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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sue, if harrassed in cyberspace

Another story, this time from Korea, where someone complains about the influence of the Internet on his life. It sounds vaguely similar to the story that I wrote about this morning.

A guy in Korea claims to have been bullied in cyberspace after his girlfriend committed suicide.

"He asked the portals to withdraw the malicious messages circulating by e-mail and on official documents right after discovering that erroneous information about him had been spread over the Internet. But the portals failed to take actions to stop the posting of messages. The alleged victim claims he had to quit work and school as harassing messages concerning his girlfriend’s suicide spread rapidly over the Internet in May."

This is a case where things can go bad, but of course, this also could happen in the time before the Internet. Also, of course, everything happens faster through the Internet - news spreads faster. However it is not possible to blame the ISP, because they are just the transmitter. It is impossible to control news on the web, once it is out. And if someone tries to even take action against it, well, it might even create a bigger buzz. For better or worse.

This story is somewhat comparable to story of the girl who was made famous in Korea by an action of her dog. Or, shall I say, by her inaction regarding the mess that her dog made.

"It began in a subway train with a girl whose dog made a mess on the train floor. When nearby elders told her to clean up the mess, she basically told them to fuck off. A nearby enraged netizen then took pictures of her and posted it, without any masking, on a popular website which started a nationwide witchhunt."

Over time, her identity became known, parodies were written and all. This is the negative power of the Internet, clearly, although, her reaction to the action of her dog is also bad.

Two stories that are related in their message - the Internet is regulating itself, for better or worse. Only that you cannot blame the Internet.

(By Asia Business Consulting)