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Type of site
|Headquarters||South Korea dongdaguro 386 Beom eo2dong Suseong District Daegu|
|Alexa rank||1,695 (November 2018[update])|
Ilbe Storage (Hangul: 일베저장소; RR: Ilbe Jeojangso), also known as ILBE (일베), is a right-wing website based in South Korea. The site, created in April 2010, began as a collection of the "daily popular" posts from the BBS of South Korean social website DC Inside. This gave the site its name Ilbe, which is short for Ilgan Best, Korean for popular daily. As of February 2017, it is the most popular Internet humor site in South Korea by daily traffic.
- 1 Ilbe subculture
- 2 Criticisms
- 2.1 Allegedly criticizing former president Roh Moo-Hyun
- 2.2 Denial of Gwangju riot
- 2.3 Wide opposition to left-wing politics
- 2.4 Hatred of the Jeolla region
- 2.5 Legal issues
- 2.6 Possible misdemeanor
- 2.7 Misogyny
- 2.8 Vandalism
- 2.9 Cyberterrorism
- 2.10 Cyberterrorism against Ilbe
- 2.11 Violation of political neutrality
- 2.12 Alleged vandalism on Comotomo feeding bottles
- 2.13 Provoking Sewol ferry victims
- 3 Media attention
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Ilbe's userbase has strong right tendencies. The website has very few rules, but it does prohibit users from mentioning each other by their username or getting too close to each other, in order to prevent new users or dissenters from being down-voted indiscriminately by existing users. This policy has effectively made everyone more anonymous (and equal), in contrast with other popular Korean forums where the old users are more respected and hold greater authority during discussions. The forums are largely unmoderated, with exceptions made for cases that may result in litigation or cases in response to complaints.
The lack of moderation, however, does result in problematic behaviors such as defamation or harassment, which are criminal under Korean Law. The website routinely comes under criticism for its users' actions, the most notable of which was the Korea Communications Standards Commission's request that Ilbe regulate problematic contents that are harmful for teenagers. On the other hand, the website has been praised for its anonymity and free spirit: a spokesman of Saenuri Party mentioned Ilbe as "free space where innocent people can speak their minds freely".
A large part of Ilbe's subculture comes from the users' collective identity as "losers" of a sort: until the founding of Ilbe, most of the large community forums on the Korean web were left-leaning to an extent where anyone with even a moderate right-wing opinion had to endure ridicule and name-calling by the majority including the moderators. Thus, Ilbe's userbase has embraced many of the derogatory terms used by the left to show pride in their dissent. Due to their vocal users and strong political/cultural influence, Ilbe has gained widespread attention by social critics, with some labeling the website a social phenomenon, and some critics consider Ilbe a Korean analogue of 4chan and 2channel.
As a vocal minority of the users engage in questionable behavior both online and offline, the website has largely negative connotation, especially with the political left. Thus, the users tend not to reveal their identity as an Ilbe user in the real world to prevent themselves from being ostracized. The term "Ilming-out" (일밍아웃), which is a portmanteau of "Ilbe" and "Coming out (of the closet)", describes a disclosure as an Ilbe user to the general public, and is avoided. Having to resort to more discreet measures to display their identity, Ilbe users use a hand sign that represents the Korean initials of the website's name.
In parliamentary inspection held in October 2013, member of Democratic Party Yu Seung-hui criticized Ilbe's antisocial aspect. He released the information from Korean Communications Standards Commission, hundreds of submitted complaints about harmful contents in Ilbe like suicide, crime, drug, sexism, violence, as well as defamation and discrimination against left-wing politics and Jeolla province.
Shin Hye-sik, representative of right-wing online press Dokrip Newspaper said "(Ilbe users) should make an apology for problematic claims". Kim Young-hwan, former pro-NK activist and a convert to the right now, said "Right-wing is an attitude to inherit conservative awareness, but in this criteria Ilbe is not right-wing. Ilbe's radical argument will escalate social chaos". Yoon Pyong-joong, right-wing professor of Hanshin University defined Ilbe's far-right extremism as "Isn't worth saying at all". They shared the understanding that Ilbe should be criticized by public argument, not by legal action.
Conservative monthly magazine 'Shindonga' released a special section to criticize Ilbe as 'close to fascism rather than normal right-wing' and 'antisocial'.
Japanese journalist Yasuda Goichi, the author of The Internet and Patriotism (Netto to Aikoku) diagnosed Ilbe as similar to anti-Zainichi association, one of Japanese cyber far-right group (Uyoku dantai).
Allegedly criticizing former president Roh Moo-Hyun
The Ilbe Community is mainly known by citizens for allegedly making fun of former president Roh Moo-hyun. The political parties have declared a war against the Ilbe Community, as they have been consecutively criticizing Roh Mu-Hyeon, and other political leaders through many forms of media, such as making jokes, parody music containing criticisms and people's discontent against political leaders such as Park Geun-hye and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and spreading rumors on social media. Users make an Ilbe "theme song" every year, and they regularly parody popular songs with lyrics that criticize the leaders. Ilbe users compose their parody songs as a propaganda that attracts people who coincidentally listen to their songs, to join the community. Users are trying to add a sense of humor to their songs, such as exaggerating expressions of political leaders and colloquially referring them as "MC Muhyeon", "DJ Daejung", "MC Jong-Un" and "MC Geunhye".This makes their songs sound legitimate in some ways. Recently, following up the uprising criticisms and hostility against the Ilbe Community, Korean celebrities who accidentally use Ilbe terminology on social media make people misunderstand them as an Ilbe member. As a result, comic artists and companies are adding caution to their productions to avoid being misunderstood as an Ilbe member.
Denial of Gwangju riot
Although the South Korean government, judiciary and legislature officially concluded that the Gwangju Uprising was a justified civil movement by passing a special law, (also confirmed by UNESCO who registered records of the Gwangju Uprising as UNESCO World Heritage), Ilbe is propagating unverified conspiracy theories about Korean democratization.
The May 18 Memorial Foundation (5.18 기념재단), one of the Gwangju Uprising memorial organizations, announced that Ilbe is spreading questionable information like,
- North Korean special forces were involved in the Gwangju Uprising.
- The Gwangju Uprising was a heavily armed riot.
- Military suppression against citizens was justifiable.
- The 5.18 Special Law (5.18특별법), which pays respect to the Gwangju Uprising, is unconstitutional.
Claims similar to Ilbe's were denied by the government multiple times. The Minister of National Defense, Kim Gwan-jin, dismissed the allegation of North Korea's involvement during democratization as 'groundless'. The Korean Communications Standards Commission decided to take disciplinary action against the right-wing television news programs, 'TV Chosun' and 'Channel A', which made allegation of North Korea's involvement during democratization. It was accused of "both defamation and spreading false information".
In November 2013, the Daegu District Court dismissed a similar case of defamation against Gwangju Uprising victims, committed by 10 members of Jeonsamo (a Chun Doo-hwan fan group). Although they were found not guilty, the judge explained that their claim was insufficient to be considered defamation.
Even journalist Cho Gap-je, who was on the scene in Gwangju, admitted that the Gwangju Uprising was a righteous anti-communism democratic movement in his testimony.
Considering all these, Ilbe uses the word 'democratization' in a negative sense, similar in meaning to "thumbs down". However, various users of Ilbe claim that the seemingly inappropriate use of the word is just a mockery of the left wing.
Wide opposition to left-wing politics
Ilbe's opinions are expressed as strong opposition to left wing parties, political figures and supporters, alongside indiscriminate labeling of the South Korean left wing as pro-communism, pro-North Korea, pro-socialism, and anti-South Korean.
Ilbe also labels some journalist like former chief editor of Monthly Chosun Cho Gap-je as "좌빨" (Far-left communist) due to his support of the Gwangju Uprising as a justifiable movement. Even though former president Roh Mu-hyun and Kim Dae-jung used neoliberal economic policies, and came under criticism from the left-wing for their conservative stance, Ilbe considers both to be 'communists' due to their conciliatory attitude toward North Korea in economy and diplomacy.
Hatred of the Jeolla region
A sizable part of Ilbe users have an intense disliking for the Jeolla region in the southwestern portion of South Korea. This is due to several factors, including the fact that Jeolla province had a staggering 98% vote for a regional (left-wing) party candidate Kim Dae-jung, and their belief that the Gwangju Uprising has been placed on a pedestal by the locals, to the extent that all other moments in the history of Korean democratisation are overlooked, and that it was not a democratization uprising or movement, but simply a riot. The intense disliking manifests itself as verbal attack against Jeolla and related political figures.
Ilbe users show protests to different issues of the country, and they end up doing mass protests and singing Ilbe songs in city squares. Many Ilbe users ended up in court for degrading the public order. On November 28, 2013, there was a first trial of defamation committed by Ilbe user who injured the honor of Gwangju Uprising victims by disparaging their corpse photo as 'Skate(fish) parcel'. Offender claimed that he feels sorry for his crime and he sent such apology to the victims by phone call, but the organizations related to Gwangju Uprising victims said there was no such apology. Offender requested the jurisdictional transfer of his case from Gwangju District Court to Daegu District Court and it was accepted.
On September 30, 2013, 32-year-old male Ilbe user pushed ahead sandwich-man protest in front of Ewha Women's University. He was hanging a cardboard on his neck filled with sentences like insulting Ewha University students, comfort women, other Korean women, and their genitals, sexually. Also there were words like 'such women are communists and Pro-North Korea'. He was charged 1.5 million won of penalty from Seoul West Prosecutor's Office, but he blamed his guilt as 'wrong democracy'.
Seoul Central District Court accepted the provisidonal injunction against Ilbe. It was petitioned by an Ilbe critic who was degraded and threatened from Ilbe user. As a result, Ilbe was forced to delete some antisocial contents.
In November 2018, Seoul Police Agency raided Ilbe Storehouse's with servers secured after securing warrant for search of membership informations and records on basis of violation of sexual violence law due to postings of content such as spycam porn, private pictures that may or may not contain nudity among other charges.
A pre-service elementary teacher who depicted female elementary school students as "로린이" (Lolita girl) and wrote his experience of prostitution on Ilbe caused controversy. This was ended by giving up his appointment by himself. 
After the Seoul National University Student Council's protesting declaration against 2013 South Korea Election Meddling Scandal, Ilbe user released the photos of some members as an opposition and mentioned 'I don't care whether you guys lynch them or not'. Seoul National University Student Council said they're considering lawsuit against Ilbe.
On November 22, 2013, student of Kangwon Provincial College who is self-claimed Ilbe user uploaded Twitter which contains sexual harassment on female buddhist monk's virginity. Three days later, the monk Hyo-jeon asked for follow-up action to the president of the college. But Ilbe user didn't apologize his crime and kept insulting her. After controversy he deleted his Twitter account and this is ended with an official apology from the president of the college.
Ilbe takes an extremely hostile attitude toward types South Korean women that it deems undesirable, and expresses hatred towards them. Ilbe members think that men are superior and that women should be deferential to them. Ilbe labels women who do not comport to such gender norms as "Kimchi Nyun," which is a reference to their national food, kimchi. Through this label, Ilbe community implies that such characteristic is only displayed in Korean women.
One sexual assault counsellor said "It is the combination of commodification of women and peer culture which lies beneath Korean society", and women organization Womenlink activist Lee Yoon-so said "Ilbe seems to express misogyny behind anonymousity, and enjoying its propagation". The misogyny is expressed as Ilbe's language subculture Misogynistic Ilbe users simultaneously bemoan the fact that men have to serve in the military and that most of breadwinners in South Korean families are men, while also bemoaning the fact of women in the workplace. Hence, women are attacked both for being housewives and for working.
Ilbe Community can be seen as anti-feminism community, composed of mostly males. The female users of Ilbe are called "Am-Be-Choong" (암베충) (Am: expression of females (mostly used in animals.)/Be: (ilbe)/Choong: insect) by the users. The female users who openly "comes out" as a female are banned from the website, mainly because their presences are likely to cause disputes in such masculine community, contributing to the decline of the website.
In December 2013, some self-claimed Ilbe users start vandalizing hand-written posters in universities and colleges around South Korea. Publicizing hand-written posters which criticizes political indifference, social disharmony, inequality, South Korea spy allegations, ongoing rail strike, and other political and social issues is started from Korea University and it spread among some Korean universities. However, this culture is generally seen as far-left, communistic and pro-North Korea by such Ilbe users.
Hand-written posters on the Korea University campus were vandalized by self-claimed Ilbe users. He confirmed his vandalism by uploading his photo online with sexual degrade against original writer of the poster. After it became controversial, he uploaded an apology for his actions. But he also announced that he will accuse people first who degraded him and his action and revealed his identity.
In 2012, some anonymous Ilbe users attempted an XSS script attack against TodayHumor, a website with a left-wing stance. The administrator of TodayHumor announced that he would consider legal action against Ilbe.
Cyberterrorism against Ilbe
An unknown hacker group made a distributed denial-of-service attack on the site on 7 April 2013. The attack was reported as possible revenge of Anonymous for Ilbe's vandalism in #OpIsrael IRC. Anonymous Korea claimed on its Twitter account that it was not involved with the denial of service at Ilbe. However Anonymous Korea also mentioned that Ilbe members entered the chatroom used by Anonymous hackers and stirred them up, using insulting language and flooding the chatroom with repeated text. The relationship between Anonymous Korea and Anonymous remains ambiguous.
Violation of political neutrality
Some police officers and soldiers publicly described former presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Park Chung-hee as 'patriotic' on Ilbe, which caused controversy because they violated the political neutrality required for public officers.
Alleged vandalism on Comotomo feeding bottles
On 10 December 2013, an Ilbe user claiming to be an employee of the Comotomo feeding bottle company alleged that he interrupted the manufacturing process by 'sucking on' feeding bottles. He confirmed his employment at the company by uploading his photo on Ilbe under the title 'Titty Party' and commented "Sometimes I suck this feeding bottle when I miss female breasts so much". His post raised outrage in the childcare community; not only for his vulgarism but also over hygiene concerns. Comotomo Korea released an official apology for the controversy and mentioned their employment of the Ilbe user was a mistake. The employee's accident report was revealed, in which he confessed: "I submitted vulgar contents on Ilbe. I caused economic and mental damage to the company and consumers for my own entertainment. The feeding bottle controversy that I created is totally false and I will take any legal responsibility."
Provoking Sewol ferry victims
South Korean police arrested Ilbe users for writing comments on the site that allegedly insulted victims of the Sewol ferry disaster. At the public square located at the Gwanghwamun gate, families of the ferry victims were staging a hunger strike to protest the perceived lack of government action. Ilbe users organised a binge event, eating lots of pizza right next to the bereaved families.
Some Ilbe members are alleged to have registered in SHINee world (fan club) to post defamatory comments about Jonghyun after he voiced his support to a student cause in support of gay rights, which was one of above-mentioned hand-written posters around Korean universities. Moreover, they also posted obscene photos with offensive captions related to women's bodies on the fan site.
Korean professional gamer Hong Jin-ho denied his alleged involvement with Ilbe, mentioning "I have never visited Ilbe. I heard about Ilbe and it is disagreeable. Such allegations are disgusting." on his Twitter account.
Conservative Saenuri Party member Kim Jin-tae raised controversy by accessing Ilbe with his laptop during parliamentary inspection at National Assembly.
- "Ilbe Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "Death threats put K-pop stars in danger". 4 July 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
- Rankey 유머/재미 카테고리 순위 2013.11.06
- Herald, The Korea (4 June 2014). "2PM Chansung sued by ultra-right online community site". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
-  'Ilbe is advised to enhance teenager protection activity by KCSC' (News1)
-  (Joongang Ilbo)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2013-12-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Newspaper editorial 'The Ilbe phenomenon and ideological populism' written by Hwang Yong-seok, Professor of Konkook University (Seoul Economy Newspaper)
- [ http://news.khan.co.kr/kh_news/khan_art_view.html?artid=201306042217105&code=940202] 'The cause of Ilbe phenomenon is... expressing anxiety, feeling betrayed, anger from difficult life as amusement' (Kyunghyang Newspaper)
- [ http://www.naeil.com/news_view/?id_art=86391] 'To understand Ilbe phenomenon' by journalist Kim Joo-eon (Naeil Newspaper)
- 'How to deal with troll websites like Ilbe' written by Hwang Yong-seok, Professor of Konkook University (Hankyoreh)
-  Money Today
-  SBS News
-  Psychologist Hwang Sang-min said "It's a kind of play, to secretly reveal their participation in Ilbe which is not justifiable in society, and gain reputation among them." (Herald Economy News)
- 정용인 (2012-06-19). "[표지이야기]그들은 왜 보수우파를 동경하게 되었나". 주간경향.
- [표지이야기]온라인 극우파 결집 코드는 ‘혐오’ 주간경향 2012.06.19
-  'Ilbe, excess of antisocial contents like drugs and organ trafficking' (Kyunghyang Newspaper)
-  Ilbe from right-wing prospect, 'It's a kind of disease, More than senselessness' (Weekly Kyunghyang)
-  'Ilbe, a mutant monster who tickles fascism within us' Shindonga July 2013
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2013-12-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) 'Ilbe resembles anti-Zainichi association... maybe a phenomenon which revealed many Korean's heart' (Hankook Ilbo)
-  UNESCO World Heritage
-  '4 types of distorting 5.18 Gwangju Democratize Movement' (Yonhap News)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2013-12-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) 'Kim Kwan-jin confirms the involvement of North Korean special forces in 5.18 uprising is not true' (Hankook iNews)
-  'KCSC gives a hard blow to TV Chosun and Channel A' (SisaIN News)
-  Kyunghyang Newspaper
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2013-12-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Dokrip News
- "민주화에 운지까지…십대 파고드는 일베語". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
-  Cho Gap-je bashed from Ilbe (Joongang Ilbo)
-  Causeless 'red-hunting' of Ilbe (Hankyoreh)
-  Pressian
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-11. Retrieved 2013-12-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Hankook iNews Opinion
-  'Cyber specter who tickles regionalism' (Sisa Journal)
- '"Eliminate all communists" to the classmate from Jeolla province' (Dong-a Ilbo)
-  Yonhap News
-  Hankook iNews
-  Nocut News
- [ http://news1.kr/articles/1341740] News1
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2013-12-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Hankook iNews
-  Lady Lee accuses Ilbe users of degrading former president Kim Dae-Jung (Pressian)
-  Dailian
-  eToday News
- The Korea Herald/ANN Korean singer plagued even in death by malicious Internet comments 13 February 2013 "Hateful online comments toward the late singer Lim Yoon-taek - who died Monday from gastric cancer - started to emerge on Tuesday, debasing Lim's premature death. On humor website Daily Best (Ilgan Best), a netizen posted a picture of Lim's wife with comments "My husband passed away. I was paid 1 billion won." This appears to be a parody of a life insurance commercial that depicts a wife being paid insurance money after her husband dies. Another posting from the Daily Best featured a picture of the late former President Roh Moo-hyun welcoming Lim. In the picture Roh tells Lim, "You're new. Sing me a song." Each posting received more than 500 "likes" on the website, which is notorious for crudeness among its members."
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Twitter Screenshot
-  MoneyToday
- "'김치女' '보슬아치' 도배된 일베…혐오냐 열등감이냐". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
-  Kim Hak-jun, who analyzed Ilbe and presented his paper 'Misogyny in cyberspace' at Korean Association Of Women Studies seminar said, "The anxiety of conservative men caused by the extension of women's right is expressed in misogyny". (Kookmin iNews)
-  Ilbe stirs controversy over spying their female family sexually (Kookmin Ilbo)
-  'Most of such contents are victimizing almost every Korean woman and express savagery over them' (MediaToday)
-  '안녕들 하십니까(inquiring after nation's health)' hand-written poster created sensation (Kyunghyang Newspaper)
-  Ilbe user who vandalized the poster mentioned "I ripped it because I don't want to see far-left communist schoomates putting this school to shame". (Hankook Economy News)
-  One person, who acknowledged his vandalism against popular hand-written posters called '안녕들 하십니까 (inquiring after nation's health)', claimed himself to be an Ilbe user. (Kyunghyang Newspaper)
-  'sexual harassment, pretended apology, and preparing legal action' (Nocut News)
-  Ilbe user who vandalized Busan University's hand-written poster confirms it with photo (Kookje Newspaper)
-  Photo by Yonhap News
-  'Same thing happened in Sogang University' (Herald Economy News)
- "Ha Tae-kyung says 'Anyone who rip the poster is loser'" (Kyunghyang newspaper)
-  Joongang Ilbo
- Major Korean community website attacked by hackers 8 April 2013-04-08 "An international hacking group is rumored to have attacked “Ilgan Best,” one of South Korea’s biggest online communities. Ilgan Best (Ilbe.com) is a humor-centered community website, producing jokes and political viewpoints."
- Transnational hackers may have struck another Korean target "Right wing website Ilgan Best Jeojangso (Daily Best Storehouse: Ilbe) suffered connectivity issues after being the target of a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack. Analysts suspect that Ilbe may have been attacked by Anonymous, the international hacker organization that hacked Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean propaganda website directed at South Korea."
-  Segye Ilbo
-  'Police officer who mentioned 'war on riot' at Ilbe is finally brought to disciplinary committee' (Kookmin Ilbo)
-  Comotomo's official apology for 'alleged feeding bottle terrorism by Ilbe user employee' (SBS CNBC)
-  'Comotomo's official apology... what happened?' (Sports Kyunghyang Newspaper)
-  (Korea Herald)
-  (Digital Times)
-  (Yahoo Philippines)
-  (In response to Jonghyun's support for hand-written poster,) 'In far-right website Ilbe, there are ongoing political condemn and verbal abuse against Jonghyun.' (Herald Economy News)
- Yu, Seulki (December 17, 2013). "SHINee's Jong Hyun under attack for his support of the sexual minority". DramaFever. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
-  (Money Today)
-  (Kookmin Newspaper)
- Official website (in Korean)