In the past few weeks of March 2020, with the shocking news of Korea’s largest child pornography chat room on Telegram, the South Korean Blue House’s National Petitions page saw one particular petition garnering over 2.5 million signatures. This petition, by the title of “Please Reveal The Face and Identity of The Telegram N Group Chat Operator”, has since become the first to have reached such a high number of participants. With K-Pop idols like EXO and VIXX actively urging for more attention on the issue, the “Telegram Sex Offender” case has well become an international issue.
With that said, Korean netizens also voiced that any and every person who subscribed to the chatroom, distributed, downloaded, shared, and/or watched any content from the chatroom should be investigated with their identities revealed. When a Korean press estimated this “number of every person involved” to reach over 260,000 users, netizens immediately fired up another petition, by the title of “Please Reveal The Identities of All Telegram N Group Chat Users”. This one alone gained 1.8 million signatures — and counting, as Korean netizens remain furious at the brutality of these predators.
Amidst the growing nationwide frustration, Korean rapper Simba Zawadi shared a different perspective on the issue.
Via his Instagram stories on March 22, 2020, he commented, “At a time like this, we must especially keep our hearts and heads cool — and look at reasonable consequences.”
Yes, this case has become a hot issue amongst citizens. But that does not mean the users should all be sentenced to life. That would not be fair. Plus, that would be overlooking the precedent cases. Just because we are angry about the case does not mean we should increase the punishment.
— Simba Zawadi
He urged the netizens to tame their rage and think about what is best for the future:
This could mean, later if and when your son or your brother ends up getting caught watching some pornography, that their consequences will be based on the results of this very case. What if this case becomes the new standard for the society and they all get sentenced to life? This is so much more than us being upset and wanting the perpetrators to pay.
— Simba Zawadi
Unfortunately, Simba Zawadi’s point of view did not convince the netizens. In fact, when his Instagram stories went viral, his comments sparked netizens’ intense criticism and hatred toward him.
- “Is he one of the 260,000 who paid to watch? Why is he trying to understand this from the perpetrator’s point of view?”
- “This is obviously not some pornography. The fact that he thinks the contents of that chatroom is all the same as porn… is exactly why he should keep his mouth shut.”
- “And that, everyone, is the least cool-headed statement I have ever read from anyone.”
- “Let me tell you what, some random ass rapper. If my brother ends up getting caught watching shit like this, getting sentenced to life isn’t going to happen because I’ll fucking kill him myself.”
- “But what if your sister, or your girlfriend, or your mother gets tricked into this crime and becomes a victim of the perpetrators you want to punish reasonably? Have you thought about that?”
Simba Zawadi then responded to the criticism by posting another controversial statement…
My dear feminist friends, if it makes you feel better, then go ahead and leave your hate here. I can’t understand why such great people with great ideals don’t have real Instagram accounts, but whatever! I can only assume that you can’t read long statements because you’re all stupid and lazy. But I’m truly amused by the fact that you thought I meant, ‘I need my right to watch porn.’ I guess now the world knows you guys don’t have the brains. Haha. You know what? Go head. Find all the baksa related people, even the ones who watched, and have them killed. I’ve never watched it, so.
— Simba Zawadi