of giving more, but when they do, they get called out for it? Ridiculous.

    She donated anonymously, and it’s not her fault if reporters dig it up or whatever. And if the netizens say it’s really a round-about scam (say, her management is who releases this info), so what? She really DID donate, didn’t she?

    And too be honest, if I really want to be cynical about it, I don’t really care for her purpose or how she went about it as long as people ARE being helped.

  56. 56 belleza

    Everybody keep in mind that almost everybody here is also a “netizen.” The label is associated with Chinese and Korean net users; however, insofar as you belong to an online community (blogs, forums, etc.), you are a netizen. So any general remarks you make about “netizens are this” or “netizens should do that” would apply to us as well . . . unless you are also implictly saying that “Korean people on the net are this” or “Chinese should do that.” Would YOU accept restrictions on your free speech because somebody else ruined the party for everybody? Or is it only okay if those restrictions are only applied to “those Netizens/people”? We do much the same.

  57. 57 Heejae

    Honestly, “no comment” is the way to go.

    People need to find something else to complain about, because donating money to a charity ISN’T one of those things.

  58. 58 Ter

    Belleza – Good points. I don’t know about others, but for me, when I say THESE netizens, I’m not referring to the online community in general, but to the specific group of netizens that end up spreading enough malicious comments to significanlty and negatively impact the subjet.

    And I’d argue that while the term “netizen” is officially meant to refer to the online community as a whole, the term has taken on secondary meanings like some words tend to do. First, like you’ve observed, there’s no denying that the term netizen has become attached to the online community in certain asian countries. Second, the term has also become attached specifically to those internet users who make a habit of harrassing celebrities with their malicious comments. This didn’t occur in a vacuum. Without denying the fact that a malicious internet (sub)culture exists in other parts of the world, its become an especially prominent issue in Korea. I’m sure this has nothing to do with korean internet users being inherently eviler than others, but there is definitely something going on that has caused this to become more of an issue in Korea than, say, the US. Like its commonly argued, it could be that korea is the most wired nation in the world, or something else– I’m really not an authority on the subject.

    And I agree with your points about free speech. I always look at proposals for internet slander laws and protections with suspicion, because whose going to decide what counts as slander, and how far can people take this law to suppress criticism? You alwasy run the risk of disempowering the general public and transferring that power to a handful of rich people– not exactly what you call a democratic culture there. So I’d never contest people’s right to write stupid and cowardly things behind their computers; I’m just gonna take issue with their stupidity ^_^.

  59. 59 FANTAsan

    i dont like her AT ALL
    i dont get why shes famous
    but people shouldn’t be slandered for doing good deeds

  60. 60 ???

    I totally understand what the netizens are talking about.
    I mean people don’t even know her, know her.
    For all we know she might not even be close to the
    innocent and cute image we all expect from her.

    She could just be donating money because she wants
    people to forget about her relatives. I read that her grandfather
    was a spy for North Korea.

    Some people are just taking her side because she’s their favorite
    celebrity and what not but what do they know?!

    I’m not an anti or anything (Painter of the Wind♥) but sometimes
    you just have to look at it from BOTH sides.

    – Kyu

    • 60.1 hope

      Yeah……………your opinion may be right in ur side but
      you must respect her donating. Coz there are only few person who can donate like her. And don’t think that she did it for her relatives. 😀 it’s so funny Kyu. It’s happened long long ago. No need!! Please don’t paint any colour in her kind heart!

  61. 61 belleza


    “I’m sure this has nothing to do with korean internet users being inherently eviler than others, but there is definitely something going on that has caused this to become more of an issue in Korea than, say, the US.”

    It’s all about accessibility; you can’t have intense fan adoration without the antis. Daytime soap culture in the States is pretty similar, except on a much smaller scale, and not represented in mainstream media. This is part of the business model, and nowadays most of the agencies teach the celebs/singers how to manage the inevitable negative traffic they’re going to get with the success. Even then, it’s pretty intense. That’s also why I’m sympathetic when any given actor/actress receives criticism for this or that; usually the message is a lot more personal and pointed what what is reported. I see it in the States too. I didn’t grow up with the 24/7 gossip cycle and boy bands/idols or whatever. It’s fun to me, but I can’t understand the vitriol you see in gossip sites.

    That said, what really bothers me is the “pot kettle black” behaviour that you see on certain English language sites. People saying vicious (and often untrue) stuff about idols and celebs, and THEN complaining about the antis/netizens. Wow. WOW.

  62. 62 doozy

    tokai, thanks for the heads up!

    belleza, I agree.

  63. 63 Rihanna

    belleza yeah belleza like POPSEOUL AND SEOULBEAT !!,, i think they took some articles from here or hanfever without taken the source .

    those Blogs has no manner at all even said nothing true about those cellebrity

  64. 64 rocketfuel


    There really is no two sides of the story….unless she’s wanted for murder. The only fact is that she donated her own money….and instead of taking her lead and doing some good deeds of their own, online trolls are trying to make her seem less of saint than they are.

    Who Moon really is…means absolutely nothing to anyone’s lives except for her real family and friends. As for the persona her fans see….she’s a professional, it’s her job to set a good example.

  65. 65 ic3cream

    WTF ! That’s hella money , so what if they’re celebrity and they make big bucks, they can save it for themselves rigth why bother with other people and then get abuse because of it, crazy netizens, still that phrase ” it’s the thought that count”

  66. 66 royal

    I can’t believe how f*cked up netizens are. It’s a good thing MGY is in a ‘no comment’ stance, after all why would she care about a bunch of online losers who spends their time bashing her than help out other people… So not all people have 850 million won to spare for the needy, but it’s not like money is the only option to do a good deed…

  67. 67 koalabear

    bee…a netizen is a coined term for Korean Internet users, Korea is one of the countries that have the fastest Internet Connections that’s why too bad they could bash anyone anytime…

    back to MGY…I think in the first place she doesn’t want her name to be disclosed by the charitable institution she is helping, and I’m not sure if she has given consent when the charity disclosed it, sadly some will raise eyebrows about it but I don’t think netizens should take it negatively on her, I’m on MGY’s side and I think she has done a very good act. I read an article about Netizen attacks can be classified as Stalking, and the best way to fight those attacks is to keep silent, and I salute MGY on that note

  68. 68 MGY#1fan

    Ji Man Won and the Korean Netizens need to get a life. Calling MYG a hypocrite they need to look at themselves in the mirror before they can call MYG a hypocrite. Also saying MYG donate to charity for increasing popularity, to me. If she’s donate money in secrecy.. She is not a money show off saying she have donate this much to charity… Plus digging through her family history n saying her grandfather was communist n got arrested n she might be a North Korean Spy.. Plz.. Even though she’s the granddaughter it doesn’t mean she’s the same as her grandfather… Ji Man Won n the Korean Netizen are showing me that they are close minded. They judge people by family member n that mean one person do wrong in the family then she’s the same as them… OPEN YOUR MIND JI MAN WON n the KOREAN NETIZENS plz.. before saying or doing anything stupid as criticizing others plz put yourself in their shoes… bcuz I know u guys don’t like it when somebody digs out your family history n smack it right at your face n also comparing u. MYG i don’t care what they say, but just don’t sob over this. Ji Man Won and the Korean Netizens is just trying to make money off of you… This is showing how greedy they are to make money. Will always be your #1 fan, MYG..^_^

    I HAVE TO THANK JI MAN WON n the KOREAN NETIZENS bcuz they show me that MYG isn’t a show off on money n that even makes me see her more as a role model… Thanks you so much JI MAN WON n the KOREAN NETIZENS…

  69. 69 jin

    wat ever….she is an angel for me……………..

  70. 70 KEBI


  71. 71 renz

    Whether she’s an angel or not doesn’t matter
    Her donation is real(fact)
    It helped others(fact)
    Her motive(whether for popularity ,for his family or has kind heart: no one can prove that-and doesn’t matter)
    AS for freedom, it must always be complimented with responsibility( are admitting ur a beast)

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