Last year was gloomy due to online malicious comments. Two young female celebrities left the world by suicide. It has been alleged that there were negative comments behind their extreme choices. In addition, there are insulting and unethical comments in every article, regardless of political issues, various accidents and celebrity gossip, and there is a flood of groundless slander and false information. Therefore, public opinion has been growing that the Internet real-name policy should be introduced. This policy is a system that users can post messages on the Internet message boards only with their real names and resident registration numbers are confirmed. In fact, this policy was introduced in 2007, but the system was abolished five years after implementing the system. Recently, however, the government has raised its voice that the real-name policy on the Internet should be revived as human rights violations have become more serious due to malicious comments. As it is a hot topic, there are many opinions of the Internet real-name policy. I interviewed two KU students and one student at another university about the Internet real name policy.
Kang Sol-bi from the Department of English Education
“Last year, two celebrities, Sulli and Koo Ha-ra, passed away by killing themselves. The reason why they decided this sorrowful decision is not revealed, but people usually tell that it was because of some comments that exceed the bounds. I think the reason why people write comments thoughtlessly is that there is not a way to prevent the malicious comments. Nowadays, many people insist on introducing the Internet real-name policy. I am one of the people who insists on the introduction of this policy. If it is imposed, many people may stop writing some malicious comments. In SNS, some people make fake accounts to write such bad comments. To prevent it, they should do some process to identify themselves before making an account. It is necessary to draw up a bill. In Korea, there is a movement to make a bill called Sul-li bill. This bill allows platform providers to delete discriminatory and repulsive comments in advance and block publishers from accessing or suspending IP. I hope such a law will be implemented as soon as possible to prevent miserable deaths. It is so sorrowful that someone around us passes away.”
Kwon Su-bin from GNU
“The Internet should do its duty as a window of free communication. However, seeing a series of recent events, the Internet real-name policy is being reevaluated. People give themselves new personalities on the Internet and live with themselves hidden. The side effects of it have been mentioned every time, but the Internet users have still hidden under the name of freedom. Freedom is no longer a plausible excuse. People should not ignore individuals suffering from cyber bullying for freedom on the Internet. Therefore, current society desperately need the Internet real-name policy. In the reality that bad comments are becoming an instrument of murder, a serious level of mean comments is a crime that society should eradicate as soon as possible. Public must create the Internet culture that protects us from slandering and criticizing others behind anonymity and takes responsibility for writings. I am sure that the Internet real-name policy will be the last way to protect me and other people.”
Kim dong-gyun from the Department of English Education
“The Real-name policy is not essential. It is because anonymity is more important than you think. People have many debates on the Internet. In these discussions, anonymity has enough power to draw out people’s opinions frankly. If people have to convey their opinions with their real name, people will avoid having discussion with their true opinions. In other words, nicknames promote lively discussions, and people usually use their sword which is named ‘opinion’ with the shield which is named ‘anonymity.’ Many people claim real-name policy can prevent malicious comments on the Internet. Actually, that is not true. A lot of celebrities and companies which were attacked by rumors and gossip successfully filed a suit against rumor makers. I mean, without the real-name policy, people have the methods to protect themselves from the rumors on the Internet, so we have to respect freedom of expression and raise the Internet user’s maturity before discussing real-name policy.”