Fans often compile malicious comments about their idols into PDF files for lawyers to examine—but do they really help? Here’s what two veteran K-Pop lawyers had to say.
Ko Seung Woo and Jeong Chong Myeong are two of the most experienced lawyers in the industry, working on cases for Wanna One members, Kim Soo Hyun, Seo Ye Ji, and more. This week, the pair sat down with AYO on YouTube to explain everything fans have always wanted to know about malicious comments. In particular, one viewer wanted to know what happens when fans send malicious comments to lawyers.
I made PDF files when I felt offended with bad comments towards my bias. I hope all 200 comments get sued and fined, please.
— AYO viewer
Over the years, it’s become increasingly common for fans to take action when companies don’t. Many K-Pop fans have taken to compiling PDF files filled with malicious social media comments about their idol and sending them to agencies and lawyers. But what happens when they do, and do lawyers appreciate it?
Sadly for fans, Ko Seung Woo explained that most of the comments they see in fanmade PDF dossiers can’t actually be used in defamation of character or contempt cases. While the comments may be hurtful, cruel, and upsetting, not all of them constitute criminal acts.
You can’t guarantee that all the comments could be sued, but only the ones that can be established for defamation or contempt could be punished.
— Ko Seung Woo
However, that doesn’t mean these documents are useless. In fact, Ko went on to say that in a document of 200 comments, up to 50 may typically be selected to establish a defamation of character case. For many fans, even one harmful comment receiving punishment is better than nothing.
And while fans who go to such lengths may be labelled “jobless” by their peers, these two lawyers say it’s quite the opposite. One AYO viewer pointed out that fans who compile PDFs of malicious comments need to learn legal rules, sift through thousands of posts, and classify data—and both Ko Seung Woo and Jeong Chong Myeong agreed.
I think it’s amazing how fans work as a bad comment response team.
— AYO viewer
Ko admitted that such fans really “carry the ball” when it comes to protecting their favorite idols. The lawyer expressed how impressed he is by those who invest their time to compile and organize everything, then contact the agency and bring their evidence to a lawyer’s office.
These people are carrying the ball. They’re not jobless or don’t have things to do, but they’re all hard-working workers.
— Ko Seung Woo
And Ko understands where the drive and passion comes from: “I hope the person I love doesn’t read these comments“. For many, Jeong added, it would feel as bad as seeing a cruel comment about your family.
I have much respect for fans and I think they’re amazing.
— Jeong Chong Myeong