Politician Kim Geun Tae has accused numerous artists including BOL4, GWSN, Kikwang, and many more of manipulating music charts in their favor.
During his press conference at the National Assembly on April 8, Kim Geun Tae brought up the issue of manipulation on various music streaming platforms.
Under-marketing company ‘Creator’ has been manipulating music charts using ID’s of ordinary citizens that were acquired through illegal hacking in China and other places.
Thousands, tens of thousands of accounts were used to manipulate the music charts. We secured a list of 1,716 Daum and Melon ID’s that were being used to manipulate the charts. The real owners of these accounts ranged in birth year between 1935 to 2004.
— Kim Geun Tae
According to Kim Geun Tae, Creator would rent out a server and divide it into separate partitions. Each partition would then have multiple instances of music streaming software playing certain artists’ songs. Some partitions were also modified to make the application think it was running the mobile version of the streaming application. They would focus on streaming between 9 pm to 11 pm KST, when there are fewer users and it is easier to raise a song’s ranking.
The company explained that they were using viral-marketing when the suspicions were first raised, but what they actually did was illegal under-marketing.
The singers we have confirmed to have benefited from this manipulation are Ko Seung Hyun, GWSN, Badkiz, BOL4, Song Haye, Young Tak, Yoyomi, Sohyang, Ali, and Highlight’s Kikwang.
As a way to hide the manipulation they would also include songs of popular artists such as IU.
— Kim Geun Tae
Kim Geun Tae called for investigative agencies to search the companies involved and punish them, and shared that his reason for this is because there are many artists who have been buried due to the unethical actions of others, and that he and his political party will not tolerate unfairness or foul play.
In response, many of the agencies for the artists mentioned by Park Geun Tae have released their official statements, denying any wrongdoings and threatening counter legal action against him for his false claims.
We have not done any manipulation of the music charts and we do not know of this company called Creator.
We will take legal action against the spreading of false information related to this case.
— Shofar Music (BOL4)
There is no truth to the reports about the chart manipulation. It is groundless.
— Kiwi Pop (GWSN)
The report is absolute not true. We will take legal action against the spread of false information.
— Around Us Entertainment (Highlight Kikwang)
There is no truth about the manipulation report. It is completely groundless.
— School Music Entertainment (Yoyomi)