|Social virus spreads|
However, after the Olympics ended the noise surrounding Kim Yu-na failed to dissipate, with media organizations continuing to track everything from her physical to bowel movements. “I have to know when she takes a shit” said 34-year-old Kim in Seoul, who didn’t give his first name. “People just can’t stop talking about her, I want to be just like her, she’s so cool” added 36-year-old Kim in Seoul.
The continued chatter, which is distracting Korean citizens away from the recent sinking of a navy ship by the North and other military provocations, has clogged media organizations, Internet message boards, and conversations around the office water cooler. Now experts are warning that far from being a harmless pastime, discussions of Kim Yu-na may actually represent a new form of Internet virus, possibly created by North Korea, which has spread from the Internet into wider society. “The economic and political damage caused by the Kim Yu-na virus is considerable”, said 42-year-old Kim, an employee of the Ministry of Public Manipulation and Insecurity, speaking on condition of anonymity.
AhnLabs, Korea’s national anti-virus provider, has admitted it might be difficult to prevent the spread of the virus, because it contains a strong element of social engineering. “People feel compelled to keep talking about her because it’s what they do online - even when they’re not connected to the Internet once or twice a week, they physically can’t stop, which is how we know this is one of the first viruses to make the jump from the real-world to the offline one.” said a spokesman.
While AhnLabs has so far failed to offer a solution to the Kim Yu-na virus, some enterprising Korean citizens have taken matters into their own hands, and created their own solutions. Seoul street vendor, 54-year-old Kim, started selling large band-aids last week which people could place over their mouths. “Sales have been brisk” he said, although he admitted that the device won’t stop the virus spreading over the Internet - “I’m working on something which will go around fingers though, which should help.”
Seoul university student, 20-year-old Kim, seemed to sum-up the extent of the problem when we asked her about the Cheonan attack earlier this year: “What, a warship was sunk? Why didn’t I hear about that? Was Kim Yu-na on it?”
Wikipedia: Kim Yu-na