Some call for monitors of extreme Web video clips

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Some call for monitors of extreme Web video clips

A young man randomly jumps into the road, stopping cars and ridiculing drivers, in an Internet video clip that is raising concerns that videos posted on the Web are extreme, grotesque and even dangerous.

In a controversial video posted last week, the man, who looks to be in his 20s, runs into cars while using a swimming tube on his hands as an “air bag.” Angry drivers honk and curse at him to get out of the way, but rather than back off or apologize, the man swings his swimming tube at the cars.

In the background his friends laugh at what could have been a dangerous moment.

Word about the 30-second clip spread quickly on the Internet, and “stopping cars” quickly became one of the most searched-for terms in the country last Wednesday. The clip was tracked down to the man’s personal Cyworld’s Minihompy, or mini-home page, which received more than 20,000 visitors that day alone. About 300 of the visitors posted messages vilifying the man’s reckless actions.

Bucheon Jungbu Police in Gyeonggi arrested the man Thursday on charges of obstruction of traffic, and booked him without detention. Police said he told them he’d been drunk when the video was shot last August.

Bizarre video clips are nothing new on the Internet, and neither is public criticism of them.

Several photos of university students holding organs from dissected corpses made it onto the Web, and became a hot topic. One student posted pictures on her home page with the message, “It was pleasant to cut the ribs. The lung was actually way bigger than I thought.”

Police are also investigating the source of a video posted last December that shows a hamster being killed in a blender.

While such pictures have some users feeling sick, experts say the so-called “scanning generation” doesn’t care about how their acts - or clips - are perceived. Ha Ji-hyun, a neuropsychiatry professor at Seoul’s Konkuk University, said the Internet has no way to control what reaches the public.

To make cyberspace “cleaner,” some experts have asked Internet providers to strengthen their monitoring measures. “People have to adapt to Internet literacy,” said Ju Yong-wan, an official at the Korean Internet & Security Agency. “It could be just a lark online, but people need to remember that if they’re making mischief offline, it could be a crime.”

By Kim Hyo-eun, Kim Mi-ju []

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