Baby herbal soup: the Internet for sick fc*ks

October 21, 2009

[EM’s long-promised update to this post. I did have some correspondence from people allegedly associated with Seoul Times (see below), but it was inconsequential and I’d forgotten about my promise to publish any reply. So if that person, or anyone else from ST wants to respond, send something.

What drew me back here today, April Fool’s Day in fact [01-April-2011] was an incoming link to this post from To find another paths.  The post is in Indonesian, but I have googletranslated it and posted that here.

It is amazing how this nasty viral hoax and blood libel continues to spread. I thank all those who link to Ethical Martini’s ongoing attempt to destroy this disease.

EM, Auckland 1 April 2011]

Ok, so I thought we’d nailed this long ago – BABY HERBAL SOUP IS A VIRAL INTERNET HOAX.

I’ve just come across another sick chatroom thread about the perennial ‘baby herbal soup’ hoax photographs that continue to circulate and to get more and more graphic. This is a new thread, it only went up on 20 October 2009.

That this happens is not really surprising, but the ignorant and racist comments that these posts generate is the really shocking aspect of this story.

 

The Furaffinity site - click to check [PGA]

The Furaffinity site - click to check PGA warning

This site claims to have the story from an online news source The Seoul Times and sure enough, the story is there, complete with all the nasty fake photos.

 

click to read Seoul Times 'baby herbal soup' story PGA

click to read Seoul Times 'baby herbal soup' story PGA

It’s one thing for this viral meme to circulate in chatrooms where ignorance and prejudice seem to rule, but for a news site to run it as a straight news piece is pretty disgusting.

It’s another argument in favour of having some form of trained cadre who can verify and check and against the idea that somehow the “bottom up” Internet is going to improve on the mainstream media. It purports to be a letter to the editor and it’s dated 30 September 2008, so now it’s recirculating thanks to Fur Affinity.

I have contacted the Seoul Times editor asking her/him to remove this piece, or at least to acknowledge that it is more than likely a hoax.

I encourage you to do the same.

You can simply copy and paste this text into your email browser. The address is seoultimes@gmail.com

Dear editor, I was shocked to see that you are running the Chinese baby soup story as if it were real and verified.
This is an internet hoax and you have been fooled into running this story which feeds prejudice and racism against Chinese people.
You can see what I mean here. http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1004922/
I urge you to take this story down immediately and check for yourself that it is indeed a cruel and racist hoax.
I would appreciate it if you reply to this letter so that I know you take your journalistic responsibility seriously
Thankyou
I will post any responses from the editor