Object 2: YouTube Comments on the Music Video of “Champion”

May 27, 2021

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“Champion” is a song by a South Korean musician PSY. The chorus of “Champion” includes a repetitive use of a Korean phrase ‘nee-gah’ which means ‘you are.’ However, the phrase sounds different in English because of its similarity to the n-word—a term popularized by white Americans in the past which they used to degrade African Americans. African Americans have reclaimed the word to change the meaning; though, it is still offensive if a member of other racial communities uses the word.

User Drifterz_24 argues that PSY is a racist, as the singer deliberately uses ‘nee-gah’ instead of ‘nae-gah’ to indirectly use the n-word. Bunny_Bunny_Bunny offers a rebuttal, saying ‘nee-gah’ is simply a colloquial way of saying ‘you are’ in Korean that developed with no relation to Western culture. This exchange between two users reveals a challenge raised by communication in the digital world: false knowledge is easily created and rapidly disseminated. One user’s action (Drifterz_24’s comment) was enough to make incorrect information (that PSY forcibly altered his pronunciation to purposefully offend African Americans) easily accessible to anyone on Youtube. Although Drifterz_24’s claim was disproven by Bunny_Bunny_Bunny, the incorrect information inevitably affects other users, given its accessibility.

Right below, Borris_Dorris says, “Rasist?” implying the user hasn’t read Bunny_Bunny_Bunny’s comment. This epitomizes unproductive discussions that frequently occur on the internet: people give their opinions without proper research and ignore others’. In this case, Borris_Dorris neglects Bunny_Bunny_Bunny’s account and contributes to the dissemination of inaccurate knowledge that PSY is a racist. Furthermore, there is hardly any useful knowledge being communicated in the thread, except for Bunny_Bunny_Bunny’s comment. Other comments are either untrue or don’t convey any meaning. This again shows there is a nonintellectual discussion going on. The fact that the internet provides everyone with the equal ability to share their thoughts can be beneficial in that people from different backgrounds can easily interact with each other. However, it also raises challenges like creation of false knowledge and unproductive discussions.

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