* Date : 2020-03-14
Last October Sulli, a former member of a hot K-pop band, took her own life and another young singer Goo Hara followed a month later. What made the talented 25-year-old Sulli and Goo Hara, who vowed to live her life to the fullest for her friend, meet such end? It was none other than malicious online comments.
Cyberbullying, especially online defamation and insult, is a serious crime. According to police statistics on illegal content, cyber defamation and insult nearly doubled from 8,800 cases in 2018 to 15,926 cases in 2018.
Is there any way to fight this vicious form of cyber violence?
People fighting malicious comments
First-graders of Seocheon Elementary School in Yongin are writing special thank-you notes to their parents, teachers, and friends. They are compiling a notebook of 100 thank you messages.
Children thank the parents and older students who volunteer to read them books and leave positive comments on online posts. These kind, positive comments are called “sunfull” in Korean.
The “Sunfull Movement“ was launched after a young singer was driven to her death by malicious comments in 2007. Professor Min Byung-chul of Chung-Ang University told his students to visit the homepages or blogs of ten celebrities and leave positive comments explaining why people shouldn’t make groundless accusations after reading all the negative comments posted there. Since then, the ”Sunfull Movement“ has grown into an internet peace movement participated by some 7,000 schools, universities and organizations nationwide.
A special ceremony took place at the Congress of the Philippines in November 2019. As a solution to the country’s cyberbullying problem, the House of Representatives of the Philippines invited Korea’s Sunfull Movement to launch an online cyberbullying prevention program and Sunfull campaign. The two countries hope to build a closer friendship through the internet peace movement that wipes out hate speech and malicious comments from cyberspace.
In addition, Sulli and Goo Hara’s deaths have prompted Korean lawmakers to table a revision on the Framework Act on National Informatization to mandate public institutions, local government bodies, and employers to provide cyberbullying prevention education. This bill is currently pending at the National Assembly. Once the bill is approved, it will be instrumental in preventing cyberbullying, not just penalizing it after it occurs.
This program reminds us the need to clean up the online world by showcasing various people’s efforts to eradicate malicious comments and cyberbullying.