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Look at trials of broken-down celebs

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By Kim Jae-heun

It took fewer than 140 characters for Twitter to damage a number of entertainers and sports stars this year. In 2015, celebrities better beware, because Twitter does not keep secrets.

Celebrities' posts on social networks have been making headlines regularly throughout the past 12 months. Opinions and photos uploaded by global and local stars were sometimes praised, but more often criticized heavily.

In June, national soccer goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong found himself in hot water for tweeting an untimely remark during his team's flight back from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. His words brought a considerable backlash mainly because they occurred after the Korean team had failed to advance to the second round of the tournament with a poor display.

In addition, FIFA had nominated Jung as one of the four worst goalkeepers at the World Cup after he conceded four goals in one game against Algeria. Despite this, he posted a selfie of himself on Twitter making a comical expression as Korean soccer fans despaired over the team's disappointing displays.

Nam Hyun-joon, better known as Poppin' Hyun-joon for his "poppin" dance skills, also caught flak for a thoughtless Facebook post.

Nam spoke sarcastically of Asiana Airlines for providing "only" an economy seat instead of business class for his trip to the United States.

"Are you looking at this, Asiana? I am taking Korean Air next time," he said.

These cases are far from isolated to Korea, as the case of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney showed. The player created a great deal of controversy when he quarreled with rival Liverpool fans on Twitter back in 2011.

This caused his then manager Sir Alex Ferguson to rush to his defense, while offering his critique on Twitter at the same time.

"I don't understand it, to be honest with you. I don't have time to do it," he said.
"There are a million things you can do with your life other than that. Go to a library and read a book. What a waste of time."

University communications professor Kang Myung-hyun suggests it is time for celebrities to think about ethics when they use social media.

"Celebrities may think of SNS as their own personal space," said Kang. "But they are public figures and their messages can potentially have great influence on society."

Kim Jae-heun


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