Because of problems with malicious comments online, Koreans are again thinking about the Internet real-name system that has been outlawed.
On July 20, the leader of the famous k-pop group Girl’s Generation announced that she will be taking take action against malicious comments on her Instagram account. Taeyeon has been suffering through abusive comments and is taking legal steps against her haters.
Many celebrities and public figures face malicious comments by anonymous internet users. Due to false rumours and abusive comments, some people suffer from depression, and some even commit suicide.
To prevent internet users from committing such anonymous cybercrime, Korea began the Internet real-name system in 2007. To upload posts or comments on certain popular websites, citizens had to identify themselves by their legal name and resident registration number. However, on 2012, the Constitutional Court repealed the system.
“Honestly, I oppose to the real-name system,” said Ha Neul Roh, a sophomore at Ewoo High School, in an interview with JSR. “Although the posts and comments only show the users’ names, their resident registration number can be revealed when hacked. Also, it oppresses the freedom of expression.”
According to the Constitutional Court, the system was not effective in reducing the number of malicious comments. Foreigners, who do not have a resident registration number, had difficulty using Korean web sites, and many Korean Internet users started using foreign websites.
“Instead of making internet-users provide their resident registration number and legal name, people should receive an education about using the Internet the right way,” added Roh. “The seriousness of abusive comments need to be recognized.”