[EDITORIALS]War on Internet misuseThe JoongAng Ilbo has decided to launch, in cooperation with the National Movement for the Clean Internet, a campaign to create a safe and sound Internet. We think contamination of cyberspace has reached a degree that can no longer be tolerated.
South Korea, with a well-developed broadband Internet network, is recognized as one of the leading Internet countries. According to Korea Network Information Center, the number of Internet users in Korea has reached 26,270,000, the largest in proportion to population. However, the present state of the Internet in Korea betrays its reputation as “the fourth media,” and it reminds us of the historical lesson that some modern conveniences are not always convenient for the people they are meant to serve.
Through technological advancement aimed at materializing the dream of a more convenient world, major software updates are churned out almost on a daily basis. But they are abused. Random e-mails, the leaking of personal data, slander and abusive language contaminate the Internet. Through the Internet we can share information without limits, and the Internet can bind people, fragmented by modern society, into one, regardless of age, nationality and sex. It is an enormous peril that the positive function of the Internet has been jeopardized by its misuse.
It depends on those who use it whether the greatest invention in the past 2,000 years of human history should be reduced to something that people avoid or made a modern convenience friendly to people. The first thing Internet users can do is participate in a movement to use real names in cyberspace. Another is reporting sites that spread harmful ideas and appeal to the prurient side of human nature.
We also ask that families, schools and institutes that teach the use of computer teach ethical codes of behavior for Internet users. Contamination of cyberspace has resulted mainly from the lack of etiquette in the use of this modern technology. Making a happy Internet world is up to us all.