It’s official. I unfollowed Angelica Panganiban in twitter. She just full of… hate. At first it was amusing to follow someone like her: feisty and ballsy. But when she started reacting to the Azkals fame, inciting a lot of fans to sedition, my heart just couldn’t handle it. A lot of fans (here and overseas) started maligning her, cursing her, virtually flinging acts of cyber terrorism against her. She threatened to sue, but the damage has been done. Twitter has become a dark place.
Tablo, a rapper of the hiphop group Epik High in the Republic of Korea, was involved in a similar scandal (though on a more explosive level of hate) involving his having graduated in prestigious Stanford University. A lot of hate went around the fan cafes which eventually led to the indictment of some 14 netizens including the moderator of a website set up solely for “Requesting the Truth from Tablo” (Korean acronym: TaJinYo). This café with 190,000 members spearheaded the hate against Tablo’s alleged forgery. Imagine 190,000 netizens hating a person. It’s like Edsa 2 fan café edition.
Apparently, Tablo DID graduate from Stanford. A popular tv show even went all the way to Stanford U to film the registrar printing out Tablo’s transcript. Hardcore. Thus, a legal battle ensued, with moderators of various websites filing for injunction and stuff. But in the end, the cyber crime division of the Korean Police, sought the help of Interpol to arrest the maligners who are situated outside the Republic such as that famous moderator currently living in the US.
From a legal standpoint, what’s striking about this is the reach of the Cyber Defamation Law in Korea and the acquisition of jurisdiction over defendants beyond territorial lines. Cyber defamation, in Tablo’s case, is indeed cross-border. And such multi-jurisdictional cyber crimes have been recognized by the only known international treaty in this field: the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime. The signatory member countries agreed on a common platform for exchange of information relating to investigation, prosecution and the strategy against cyber crime, including exchange of cyber criminals. Ironically, Korea is not a signatory, not even a non-member state.
The Philippines, on the other hand, is a non-member state of the Council (though notably, not yet a signatory). I understand that we have a pending Cybercrime bill in Congress similar to the language of the Convention. But what does this even mean? Will haters be jailed? Will we finally see peace in our forums and timelines? Ultimately the question is, will Angelica Panganiban get the justice she deserves? Relevant question is relevant.
Entry # 3