As read on Google Blogoscope:
It all began in real space, on a subway train in South Korea. A young woman’s small dog pooped in the train. Other passengers asked her to clean it up, but she told them to mind their own business. That’s when it moved over to cyberspace and became even uglier.
Someone took photos of her and posted them on a popular Korean blog. (…) Another blogger, Don Park, explains what happened next:
Within hours, she was labeled gae-ttong-nyue (dog shit girl) and her pictures and parodies were everywhere. Within days, her identity and her past were revealed. Requests for information about her parents and relatives started popping up and people started to recognize her by the dog and the bag she was carrying as well as her watch, clearly visible in the original picture. All mentions of privacy invasion were shouted down. … The common excuse for their behavior was that the girl doesn’t deserve privacy.
Across the Internet, people made posters with the girl’s photograph, fusing her picture with a variety of other images. The dog poop girl story quickly migrated to the mainstream media, becoming national news in South Korea. As a result of her public shaming and embarrassment, the dog poop girl dropped out of her university.
Wow… Apparently, the incident later got posted on BoingBoing and the whole United States got to know of it too. The power of the Internet lies on the fact that news/gossips never stay as localized as before. This is the 21st century version of “好事不出门，坏事传千里”.
The article then discuss the notion of “The Norm Police” and how even Google can influence your actual life from the virtual world. Interesting read.