An online ‘jihad’ reached its peak Wednesday night with massive numbers of World of Warcraft players (“wowers”) swarming popular forums for fans of Korean pop boy bands on Baidu, trying to drown them in virtual noise. A Tianya post on the spam battle between the wowers and the K-pop fans has received over 100,000 views in the four hours since it was created.
Update2: Yet more on the ‘jihad’ from EastSouthWestNorth‘s Roland Soong which shows that China's ‘Red Hackers’ (Hongke) became involved in attacks that went beyond Baidu to include the targeting of Korean websites and more.
It all started on the morning of May 30, the day of a Super Junior (“JS?“) concert at the 2010 Expo in Shanghai; free tickets ran out sooner than anticipated and fans turned violent, leading to a stampede. Roland Soong at EastSouthWestNorth blogged the incident at the time with a translation from the Apple Daily newspaper:
According to information, the Korean Pavilion was supposed to distribute free tickets in the morning, midday and early evening. Almost 500 female fans were already waiting in the Shangnan Road entrance, many of them traveling from outside Shanghai. At 9:30am, the World Park opened and they sped through the process as quickly as they can. “Everybody sprinted towards the South Gate!” Although a large number of armed policemen were ready in the form of a human chain, the fans surged forward like a tidal wave, screaming and shrieking along the way. The armed police line could not hold them back, and reinforcements had to be called in repeatedly. Spectators exclaimed, “Heavens! This is horrifying!”
According to information, as the passion soared, the crowd surged forward. A second-floor railing broke and a young woman fell down and died. The crowd panicked and a stampede resulted. According to information, more than 100 persons were injured. According to Internet users who witnessed the scene, “the scene was chaotic, people were crying loudly and shoes were scattered all over the ground.” The ambulance sirens were heard continuously in Area A.
The ‘jihad’, as wowers are calling it, seems to have been sparked by embarrassment arising from the Super Junior show incident and has a strongly xenophobic message, but is also part of an ongoing feud between the two tribes. Indie blogger and [update: apparent] ‘jihad’ supporter Xiao Bai tells it this way:
In the end, only 2,000 tickets were given out, leading to a lot of crazy female fans to crazily rush forward in hopes of snatching a ticket. Volunteers got squeezed out, and armed police at the scene formed a human wall to stop the crowd and keep anyone from getting trampled. Fans who couldn't snatch any tickets began shouting slogans and venting at the armed police, even rushing into the offices of Expo officials to make a fuss, insisting that the free tickets had been given to officials and demanding the Expo administration make amends. It was a big mess.
In hopes of getting their hands on a ticket, the K-fans began hurling invective at and assaulting the armed police who had formed a human wall, even spitting on them. One female fan who lashed out and smacked an armed police had her arm grabbed back by him and pushed to the ground. Someone shouted that the armed police were beating people and then a group of K-fans swarmed, pushing and kicking. Because she couldn't break through the human wall of armed police, one woman whipped off her shirt and in a loud voice screamed: an armed police raped me! One K-fan got knocked to the ground and an armed police reached out to help her back up, but she immediately got trampled on the ground, then armed police rushed to protect her.
——To those who say I'm distorting the facts, do you dare say you didn't hit or spit on any armed police? Not everyone at the scene was a K-fan, alright?!
The little armed police brothers in the photo, from the badges on their shoulders you can see that they were freshly enlisted, no more than 17 or 18 years old.
Many armed police were quite severely hurt, and many of those deployed there were just back from the battlefield in East Turkistan, trained using real knives and real guns, so if they had been given free reign, just think about that for a minute…luckily this is the army and they don't hit or curse back.
So embarrassing…..this spectacle has already been recorded and shown all over the world. Cameras from every country were flashing nonstop…
Below are netizens’ views of the June 9 jihad!!
………..Let the jihad continue!!!
From Sina.com blogger yuanzhang1987's May 31 post we get an idea of how this jihad began:
As for why they blasted the Super Junior forum, that goes back to what happened last night at the Shanghai Expo
That's more or less what happened last night. This morning, someone posted a thread on the WoW forum, which enraged the wowers. Just like back with what happened with Cassiopeia, wowers show up when they feel they are needed, and now, another jihad has begun.
At 7, wowers started to blast the Super Junior forum, and it seems it didn't take long, the floodgates were open. By 8, wowers had started launching attacks of every sort, blasting forums for all the different Super Junior members, Heechul, Kibum, Donghae and others, full-on.
So that's how it went, pretty simple really, another WoW forum jihad which ended in victory. Although, there wasn't as much of a rush as when we blasted Cassiopeia, all the forums the Korean pop music fans like have pretty much been blasted by now, no wonder given how lax it is to apply for membership and get posting privileges.
As for the Cassiopeia attack, according to this Q&A post on Baidu, the WoW player ‘jihad’ against Korean boy bands and their fans began following an incident with a pregnant stalker of TVXQ in 2008. A similar post at another site suggests that after wowers showed up in person to protest outside a TVXQ concert at the Beijing Workers Stadium last summer, Cassiopeia members mobilized their own blast attack against the World of Warcraft forum on Baidu.
Update1: More on this from Roland Soong at EastSouthWestNorth: The 69 Crusade/Jihad