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Netizen hunters become the hunted in Social Phobia

There’s a new thriller movie about to release, and it features a few of the latest trendy things: social media, Byun Yo-han (Misaeng), and up-and-comer Lee Joo-seung (Pinocchio, Let’s Eat 2). The movie, titled Social Phobia, tackles the dark side of online social networks, taking as its capsule description an “SNS witch hunt.”

The plot unfolds when one young man serving in the military commits suicide, which gets the whole nation talking, particularly online — while there are netizens expressing sympathy and sorrow, there are also hateful comments being generated deriding the military, which originate from someone called Re-na. Newcomer Ryu Joon-yeol plays a character who kicks off the hunt to find Re-na and punish her, and he gathers together a group of eight participants to track her down.

Among the group are our leads, Byun Yo-han as a young man hoping to become a police officer, and Lee Joo-seung. The group manages to locate Re-na’s house… only to find that she’s already dead. Because the leader has been broadcasting their doings on social media in real time, they now become suspects in her murder, and the group suddenly find themselves the target of netizen ire. And furthermore, doubts arise amongst the group until they’re suspecting each other of being the true killer.

So Byun Yo-han takes the lead in figuring out the true cause behind the girl’s death, and the plot unfolds in a way that mimics real time, with the SNS world becoming almost a character in itself as its reactions affect the actions of our main characters and shape the course of the film.

Sounds like a timely film, and these are two actors I’d be happy to see more of. We all know about Byun Yo-han’s sudden skyrocketing to fame, though it looks like he’ll be showing a much more serious side than his Misaeng character (who wasn’t without seriousness, but was marked by a fair amount of levity and playfulness). Lee Joo-seung is a face I’ve been seeing quite a bit of lately; he’s really been racking up those supporting drama performances and doing a solid, if understated, job in all of them (the somber little brother in Iron Man, the office maknae in High School King of Savvy). But it was the indie movie Shuttlecock that netted him strong praise and several acting awards last year, and I’ve been keeping my eye on him.

Social Phobia was first screened at last year’s Busan International Film Festival, and will release in theaters on March 12.

Via Mk.co.kr

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This sounds like a twisty, suspenseful movie, and I love both leads.

I do wonder though, for a subtitle about SNS witch hunts, why the target is the military? Unless that's a red herring and the real target is someone else. I am interested to see how they approach the way netizens' speculations take on a powerful and often frightening force.

They need to make a movie about Tablo, though. I would watch the hell out of that.

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oh yess please!! it was also one big event that turned almost all ppl to hate on Tablo

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+1 on Tablo story

if i ever want to study about human and social media, i will definetly put Tablo story in one of my paper - or thesis.

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This prompted me to read the Stanford Magazine article I found here:

https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=40913

Amazing and I can only imagine what this would have been like for those in Korea as this was going on. Poor guy.

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Wow, thanks for the link. Such a heartbreaking story, I didn't know netizens could have that much power. It makes me glad, for once, that the net here is fairly regulated. I can't imagine the horror of that on anyone.

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I still can't believe how with all that evidences there are still some people who doubt him even now. What more heartbreaking was that the scandal was one of the reason that cause the dead of Tablo Dad, he said the stress was too much for his father and the family. T-T

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Too many keyboard warriors feeling invincible just because they are under cover of anonymity. They can say the most horrible things because 1) they don't have to put their reputation on the line 2) no consequence.. no one can punch them in the face. 3) it's easy to fix if their handle/user name has gotten a bad rep. Just get a different one.

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They are not "keyboard warriors"....they are "computer cowards".

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Wow. Hope those people who posted without proof and issued death threats are prosecuted. Ironic that the leading instigator is a korean american. He must be really jealous.

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Anyway is this the same Tablo who is in Return of Superman? If it is then I'm surprised he still lets the media into his life.

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That is him. A true success story.

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Yeah it's that Tablo......and this was happening when his wife was pregnant with Haru.

that family has really endured too much, imagine being scared for your baby's life like that.

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ditto on your curious-ness Gwen.
i knew Tablo because he appeared in Strong Heart and then i "stalk" him and surprised about the case - terrified actually.

Then he agree to let people see his and his family day-to-day life in Superman dad? I was kinda confused.
He never be the same with Tablo before-the-case. How he react or perform..somehow..become more cautious.

With case like that, maybe, he only have 2 choice to support his and family:
1. Back to US and live as underground musician.
2. Fight back.

As a fan, am glad he chose the latter.
He is a genius, a gentleman, and a loving man-family. :')

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Thanks for the link! I knew that a scandal with Tablo happened but I didn't know it was to this extent.... This is so scary! how to prove that you are you....

Back to the movie, I thought the main guy was the guy from Marriage not Dating..

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I recall crying a bucket of tears in his Healing Camp episode, where he talked about the controversy. It's heartwarming to know that he's super successful now :)

If you all are interested, here's an English subbed link of Tablo's documentary mentioned in the article:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgu2x3_101001-tgs-s-1-3_animals

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Such a saddening story..people are naturally heartless..

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God, this is horrible!

Didn't know that folks could be so mean. And all through the anonymity of the web.

I agree, they should make a movie about this. Cyber bullying at its finest.

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I knew the whole depression case of tablo, and the scandal but i had no idea it was that serious!

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Wow, that was a very well written article. Netizens can be really scary.

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Your comment made me look into the Tablo Controversy, and wow that is one of the reasons why I hate netizens specially the extreme ones, they can be pretty crazy.

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+1111

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I went and googled the Tablo controversy and could scarcely believe what I read!
200,000 registered members on a forum that existed for the purpose of hating and destroying a popular rapper?! Based on One guy's accusation that Tablo lied about his Stanford degrees? And that guy turned out to be his own cousin. Talk about nemesis in KDs. Truth is stranger than fiction here. This one is so jealous and so crazy if you read his answers to the reporter's questions.
200,000 people were That jealous of his success, his fame and fortune and his marriage to a beautiful Korean actress!
Netizens shouldn't have that much power but when there is mob psychology involved, and it is a lynching mob, Shudders!

You are absolutely right, sb should make a movie about this!

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The Tajinyo scandal was really scary, they nearly destroyed not only Tablo's life but slso his family.

All when his only crime was being intelligent and hardworking enough to earn those degrees inthe first place. I never knew the man behind it was his cousin? The Stanford article said it was a middle aged man from the US? I can't believe the b**tard has the arrogance to so openly refuse responsibility for spreading lies like that.

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The guy(who spread the rumors and the founder of Tajinyo) is not Tablo's cousin. He doesn't know Tablo or any of his family personally. He lives in America so Korean police couldn't even arrest him.

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There was more than one agitator.

The guy who started the hate forum was the American businessman from Chicago; He said he did it cos he had 2 children, who later became doctors, but he hated it when "sb like Tablo could lie about his credentials and become successful. It's so unfair to hard-working young ppl", like his children, presumably.
I didn't know that you need degrees from top schools to be successful rappers.

When asked how he came about the information that Tablo lied, he pointed to postings on Tablo's fan site, left by this person who said he was Tablo's cousin, called Cho, a year older than Tablo, went to the same high school, was model student, went to Stanford, majored in music, wanted to be a concert violinist, etc. and he "knew first hand that Tablo was a fake". Netizens who were interviewed said that if his own cousin came forth w info, it must be true! And it went viral from there. So sad. So scary. So much in need of being made into a movie, to warn the world of the danger of internet raging.

http://www.wired.com/2012/04/ff_koreanrapper/

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whoa, that explains a lot. A cousin who was jealous that a former tearaway young relative got into the same prestigious university as he did, thrived and made a brilliant career in music after being a bit of a mess in high school? No wonder the internet hordes took it as fuel to their fire.

(and the cousin sounds like a real piece of work too, judging by that interview. No wonder Tablo went silent on the subject of why it happened, poor man must not want to admit it was his own family that did it).

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Unbelievable! This story literally sent shivers down my spine. Really frightening, I can't imagine what Tablo and his family went through. I can only hope internet users have leant to think for themselves and not just jump to conclusions whenever someone makes some ridiculous accusations.
Thanks for the link KDaddict.

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+1 for the movie on Tablo. It has to be written well though. And it clearly affected the entire family, including his newborn child at that time. Tablo has to give full support though. Although I don't know if he'd be comfortable with that.

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That situation with Tablo has always made me SO angry and frustrated on his behalf - and at a point in his life that should have been so happy for him. I'm happy he seems to be moving on and overcoming it.

It's funny how some netizens can become so fixated and extreme about inconsequential things that don't actually affect anyone (unless they allow it to) but they don't get upset about any of the real injustices that go on, not even the ones that affect the celebrities that they claim to care about like the rampant overworking of idols or the way entertainment companies coerce trainees and celebrities into getting plastic surgery and things like that. But I guess that's just life.

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I really hope someone will sub this movie when it comes out!! It looks really suspenseful!

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I've always been interested in this movie cause of Jo Han and the subject matter, am even more intrigued. Can't wait to see it!

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Glad to see that this movie hasn't escaped the attention of DB. The trailer for it looked interesting so very likely to watch it if it's subbed.

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Ooo... Sounds really interesting and current. I'll definitely try and watch this if it gets subbed somewhere.

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I have been keeping my eye on this one particularly because of BYH who got an award even before this movie came out. Also have you heard? He has confirmed for the Drama "Ex-girlfriend club" along with SJH.

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It's unlikely I'd get to watch this where I am, but it sounds like a great movie plot and I do like the posters - really sells it!

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Byun Yo Han.. his looks reminds me of the late Leslie Cheung

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I want to watch this!

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Aww yay, Lee Joo-seung is finally getting recognition! I loved him in My Friend is Still Alive, and Pinocchio. Hope he lands more roles on the small screen too - upgraded ones, please!

I don't know much about Byun Yo-han, but all I have heard are good things, so looking forward to this!

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The story sounds very good and intriguing! Hope I get to watch it sometime w/ subs.

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Wow that is one haunting poster (dead girl with people uploading on SNS)....... Very interesting movie.

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Yes, the poster of the girl and all the people around her just treating it as another tidbit to be uploaded and posted on the net... sad but true.

Now that people can use smartphones and apps can record, broadcast and track anything, anywhere, they hold such power to do good or bad, on a whim.

We need this movie! (and I need Byun Yo Han...)

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yay, i just finished Misaeng last week and i thought Byun Yo Han was brilliant in it. so glad to see more of him. unfortunately, they dont release all Korean movies in Singapore! so i prob have to wait for it to come out online.
i love stories that deal with the effects of social media in this way.

(for anyone interested in the dark and disturbing aspects of modern life and how it cld possibly affect us in the future, Black Mirror is a great British series to check out.)

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The posters are so good.
especially the one with the body in the center and faceless hands each posting different things. it reminds me if the story if the blind men describing an elephant.

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Byun Yo-han <3333333333333

I'm so glad to see him get more prominent roles after Misaeng, I need him back on our screens!

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i love these posters!

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Oooooh the plot is interesting. I'm not familiar with both actors (I only know the one in Pinocchio) but I think they'll do great.
The last poster (with the feet) is amazing! And even the boys' posters are interesting enough.
Now if only I just find a subbed video of this...

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Omg my 2 fav up and comers!

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Will be interesting to see how they handle this movie and the subject.

For anyone interested look up the japanese movei "The snow white murder case" for a similar topic of how social media can play into an investigation.

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omg I watched him in High School king! He was the cute maknae xD! I wanna watch~~ The whole military theme is great because there has been debates about the "punishment" and how superiors torture and let torture happen but id like to see this whole witch hunt theme focused in the entertainment industry too... There has been fatal cases like Choi Jin sil + Ahn Jae-hwan where rumors and rabid people said and did crazy stuff... -Now people put Choi Jin Sil as a martyr when back in the day, pretty much everyone was spreading the rumors- and the absurd Tajinyo witch hunt... My blood boils just to think about their cases

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I wonder if anyone could tell me if you know a link to download the eng sub of this movie

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