Troll Factory (2024) Movie Script

In 2017, someone took a candle to the streets.
[2017 candlelight vigil]
50,000 people in the first week,
then 300,000 the following
week, a million a week later.
[With my stupid friend lol]
[This pic looks hot]
Frigid weather couldn't stop this movement,
[1 million candles strong!]
and 16,852,360 people marched
the streets in four months.
[Together in Hope]
This figure equates to a third
of South Korea's total population.
It resulted an impeachment
of the sitting president,
and the globally renowned (bleeped) corporation
publicly apologized for its suspected ties
to the presidential corruption.
These events became global news,
with some portraying it as a
battleground of democracy,
and others likening it
to a nation still at war.
There were also areas of concern.
But there is something no media
outlets in the world paid attention to:
"Who was the first to
start the candlelight vigil?"
[This story is based on true events.]
[It is a reconstruction of events between
1992 and 2023 based on tips and testimonies.]
[In order to avoid legal issues such as
defamation and infringement of honor, ]
[characters and organizations' names have
been changed, but the rest are all factual.]
The candlelight vigil call-for-action
post first appeared online in 1992.
So, it was exactly 31 years ago.
Back then, it took a
full minute to go online,
and once connected, the
home phone line was useless.
Despite that, users of the travel BBS
"Over the Mountains and Across the Waters"
reached nearly 5,000.
This BBS grew so big thanks to the
admin who had vast travel knowledge.
The admin's username was "Deavil".
[Admin: Deavil]
But no one knew he
was a 16-year-old teen.
Are you gonna fool around
on the computer all day?!
You little punk.
- Our phone line's busy all day!
- I just turned it on!
Have you ever heard
of "PC communication"?
It's a service in which users
share information over phone lines.
This will become a paid
service as early as next month.
Then one day,
a large economic journal bought
up the entire free internet network,
and announced its monetization.
If we have to pay, I'm
gonna cut off the computer.
You punk, where's your
manners at the dinner table!
The largest shareholder of
this journal was (bleeped) Group,
the leading company representing
the Federation of Korean Industries.
FKI is a federation in which only
the top 20 corporations are admitted,
and most of them owned media
outlets to control the public opinion,
and for this reason, the
politicians tiptoed around them.
From now on, I'll refer to
(bleeped) Group as "Manjun".
In order to avoid a defamation
suit, my hands are tied.
Anyway, no one in Korea could touch them.
[Manjun to be Growth Platform For Economy]
But Deavil was confident that
he could fight anyone and win,
even though he did not know his foe.
Boy! Tear gas doesn't bother you?!
Back then, the symbol of
protest was a Molotov cocktail.
- Boy, you're addicted to computers!
- But he found something even more symbolic.
I'm gonna tell your dad
and throw out that computer!
This was the world's
first candlelight vigil.
Excuse me, are you
Deavil by any chance?
But not many people gathered.
Internet at the time was much too slow.
[Keep Internet Free]
A month later, PC communication
became a paid service,
and Deavil's BBS shut down for good.
Then 24 years later,
the one who raised the first
candlelight was Mr. Lee Sung-cheol.
He was the organizer of the festival,
[Candlelight Culture Festival]
and former admin of the
BBS "Over the Mountains".
[Candlelight Culture Festival]
And the one who created the
vigil website to gather people
was Lee Sung-cheol's
brother, Lee Sung-wook.
Sung-wook was said to have been
influenced heavily by his brother.
[Raise the Candlelight...]
In the end, a middle schooler brought
16,852,360 people to the streets.
It's because the
internet was fast enough.
[Manjun Issues Apology]
And the global powerhouse, Manjun, finally
came forward publicly to apologize.
I personally investigated these, putting
my journalistic integrity on the line.
That's right, I'm a journalist.
And this story started
with this man's tip.
Woosung Data was a mid-sized corp,
and it was the only vendor to compete
for the next-gen Hi-Pass transponder.
- No problem?
- No.
Double check, buddy.
Exclusive rights worth $50M in
annual revenue was on the line.
A week before the test,
the highway authority raised the operating
speed to 150km/h for safety reasons,
but Woosung did not object.
- No problem?
- All good.
Woosung's technology
allowed speed of up to 300.
[Standby for Signal]
[Signal Detected]
Test ready to go, test ready to go.
We're pretty confident about this,
may we raise the speed to 250?
That's unnecessarily dangerous.
How about 200 then?
As you wish.
Let's go with 200! 200!
[Signal Undetected]
Signal failure!
What? What happened?
Frequency dropped off.
How so?
Let's just get some lunch.
What happened? Did you mess something?
Excuse me!
May we try it again with lower speed?!
Sure, do that.
In the end, Woosung failed the test.
Is everything okay?
And a vendor without tech
who did not qualify to compete
passed the test and won
the contract six months later.
This photo was taken at the track.
These guys were jamming our frequency.
They're holding something.
Do you have another photo?
I barely managed to get this!
I'm sure you feel wronged,
I'll investigate this further
and give you a call later.
It took five years
to develop this tech!
How could a vendor without
any tech develop it in six months,
ask anyone around, this
doesn't make any sense!
So, I'll look into it myself
and give you a call.
That vendor is a Manjun subsidiary!
They stole my employees and my tech!
[Gyeongbu Expressway
Hi-Pass Transponder Agreement]
As you know, it's harder to
write an article about Manjun.
Have you talked to other journalists?
No way.
I'm not saying I'll write the
article, I just want to investigate...
I can't?
Why investigate something
you won't write an article about?
- Culture desk! That favor I asked you.
- If I find something, then I'll write.
Two tickets in the R section?
- Not S?
- It's R.
It's because I met an informant, and
he talked to other journalists already.
What if we sit on our asses
and they get the scoop?
You son of a...
Did you even finish your last story?
That one is...
a bit too straight forward.
Then write it up straight.
And keep working hard, and become
an editor-in-chief and write whatever.
[Lim Sang-jin]
He's a journalist.
When one becomes a journalist,
you see so many crazy stories.
But not all of them become articles.
An article is like a
never-ending serialized novel.
They all seem like different stories,
but have one common narrative and flow.
The basis of all stories is conflict.
Conflict with whom,
who is the protagonist,
and who is the antagonist?
The antagonist was the head
official who shared data with.
Manjun contractors who interfered
with Woosung's test and the competitor.
And the protagonist, Woosung's
CEO, was left with a $4M debt.
Have you ever leaked a
secret that no one knows?
The thrill is exclusive to journalists.
The path of a journalist
is dark and lonely.
But his courage changes the world.
[Small Corp Tech]
That is the mission of a journalist.
[Shriek of Small Corp
CEO After Spending $20M]
[Manjun's Rampant Exploitation!]
Who gave you permission to write this?
It was a scoop too good to miss...
I wanted to just outline it first.
My praises really boosted your ego...
I investigated thoroughly
and have evidence too.
- Real evidence?
- Yes.
- Fact checked?
- Yes.
Will you take the heat for it?
Take the heat, sir?
Why? Not confident?
No, I can take it.
This is exclusive.
It's a special exclusive.
Mr. Park, the article is
going to press in the morning.
No need to thank me.
I'm calling because other
journalists will be calling you,
please ignore their calls.
No, no, just give them my
name, and refuse interviews.
That's what you do.
Sir, you don't need to worry anymore.
Of course.
Our story will be plastered
all over the country.
I understand, good night.
[Shin Caught in Hotel Drug Party]
[Celeb Shin Yi-ho Arrested]
[Shin: "Will Pay for My Crimes."]
You're lucky your story got
buried by the celeb drug arrest.
What an arrogant bastard...
You really screwed me over.
You and your frequency jammer...
Do these look like
jamming equipment to you?
They were apparently
taking marketing photos!
You sure about this?
Why are you verifying that with me?
Go check those with your source.
If he changes his story now,
you're in for a hell.
[Sir, please answer my call.]
[Mr. Park?]
[Mr. Park?]
He was upbeat for a few days, saying
the article will solve everything.
He said Manjun stole Woosung's
propriety tech wholesale,
and said he felt a sense of injustice.
Have you heard anything about that?
- He was actually...
- Yes?
On bad terms with
his employees over it.
He insinuated that we stole IP,
and said he'd do background checks...
Did he find the mole?
No, it was a different
tech from the beginning.
He felt he was victimized.
Please stop crying!
I'm sorry...
[You're a hack.]
[A small biz CEO reported
a tip as a last-ditch effort...]
[Why did CEO who failed to win
government contract commit suicide?]
[Fake News Leads to CEO's Suicide]
[Journalist Condemned for Leading
Unstable Informant to Suicide]
[Hack AF.]
[He's selling fake news,
he's a fantasy writer.]
[Hack's personal info dump]
[Name: Lim Sang-jin]
[Specialty: Fake news
Attribute: Attention whore...]
You okay?
You're not at fault here, it's
the desk's fault for not checking.
These bastards are smart
though, they sued you instead of us.
Sue me?
Manjun cared about him, I guess.
Don't worry, legal negotiated
with them for correction.
Correction under my byline?
Is your story bulletproof? Can
you defend it from all sides?
That photo could've been fabricated!
How are we sure they didn't
take it afterwards and send it to us?
Your story buried a celeb drug story,
saying your report got a man killed.
Please let me dig in further.
I'll get irrefutable evidence
and write a follow-up.
They got dirt, I'm sure of it!
Take a 6-month sabbatical.
It's just for show,
don't feel bad about it.
Take a leave of absence, prep properly,
and come back with a follow-up.
[Journalist Lim Sang-jin]
[I'm a journalist...]
[Social org demands
punishment for reporter]
[Amoral journalist causes tragedy...]
[Manjun suing journalist]
["You wrote a novel instead?"]
[LOL The hack who killed a man?]
[He's got a punchable face.]
[Pooped out an article...]
[Impending lawsuit, suspension.]
Hello there.
- When did he get reinstated?
- He got reinstated?
Please fill out this guest
log, and your ID please.
[Guest Log]
So, your 6-month sabbatical is up?
[Editor-in-Chief Pyo Ha-jung]
It's been 14 months.
But it's my predecessor who
promised your reinstatement.
I didn't make that promise.
And you submitted a CV
to another outlet recently.
Journalists have innately
loose lips, there are no secrets.
You caused a big stink before your
leave, can you explain what happened?
Yes, back then... it
was a weird situation.
It actually wasn't a false report...
No? You must have felt wronged.
Why not a follow-up then? Did you try?
Um, no.
You didn't or couldn't?
Couldn't, ma'am.
Yeah, it's hard to write an
article without a business card.
But I can't take in a
journalist with a dirty rep.
At least while I'm here. You hear me?
[RE: Applying for City
Desk - Lim Sang-jin]
[Your application has been rejected.]
[Public Opinion Manipulation Process
As Told by Manjun Troll Factory Staff]
[I'll fuck you up.]
Who the hell?
[Kang Ki-hyun]
[Malicious comments are Manjun's...]
[Malicious comments are Manjun's
scheme to cover up their corruption.]
[Malicious comments are Manjun's
scheme to cover up their corruption...]
[Cho Choon-go]
[Chung-ang U New Media Prof]
[Yonsei U PoliSci BA, MA]
[I was deeply moved by my
students' letters after the lecture...]
[You read my message.]
[Seoul, Sian-dong 235-11,
Caf New Zealand]
[Come and I'll tell you everything.]
[Do you have proof?]
[I do.]
Good afternoon.
Good afternoon.
My name is Lim Sang-jin. Were you
the one who sent me the message?
Do you use SNS?
Excuse me.
It was me.
I sent you that message.
Was it tough finding this place?
I'm sorry, there aren't
any security cams nearby.
Would you like to drink?
Please take our orders.
Sorry for the theatrics,
I thought you wouldn't come otherwise.
But he's a real journalism professor.
You got a death wish?
Didn't you find it weird
that your article went viral?
Who reads articles like that nowadays?
It wasn't even a
sensationalist article.
All the malicious comments were fake.
It just looked like it was
a big deal to the media.
In reality, no one cared.
You brought me here to tell me that?
We were the first to create
the manipulation tactic.
We manipulated the public
opinion to stop you from reporting.
Your article wasn't false.
Woosung Data.
If you publish our
story, we'll help you.
Why should I? Why would I do that?
I think you'll like our story.
[But in his eyes under the
armor, darkness grew...]
[The Final Battle]
I was a writer who wrote online.
I was an amateur, but I have
never broken my deadline.
Yo, come here!
Get over here!
Hold on!
We're in so much shit, get over here!
Yo, I'm not lying, can you hurry up?
- Come on, man!
- Shit!
- Come on, man!
- I'm coming!
Get over here.
- Come, come.
- Why are you so slow? Get over here.
What? What is it this time?
All right, this chick has a ton
of men, like really rich men.
It's not shown here,
but she's smoking hot.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
The thing is, even if guys do
everything and buy anything for her,
she will never date any of them, why?
That's how she keeps them on a leash.
And this photo here, this is her
trying to show off to other girls.
Write a caption that goes well with it.
Something sexy but also unlikeable,
blatant, yet subtle,
cool but not desperate,
in exactly two lines.
Are you simping her?
You so are, you're letting
her take advantage of you?
- I said no.
- Show us her face.
It's nothing like that, I
paid a model for the shot.
What a load of shit.
[I wanted to swim, and he
brought me to the hotel pool.]
[Thought we were going to
Ibiza when he picked me up.]
Damn, you really are a writer.
[ a convertible.]
Repost this on the video
game forum you visit often.
What the shit? No way in hell.
If I repost something
like this, I'll get banned.
I know, that's why I'm asking.
You said you got some clout there.
That's why, this will
get me the ban hammer.
You gotta do it to catfish.
Catfishing isn't allowed.
It has to be catfishing.
I can't catfish, asshole.
You have to catfish.
Are you hearing my words?
That photo costed me $300.
If that gets reposted in 10 forums,
we get paid $3,000.
How the hell do you
make $3,000 with that?
He's lying AF, you
actually believe him?
You see that?
What is it?
Look at what?
So? What was it?
It was a new brand of cigarettes.
Advertising cigarettes is illegal.
So, cigarette companies resort to social
contribution project to show their logo.
To expose their logos naturally on TV,
they created judo, wrestling,
boxing, and foot volleyball teams.
But who would watch sweaty
athletes and think about cigarettes?
So, they wanted to start
a new way of marketing.
With a sexy and sophisticated image.
[Drama Queen needs her attention lol.]
Indirect and subtle.
Beauty is also a capital.
[What's the cig brand?]
And without breaking the law.
[Showing off expensive shit.]
You intended this to happen?
Of course.
Don't you think there's so
much money to be made?
[Is it a new brand?]
So, what's my cut?
My account is about to vanish.
Who here is at risk of
losing anything here?
He went to get $3,000,
and came back with $5,000
for exceeding expectations.
Dude, we should do
this properly for real.
It was just a one-time deal.
You said there's so
much money to be made.
I mean, in this world.
I said there's so much
money to be made in this world.
But why did you quit your job?
He didn't quit, he was fired.
Fine, I got fired.
Let's give this a proper
go, do it systematically.
It's not like you guys
got better things to do.
- Gonna jerk off all day?
- Take it easy, man.
What the shit?
[Username Generator]
I'll be...
And you'll be...
Yeah, Kat.
And you're JjingForkKing.
No, Fork.
That's a funny name.
We needed usernames that can be pronounced,
but ones that are hard to create
with a combo of letters, ForkKing...
and ones that will never
overlap on any websites.
Why did you make
usernames in the first place?
To report our work progress.
We needed to stay anonymous,
but retain minimal evidence.
That's why we did it like that.
So, you're PEpteK...
No, ChAtTaTkat.
A username generator?
Did you develop that?
Wait, I forgot to turn on my recorder.
Could you not record?
Why not?
I could be IDed if
my voice is analyzed.
Analyze your voice?
Journalists don't do
that, we don't know how.
I know, I'm not worried about you.
Cops and other agencies can't
recklessly request recording files.
There's a confidential informant
protection law, so you don't need to worry.
I'm not talking about cops.
You think your story
is very important, right?
All informants feel that way,
they all suffered terrible injustice.
This world is full of so many surprising
stories, but not all of them become articles.
Articles are like
never-ending serialized novel.
I won't record then.
So just tell me your story.
After that, we got a call from
a seasoned movie producer.
Apparently, everything he touched turned
into shit, so he had a ton of debt.
My movie's budget is $4 million.
Does it sound a lot?
$4 million is...
It's a micro budget.
Right, micro.
Other movies are made with $10 million.
And $2-3 million more for marketing.
Then they boast that so much money went
into it, that's how they package it.
Whenever they do that,
my movie only gets smaller.
I was told he was a pitiful man.
What little wish I have is,
I want my movie to be
watched by many people.
You came to the right place.
We're experts at that.
Is this by any chance illegal?
It's not illegal.
Not sure if it's legal...
But it's not illegal.
- Movie marketing?
- Yeah.
That retard sobbed in front of me.
He did? Why did he sob?
Who the fuck knows, retard.
- How much is he paying?
- $40,000.
- $40,000?
- Yeah.
- Forty-freaking-thousand?
- Yeah.
Fuck you, man, I
ain't falling for that.
Why'd he pay you $40,000? He
has no money, why would he do that?
You're so full of shit.
What do you know, this is a bargain.
They usually pay $2-3 million,
so he's getting a good deal.
What are you doing?
Give me that.
Jesus Christ...
- For real?
- 100%.
100% real.
Shit, don't believe me then!
Yo, you sleeping? We got a gig!
So, we went to watch Love Letter.
It was about a terminally ill
woman, a sad, beautiful and...
Wow, this is boring as fuck!
super long.
Dude, what do we do?
It's gotta be even a little
fun to do something with it.
This is hopeless.
This is gonna be hard...
Why are you so serious?
A big-budget movie was
playing at the same time.
- That was incredible!
- It was crazy!
So, I came up with a new idea.
[A Model Prosecutor]
I was poor, but I had a dream.
Where are you? Hurry up with the body.
I'm on my way.
I was willing to do anything
to achieve that dream.
My dream was to put my
name in this movie's end credit.
The one who dreams, and the one without
a dream, who's crazier in this world?
You there.
A body fell back there.
The set of A Model Prosecutor
was absurd, and killed my spirit.
We're about to shoot.
I'm almost there, I'm close.
I was like the limbless
body I carried on the set.
What a dumb-ass...
What the hell are you doing?
Answer me.
Set! Ready!
That's how I lost my dream.
Forget it, no need for you.
Just go home, moron!
And I have not been
paid $3,400 in salary.
Hey, hey.
Doesn't this feel a bit weak?
Who was that guy, what's
his name, that actor?
Let's just say he bullied.
He's got a bad rep too.
No way, way too cheesy.
That's why it'll work, it won't
be easy to make excuses.
No, it's good as is.
Be quiet, be quiet.
"I want to stop the pain."
Even in my dreams,
this industry haunts me.
I don't even have the money
for rent and phone bills.
I may have lost my dream,
but I want my money.
"Please pay me $3,400 you owe."
Shit, that's so sad.
Okay, title.
"Heavily debated post from a
private group for filmmakers."
Post this to movie forums.
No, no, no.
Instead of movie forums,
how about political forums that
social justice warriors frequent?
Good, you're a genius.
Then change that movie set staff to...
film industry...
laborer, yeah that.
- Done?
- Yeah, it's good.
Here we go.
- What are you doing?
- What's up?
You don't just post it, gotta
capture it and post the image.
- Why?
- So that it'll be easily shared.
Eh? How did you know?
Those guys were so
smart in that regard.
So, you spread wild rumors
to bomb the competition?
When it bombs, screens would
be shared among small movies,
and that we'd be doing a good thing.
That actually worked?
That movie's about a rich heir
engaging in bullying and battling
against a righteous prosecutor.
Pretending to be kind,
and triumphing over evil.
But what if the filmmakers
were bullies to begin with?
Wouldn't it make the audience
uncomfortable to watch it?
That's what we thought.
[This is a serious allegation.]
We weren't completely making stuff up.
[Cancelled my tic.]
There were too many
stories like that online.
My boys said it once,
"It's neither the whole
truth, nor the whole lie.
So, they'll be scared to act rashly."
[Statement To Our Fans]
Hey, it's up.
[Hello, this is Roll Pictures.]
[We would like to provide information
regarding unpaid wages for film crew.]
They posted it as a statement?
They looked for the guy, and released
it after realizing he doesn't exist.
If they didn't do anything
wrong, why bother apologizing?
Should I post this on a movie
forum or send it to the media?
What the hell for?
Post it on the forum,
it'll go viral automatically.
I can't believe it.
[Statement To Our Fans...]
[How to write an apology letter lol]
[Latest update on "that" movie]
[LOL didn't do anything wrong,
but they'll still apologize?]
[There's a victim,
but no perpetrator...]
[They went on and on, now off to jail.]
[Controversy over Unpaid Wages,
Signaling Box Office Bomb?]
[Torrented it, no fun.]
[Death penalty for torrenting,
look away for unpaid wages...]
[Screw this movie, spread the word.]
Guys, I think we're too good at this.
When we get paid, let's
expand and do this for real.
Idiot, creating a
career out of thin air?
That's how you start a
career, you don't know shit.
It'd be perfect to get a job with this.
I wish I could use this
experience somewhere...
You gotta do something
with your slave mentality.
Yeah, let's set this up
properly, this is really fun.
What's with you too?
He's having fun after
years of negative comments.
On that amateur writer site?
Shut up.
You're getting bullied
over there like a celebrity.
Will you shut up?
How do you hold it all in?
Dude, take us with you
to the meeting to get paid.
You said it was a bargain,
maybe we'll get paid more.
No way.
Hey, hey.
It wasn't $40,000, right?
- What a load of shit.
- Spill it.
Let us come!
You're all crazy.
Do we embarrass you?
Let us come!
Is this real?
Serious, man?
Feel it.
So that story about the unpaid staff...
You made it all up?
But I heard he's someone I know...
Who could that be?
We were originally going to
just get the user ratings up,
I didn't like the method,
so we changed it up.
We didn't think it'd be effective.
This is one of the popular
marketing methods.
A competitor was terrorized
so that my film can benefit?
- Yes.
- Yup.
Do you realize that you're making me
feel incredibly humiliated right now?
My film too.
Are you saying you won't pay us?
How dare you barge in
here and try to intimidate me?
If you don't pay us, we'll
report you to the police.
I think you're the one bound for jail.
Go on, call the police, should I?
I just recorded this conversation.
I got evidence.
You're bound for jail one way or
another, wanna get it over with?
You said he's a pushover.
How can you be sure that it failed
over one baseless online rumor?
I saw it too, I thought it
was going to fail regardless.
[Yeah? Victory of Small Story!
[Interview With Founder of Tomato Film]
I'm not so sure about that.
It could've been a coincidence?
Well, maybe.
[A Model Prosecutor, Drops in 2nd Week]
[Failure to Overcome Wage Controversy]
[movie a model prosecutor]
[commenting part time job]
[Public Opinion Manipulation Process
As Told by Manjun Troll Factory Staff]
[Full-time employee?]
[Same place, tomorrow 8 p.m.]
[You believe me now?]
[Bring your friends.]
[That's going to be tough...]
[I'll tell you in person.]
It looked like it
wasn't a coincidence...
that A Model Prosecutor failed.
You'll write about us then?
How did you three first meet?
At a club when we were young.
What kind of a club?
A fan club for Nakajima Minoru,
a Japanese manga artist.
It was a tiny one of a
dozen or so members.
It probably doesn't exist anymore.
By the way, what's your real name?
You haven't told me
any of your real names.
Do I have to tell you?
No articles can be written without
verifying the informant's name.
What if I give you a fake name?
You guys didn't accuse my
article of being fake, right?
No, that wasn't us.
Then what will you tell me?
You said you would help me first.
It was the first time that I
thought we could actually go to jail.
So, I was thinking of quitting.
You want me to do what?
That's a bit excessive.
It doesn't make any sense.
Came by yourself?
Worked with a cigarette company before?
How much did you get paid?
$5,000, right?
It was supposed to be $3,000, but
ended up getting more, so $5,000.
Not really.
How much did you get paid this time?
I don't know what you're talking about.
He agreed to $40,000.
He stiffed you?
Did you know that tobacco
company is still using your method?
Because of your film industry unpaid wages
post, a congressional office is prepping a bill.
Do you know how much money it
costs to prep something like that?
You know...
I don't think you should
sell yourself short.
You have no clue how much
money you helped move.
Don't you want to work and
be treated fairly from now on?
He wasn't a cop?
No, he said the man looked
like someone from an agency.
Like a fed.
A fed?
I've never met one, so, I'm not quite
sure, but he said the man had that aura.
So what?
What's the job now?
No different than
what we've been doing.
Who were they?
Dunno, he wouldn't say.
Is he gonna pay up?
He looked loaded.
How can we trust you?
What if he backstabs
us like the last time?
No way.
But he felt completely different.
And it looked like he
was trying to test us.
What test?
He didn't literally say
that. It just felt like that.
Then do they know about us?
Yeah, I think so.
Then this could be too dangerous.
Let's do it.
Do it?
You said it's like a test.
And we'll get paid.
Hey, do you know what we've been doing?
A blockbuster failed because of us.
And someone else
made millions off our work.
But we're ghosts.
And you said they know about us.
Someone finally recognized
our work, and we just call it quits?
Do it, no matter what.
But leave evidence at all costs.
Isn't that enough?
The new gig was unlike
anything we've tackled before.
Who is she?
Her name is Lee Eun-chae.
She may look like an ordinary,
social media-addicted college girl,
but she's not ordinary at all.
How so?
Her dad is social activist Lee Yong-chan,
who holds a record for one-man protest.
A record? There's a
record for protests?
Rain or shine, he's been protesting
every day for over 9 months.
He's become quite a renowned
social activist because of that.
Eun-chae was supposedly
influenced heavily by her dad.
She became her major rep,
joined the student council,
and engage in social service activities,
and even the college president knew her.
Everyone knew she wanted to
become the student president.
She was very active
and popular at first,
but she became even more famous
for her flame wars on the school forum.
[I'm Lee Eun-chae.
[I wrote the post to...]
[Hah revealing your name here?]
[So, the climate crisis is my fault?]
[If you don't get it, study.]
[Pathetically ignorant...]
She's an attention whore.
She posts so much on
Instagram, but no real friends.
She had one, but they
had a falling out over a guy.
Huh, that's the friend?
So, what do we do with her?
The student election
is two months away.
We'll have to bait her
like crazy until then.
Let's start with raising
her followers and likes.
No comments just yet.
Don't be so forward, be natural.
I'll buy 1,000 fake Chinese accounts.
With what money?
And let's do it for real this time. If
this goes south, we're in the red.
Non-stop nag...
[Found this old photo!]
[Too many photos to post ;)]
We can start commenting now.
We began to praise her.
[I can't believe someone like you exists!]
[I'll cheer for you!]
[Beautiful inside and outside!]
[Holy cow... I admire you, so pretty.]
[How are you so beautiful?]
[Stunning and beautiful.]
[World is improving thanks
to people like you.]
[How do you maintain
such a warm heart?]
[You're becoming more beautiful.]
[Absolutely stunning.]
"You're bussin' and
vibin' with no cap..."
What kind of bullshit is that?
It's a compliment.
How the hell is that a compliment?
It's slang from a
popular chick gossip site.
You pretended to be hard at
work, and surfed the web instead?
I was researching.
Why are you researching
on a gossip site?
How else should I
research? On the street?
I stopped writing altogether and
waited for Eun-chae to respond.
Damn, she really is an attention whore.
[Wow, thank you :)]
And she started responding not long after that.
[I'm not perfect either]
[Thank you!!!]
[Thanks... :3]
[You're even more beautiful!]
[Am I? Thx.]
[We can make it happen.]
[Let's save the Earth by
stop using single-use items!]
[Let's work together towards
a sustainable Earth.]
[Your cheeks are so cute.]
[May the shared warmth of those
who stand with you resonate well...]
[You're so hotter in person.]
So many of you said I'm pretty.
I'm not, but thank you!
I'm so embarrassed.
[I admire you!!]
[Please go live again soon.]
[Korea U goddess.jpg.]
Plaster this with the title
"Korea U goddess" everywhere.
Chick and dick gossip sites,
doesn't matter, just link her social.
Isn't that a bit much
and all too sudden?
What is?
What if she clues in and goes dark?
Guys, she'll never sus.
She was raised by a
single dad after their divorce,
and she's doing all these social stuff
because she's begging for daddy's approval.
She's desperate for recognition, I
bet she's too drunk with attention.
We got a psychoanalyst.
I know girls like her too well.
Trust me and follow my lead.
[Welcome to]
[Real beauty...]
[One of the hottest girls in Korea.]
[It looks AI-enhanced.]
[Wow she's so pretty.]
[She's sociable too.]
[Male students in her major
would go ga-ga over her.]
[No matter what, she couldn't have me.]
[She's better off
being an entertainer.]
[KU has all the national treasures.]
Then one day, someone
struck the first match.
[It's disgusting how you
pretend to be a saint.]
[Truth behind KU's Goddess]
[This chick always stirs
up shit at my school lolol.]
[Her posts can't be understood
with cognitive abilities.]
[Stop making yourself look stupid.]
[Her brain melted haha.]
[Korean chick = Useless AF]
[She's kinda pretty.]
[She needs a proper beating.]
[Gene pool needs cleaning.]
[Beauty is science.]
[I'm about to puke.]
Shit, the vibe changes instantly.
Holy shit!
What the hell!
It's happening!
I told you it would work!
What was the goal?
Stopping her from becoming
the student president?
Ruin her political future altogether?
No, I bet she would've
lost even if she tried.
Our target was never Lee Eun-chae.
We wanted Lee Yong-chan
to stop his one-man protest.
Her dad.
He was protesting
against defamation laws.
When she was getting bullied, we
wanted her to file defamation lawsuits.
To show that he'll use those
laws when he's cornered,
that's what we wanted.
You know that factual defamation
is different from defamation, right?
Of course.
But that's not important to people.
Then why didn't you go after
him, wouldn't that be a sure thing?
But Lee Yong-chan
had no online presence.
So, targeting his
daughter was the only way.
[Stop boasting so much.]
[Girl, go easy.]
[Does she think she's a celeb?]
Stop phubbing, it's too late for that.
So, did she sue?
She killed herself.
And Lee stopped his protest.
Dude, why is she dead?
I told you this would happen.
I told you to go easy.
When did you?
Are you saying that
she died because of us?
Why else would she be dead?
How do you know she died
because of what we did?
Who the hell knows?
If this article goes out, it's going to get ugly.
[My deepest condolences...]
Can you handle it?
You never thought to report this?
Report with what?
Who hired you to do this?
I didn't think you
would succeed for real.
I only wanted to watch you operate.
How did you come up with this idea?
This may seem cheesy and insignificant, but
coming up with it isn't as easy as it looks.
This method should be copyrighted, no?
I know you had some
close calls in the past.
Aren't you nervous working like this?
No, we're fine.
I'm offering you a job, a
permanent employment.
Permanent employment?
You didn't even finish college.
And no real experience
either, am I right?
That's why I like you.
You're not like us bookworms.
This type of work
requires animal instinct.
Know the psyche of the
public and how to manipulate it.
That's how you change the world.
Are you from...
the government or something?
It's not like that.
We're much bigger.
He was a Manjun employee.
Have you seen this post?
[Public Opinion Manipulation Process
As Told by Manjun Troll Factory Staff]
This post is lit online.
[Full-time employee?]
This is your evidence?
You don't believe
anything you see online?
In the name of keeping the media on a leash, we
bought media outlets because newspapers sold.
And with the internet coming
online, we bought telecommunications.
Very ignorant move.
We couldn't escape our elite mentality.
We underestimated the world, but got
sucker punched by a middle schooler.
Back then...
we were scared, and worried...
over a single middle school kid.
So, we created a new department.
Bookworms work super hard to learn.
They never repeat a mistake.
[150 full-time employees...]
[Public Opinion Task Force]
It'll pique your curiosity to
hear what we've tried in the past.
[College Girl With Bright Future, Commits
Suicide Over Hateful Comments]
You back?
Did you come right back?
What did he say?
Will he pay us?
What did you say?
Are we getting paid?
Are you so blinded by money?
Goddamn trash...
You know this isn't just about money.
What is it about then?
I didn't know it'd turn out like this.
Judge yourself before
judging others, asshole.
What's with you?
This happened because
you looked down on the world.
See what you want to see, judge others,
you did that to hide the
fact that you're a retard.
You fucking coward.
I didn't know it'd turn out like this.
That's why I'm talking
to you right now.
I told you we shouldn't push so
hard, that wasn't the right move.
Remember what you said?
An attention whore needing approval?
Isn't that you?
Fucking hell!
You talk as if I did this alone.
You did this too, asshole.
Fucking retard...
This is the man who approached us.
And everyone involved in your Woosung Data
article are all employed by Manjun now.
Verify it yourself.
Who are you...
- Good to go.
- Okay.
Fetch me Choi.
Yes, Chairman.
Thank you!
You as well.
Good evening.
It's been a while.
Wow, Lim, how have you been?
You're still as lively as ever.
I have to get my car,
could we talk on the way?
- Sure.
- What brings you here?
- I wanted to ask you something.
- Me?
I should've called you before.
Do you work for Manjun now?
Oh, yes, I'm in the Manjun PR team.
You didn't hear?
You didn't get reinstated...
That article I wrote about Manjun,
it was never a false article?
I guess I'm a real salaryman now.
I finally realize how
scary journalists are.
Did you get hired under
the condition of dumping me?
Explain yourself!
You're overestimating yourself.
You don't fit to be a journalist.
Oops, you're not one.
I'm Changgyung Daily's Lim
Sang-jin. Is this Mr. Nam Ki-hong?
A journalist?
I'd like a response concerning
a public opinion manipulation tip.
Could we meet for a
bit? I'll come to you.
What's up?
Come over here.
Take a look at this.
What's this?
This is about us.
Did he post this?
So, how much of this is real?
I don't know how much of it was real.
There's something he said,
"Truth mixed with lies feels
more real than the real truth."
But why post this on a used
home theater marketplace?
Most of its users are
men in their 40s and up
with expensive hobbies and
plenty of disposable income.
They're nuts about topics concerning
political and economic issues.
Have you verified the informant's ID?
No, it's not verified.
Why are you so confident then?
No way, take it back.
I want to dig into this properly.
Please give me some
support, I'm begging you.
You're more brazen than I heard.
It's a good story with a nice hook too.
But that alone makes you a novelist.
I have circumstantial evidence,
and I'll fact check the heck out of it.
Then supplement it.
Believable without sensationalism,
without entertainment value.
Shit, how could he...
[Is the writer still alive?]
Why did he post that?
He's trying to fuck us,
right? To fuck me over.
He posted it before the fallout.
Before he came back.
He has never turned
off his phone before.
Can't reach him?
No, I think something happened to him.
Didn't he say they know about us?
What do we do now?
Should we expose
everything to the media?
You think those fuckers
will take your word for it?
Let me use your PC.
That's how we found you.
We knew there would be
reporters screwed by Manjun.
This is my writer's forum ID.
I've never told this to anyone.
And my name is Lee Young-jun.
A name that's easy to forget...
because it's so plain.
[TRUE STORY.. Z from
the Fantasy World Ep. 4]
[Level Up Reputation to Read]
[How to Level Up!!]
[Create 10 posts...]
[Manjun Hires Thugs to Disrupt Protest]
[They got paid to protest.]
[Is that still a protest then?]
[Check user comments:
date, comment, account]
[Manjun Pledges Full Cooperation
in College Admission Scandal Probe]
No, I'm a journalist, Lim Sang-jin.
No, not PR, Public Opinion team.
No, you should check with HR directly,
[Manjun Life Denies Wrongdoings]
I'm just trying to give you a chance to respond.
[Manjun Leaker Indicted...]
Yes, please call me back.
Where are you calling from?
Who is this?
This is Manjun Management Support.
Hello there.
If it's okay, could I get your
name and position please?
Kim Jae-shin, department head.
Is that right?
I can't believe I got
a call from an exec.
We sent you an official request
for coverage, but didn't hear back...
Would it be possible to meet with Mr. Nam
Ki-hong of the Public Opinion team?
Public Opinion team?
Yes, I've received an anonymous tip.
I've been told that there's an internal
team that handles public opinion.
Is this true?
Your name is Lim Sang-jin, correct?
Have you been reinstated?
Do you know me?
I thought you had a tough
time back then, I guess not?
It's an online rumor. We
don't have such a department.
[Editor-in-Chief Pyo: Let's publish.]
This is the talk of the town,
Donga is prepping a special.
Donga? You sure about that?
I'm good friends with their editor.
Must be reliable then...
- What's going on?
- Pardon?
Is it true that Manjun attempted
to manipulate the public abroad?
I haven't verified that yet.
You'll go ahead with the article?
Bring everything that's verified.
There are some unverified things.
If we publish it like this,
we're showing them our hands.
So, write whatever you verified.
Only we have the informant.
There's more to this story.
Please give me some more time,
I'll investigate thoroughly
and blow this wide open.
Blow what open?
Are you trying to get
revenge for the false article?
If we don't go ahead, others will.
You've been reinstated today.
Stop getting distracted,
and write this up properly.
Yes, Mr. Lim.
- We're going to press.
- Right now?
No, it'll go online overnight first,
then front-page headline, and
pages 4 and 5 in the morning.
I see...
You don't sound excited at all.
No, it's just that our
methods will be shown in full,
I was worried that
there will be copycats.
I guess we can't write
about crimes in that respect.
Read the online edition,
and if there are any errors, get
back to me within 30 minutes.
We can fix it until then.
When this goes out,
we'll be doxxed, right?
[Troll Factory is commonly
known online...]
[as "Public Opinion Team"...]
[Lim Sang-jin]
[Congrats! You Leveled Up.]
Thank you for your work.
Hey, thanks.
Congrats on the front page.
- Congrats on first page.
- Congrats.
[Manjun's Troll Factory Formed
to Manipulate Public Opinion]
[1. Manjun's Troll Factory Formed
to Manipulate Public Opinion]
[2. What is the Truth Behind
Manjun's "Public Opinion" Team?]
[7. Who are Manjun's Troll Factory?]
[If true, this is insane.]
[This is quite surprising.]
[I knew it, Manjun
will go to any lengths.]
[Web Novel Challenge]
What's this?
[Web Novel Challenge]
["That photo costed me $300."]
[Advertising cigarettes is illegal.]
["I'll be... PEpteK.
[You'll be ChAtT..."]
["Are you... from the government?"]
["So, what's the job now?"]
["A fan club for Nakajima Minoru..."]
["I'm a film set staff."]
["Con a journalist?"]
[Posted date: 2022.02.08]
What's this?
Some amateur writer accused
you of plagiarizing his story.
Have you read it?
Manjun is spreading this
rumor to screw me over!
I talked to their rep and he
already knew what I was up to!
You said he gave you this
username without asking.
Is the informant in on this too?
I told you to only
write what was verified!
What are you gonna do now?
Wait, ma'am! Wait!
The number you've dialed does not exist.
Please check the number and call again.
[Lee Young-jun]
The number you've dialed
does not exist. Please check...
It's really published.
Let me see.
This one's actually fun to read.
Look, username generator...
What's this?
I dunno, I just made shit up.
[This isn't that hack's first rodeo.]
[Lim Sang-jin got doxed.]
[Changgyung Daily LSJ]
[Lim Sang-jin]
[Third rate college]
[Morally bankrupt tabloid]
[Fake News Leads to CEO's Suicide]
[It doesn't feel all BS, but it turned
into a consp theory 'cos of that hack.]
We are overflowing with complaints.
What do you think we should do?
How are other outlets responding?
I get it!
I get it!
I get it now!
true that I've been had.
See this?
I was used to divert
attention away from this.
Which means every
word in this post is true.
This is a good thing,
this verifies everything.
We're in this mess over
a single conspiracy post?
They're good enough to do this.
Since posts that went viral can't be taken
down, they used me to discredit this,
they're extremely smart!
Lee Young-jun.
I mean, ChAtTaTkat.
We just need to find him.
I have a recording of his
voice, so I'll get it analyzed.
It's not like you're an FBI agent.
How can we conduct voice analysis?
I told you, this is huge.
We can do a follow-up with ChAtTaTkat's response.
Please give me some support to dig into this.
I'll find it right away.
Do you know how many
lawsuits you're about to face?
Other outlets stopped
the press on this.
We're gonna end up
holding the bag! You...
Have you verified them?
Those who threatened
lawsuits, are they all legitimate?
Those are all fake!
- Lim!
- Come on!
Look at the reality and live in it.
Forget it!
You don't need to take the heat
alone, I'm also responsible for this.
What do we do first?
What we went over earlier,
we have to go through that...
Did Manjun scout you?
Buddy, what the hell are you saying?!
You're no different.
All hacks.
What did you say?!
Buddy! Hey!
He's a piece of work!
What the hell are you doing?!
[Serialized Novel... AYBABTU]
Was everything fabricated?
Truth mixed with lies feels
more real than the real truth.
There is no truth in the perfect lie,
but if the truth is mixed with a lie,
a lie is mixed with the truth,
and if it's not a perfect
lie, then it's the truth.
In other words, it's not all lies.
I did not stop digging
for the follow-up.
The first clue in my investigation
wasn't a problematic post or a web novel.
The username that Lee
told me was an online meme.
A Japanese game company
poorly translated a line in their game,
and exported to the US.
In doing so, the final boss said
a grammatically incorrect phrase,
which became an infamous meme.
This happened in North
America in the early 2000s.
No wonder I didn't know.
It's supposed to mean, "We
have taken all of your bases,"
used to say that one had
conquered their opponent.
They intentionally approached me with a purpose.
[This community is dormant]
[Changgyung Daily's Lim Sang-jin
Fired for "Web Novel Plagiarism"]
I searched for traces in the archive and
even dead files online again and again.
I researched and
investigated for over two years,
and I finally found the original poster
who exposed the Public Opinion team.
He was promoting Bitcoin mining
farms on abandoned websites.
He was a Manjun employee,
and a whistleblower.
He was afraid of being
sued for factual defamation.
I'll be protected as
an informant, right?
It doesn't matter,
but don't you need to record?
I'm sure it wasn't easy coming forward.
Thank you for meeting me.
Not at all.
I wanted to meet you because
I was curious about you.
So, you were friends
with Lee Young-jun?
Yes, we were close,
even before that work.
But we got into a fight.
That's why I posted that.
Why did you fight?
You know,
I didn't like his attitude.
He was boasting as if he
was doing some amazing work.
He's an attention whore.
What a moron.
How much of my article was real?
Everything you wrote is fake.
He made all of them up.
Us, the Public Opinion did
something completely different.
And those guys he lived with,
they're all made up too.
He and I did everything
together, just the two of us.
How did you first meet Lee?
How did you become close to him?
Nakajima Minoru...
Nakajima Minoru...
A fan club for this
Japanese manga artist.
It was a tiny fan club of
a dozen or so members.
It probably doesn't exist anymore.
It probably doesn't exist anymore.
Is "Lee Young-jun"...
his real name?
Yes, that's his real name.
Is this him?
I'm not sure...
It could be him...
Or not...
Do you have another photo?
ChAtTaTkat disappeared,
leaving only a plan name behind.
But I know a way to meet him.
I finished my
follow-up, it was perfect.
[Changgyung Daily]
No outlets would publish my
article, but it doesn't matter now.
I included all details of the history and
my experience of online manipulation.
[Here's the tea from
a former reporter.]
[Screen Capture]
And I know a surefire way
to reveal my truth to the world.
It doesn't matter if no one believes.
The path of a journalist is
supposed to be dark and lonely.
[Here's the tea from
a former reporter]
Have you ever leaked a
secret that only you know?
The thrill is exclusive to journalists.
[Here's the tea from
a former reporter]
[View 0]
[View 1]
[View 78]
[View 560...]
[Troll Factory]