[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'Posting hate comments is murder'

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[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'Posting hate comments is murder'

The Word on the Web series brings together a range of comments posted online by Koreans discussing trending issues.  

In the last few days, professional volleyball player Kim In-hyeok and internet personality Jo Jang-mi were found dead.

The two public figures, both under 30-years-old, lived lives in the spotlight and had spoken out in the past about how they struggled to deal with malicious comments and messages directed at them online.
In a post on Instagram in August last year, Kim wrote: “I can’t stand the countless direct messages and malicious comments anymore, please stop.”
In 2020, Jo told viewers of her online broadcast that she was taking medication to deal with depression caused by malicious online comments. She also revealed that her mother had taken her own life because of hate comments directed towards Jo. 
Kim and Jo's stories are not new. Every year, public figures in Korea speak out about the abuse they face online and the impact that has on their mental health. With the number of incidents continuing to grow, people are calling on the authorities to reinforce penalties and root out malicious commenters. 
(If you or someone you know is feeling emotionally distressed or struggling with thoughts of suicide, LifeLine Korea can be contacted at 1588-9191 or the Crisis Counseling Center at 1577-0199. The Seoul Global Center offers English-language counseling, contact 02-2075-4180 (+1) to arrange a session. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.)
“Cyber-cops who regulate hate comments need to be reinforced. Hate comments are a form of abuse, they kill people.”
“They should receive strong penalties and have their identities exposed… If they’re found to be guilty, they should also be charged with manslaughter.”
“All comments should come with real names.”
“Hate comments kill people… We should introduce a real-name system online… My condolences to the family.”
“A real-name system is the only answer. Authentication should be mandatory, and comments should come with the person’s real name and photo.”
“Posting hate comments is murder without a weapon.”
“How many more lives are we going to lose to the hate comments… We need to put an end to this.”

BY LEE SI-YOUNG, YOO JI-WOO [yoo.jiwoo@joongang.co.kr]
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