Society

In the real world, we have to reveal our information such as name, age, and face. But on the Internet, we do not have to reveal our information. When we act on the Internet, we can use a nickname instead of our real name. That means we can speak our opinion more freely than in reality. Recently, the issue of introducing the Internet real-name system is arising because many people are suffering from malicious comments and the spread of false information on the Internet. Therefore, there are many different pros and cons for the introduction of this system.

 

Pros

Recently, a Korean celebrity committed suicide in part because of many malicious comments on the Internet. Because of this tragic event, the Internet real-name system has recently become a big topic with many people posting on the government’s petition website that this system is needed. These days, people can anonymously surf the Internet and communicate with others. People can speak their opinions freely because of the anonymity, but people can also attack others with verbal abuse without fear of consequences because of the anonymity. Serious malicious comments directed at individuals cause stress and anxiety. To gauge public opinion, the polling agency Realmeter surveyed 502 adults aged 19 and older about the introduction of the Internet real-name system. As a result, 69.5% of the respondents said they agree with using it. Like the majority opinion of this survey, I agree with the introduction of the InternetrReal-name system. 
First, on the Internet, irresponsible criticisms and malicious comments cause serious damage to others. Many people besides celebrities suffer from malicious comments these days. Some people's comments can drive a person to commit suicide. Malicious comments are like an invisible knife. If the Internet real-name system is introduced, people will be responsible for their comments. If people can’t hide their identity, they will be less likely to post criticisms and malicious comments. To prevent more tragic deaths, it is necessary to change the system.
Second, it is currently difficult to punish posters of malicious comments or compensate the victims. Internet violence, caused by malicious comments and spread of false information, has increased rapidly since 2014. Keyboard warriors are not heavily punished because freedom of expression must be protected according to Korean laws. In one case, a lawyer sued keyboard warriors, but after two years of the lawsuit, it was decided that each keyboard warrior would pay only 100,000 won. This shows that the victims will not receive much compensation and the malicious commenters will not get much punishment. The anonymous system on the Internet is very damaging to individuals, and victims cannot be properly compensated. Because of this, the Internet real-name system is required.
If the Internet real-name system is introduced, people can make a healthy Internet culture, and it will be easier to find and punish keyboard warriors. People will have a sense of responsibility about their posts and comments on the Internet. When you post your comment on the Internet, you should remember that “Freedom of expression should be guaranteed but you must be responsible for freedom of expression.”

●Opinion from a reader
Lee Yu-jeong (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry)
Indiscriminate comments have driven many entertainers to commit suicide. Entertainers can become wastebaskets of emotions because of keyboard warriors. They speak behind an anonymous shadow and say things that they would not say if their names were exposed. When the Internet real-name system is introduced, there will be more advantages than disadvantages.

 

Cons

Recently, there have been a lot of tragedies because of malicious comments posted online. Sometimes, people even decide to commit suicide. Because of that, the introduction of the real-name system has become an important issue again. I disagree with the Internet real-name system.  
First, this system violates people’s freedom of expression. The Internet real-name system allows users to post messages and comments on the Internet only after their real names and national registration numbers have been verified. That means that the government can monitor each person's activity on the Internet. Anonymity is a key point of the public sphere. The real-name system will make people reluctant to make comments in public. 

Second, if we use our real names, our personal information might be exposed. Personal certification procedures are necessary for identification. In the process, users must provide sensitive, personal information to identify themselves that are stored in databases. These personal information databases are always at risk of being hacked. 

Third, it is not practical. There is no guarantee that the introduction of the real-name system will eliminate malicious comments. There is no way to apply it to foreign social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Even if a well-known foreign company tries to enter the Korean market, it must produce a different version for Koreans if it wants to comply with the legally prescribed real-name system. It is very unlikely that foreign companies will create separate versions of their products just for Korea, which means Koreans won’t be able to use them. 

The real-name system is not an effective solution to online bullies. The government should not be forced to introduce the real-name system. The solution should be to strengthen ethics education not the enactment of the law.

●Opinion from a reader
Byeon Gwan-yeong (Tourism Management)
It is true that cyber-bullying is taking place on the Internet. However, while using real-name accounts on Facebook, such problems are occurring too. It is easy to see a variety of immoral acts such as violence, gambling and hidden cameras. The influence of social networking services is more powerful than Korean portals. I think the real-name system, which is applied only to Korea, is meaningless. Rather, I think the introduction of the real-name system will cause problems in the execution of the system due to discrimination between domestic and overseas operators or arbitrary disputes over law enforcement. Unlike in the past, which regarded the issue of malicious comments as insignificant, the law has been increasing the number of cases of punishment. The real-name system is just a temporary expedient. We need to find a more fundamental solution.