[OP-ED] Good to See Daum is Taking Part in the Sulli Hate Comment Movement by Temporarily Closing its Comments Sections

Jay Yim, Oct. 25, 2019, 3:15 p.m.

So it seems like major South Korean portal site Daum will temporarily close its comments sections on entertainment news. This is in light of Sulli who died in an apparent suicided following an onslaught of malicious comments.

That has prompted an outpouring of grief and calls to keep in check the cyber bullying that many K-pop stars are facing.

Kakao Crop officials made an official statement, saying, "Many agree that the degree of insults that occur through comments under entertainment news sections has reached a level that harms the health of the public."

Daum and Kakao Corp's decision to flip the switch on comments, which will take effect this month, is part of the company's longstanding efforts to combat and put an end to the malicious comments.

Cyber bullying is probably the lowest of the lowest ways to harass someone. With our currenty society, it is so easy for someone to hide behind the computer and say whatever they want without facing any consequences. It's heartbreaking for the victim, and the friends and families around them because of how much it takes a toll. They may not realize it, but what they are doing behind that computer screen can lead to serious consequences.

When the victim can no longer handle the harassment, they will take matters into their own hands, and make the decision to end their life. Once that happens, those cyber bullies can ask for forgiveness all they want, it will not undo the harm that they have done.

When news broke out about Sulli's death, many of the cyber bullies who posted malicious comments aims at harassing the singer/actress, they took to the internet to express their remorse. I'm not saying it's not good that they realized what they did was wrong, and it might teach them a lesson to stop, but isn't it sad that it took them to see the victim actually take their own life to realize, "oh shoot, what I did/am doing is wrong? I should stop now."

Nonetheless, it's good to see, although they should have started long ago, that the government, corporate companies, and others are finally taking action to combat the issues of malicious commenting. One of the solutions that we've seen is the "Sulli Law", which was a bill proposed by nine members of the National Assembly, that is aimed to enforce strict rules against malicious commentors who use anonymous names. The bill was proposed after a petition calling for strict punishment against the online harassers tied to Sulli's apparent suicide.

The freedom of expression and speech is what gives value to a democracy, but abusing that to insult and hurt someone else is taking it way too far. Lee Dong Gwi, a psychology professor at Yonsei University, said, "There needs to be far harsher penalties for those who violate that law."

That is true, but, actions should be taken before it's too late, like with Sulli, unfortunately. The government needs to find better ways to keep track of those people using anonymous names to leave hate comments and punish them accordingly, before things get out of hand.

Here's the way I see it: if some one is caught before the victim commits suicide, then they should either receive a huge fine, serve a certain amount of time in jail, or some how use technology to ban them from the online community permanently. If they are caught after the victim takes his/her life, then they should be charged as a murderer because if you think about it, that person or multiple persons are responsible for the death due to their harassment. In my opinion, that's only fair.

It's good to see that Daum and Kakao are taking action to prevent any more hate going around the entertainment community. Let us know what you guys think about this ongoing issue down below.

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