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Cyber Bullying Destroys Anonymity 99

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the good-clean-fights dept.
aussie_a writes "The BBC has an article on online bullying in South Korea. The problem has grown so large that in addition to the police having dedicated cyber terror units, the South Korean government will enact a law next year forcing South Koreans to reveal their name and ID before posting online. However some ISPs want the government to go further and to ban some people from being able to log onto the internet at all."
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Cyber Bullying Destroys Anonymity

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  • Feh! (Score:1, Troll)

    by Pig Hogger (10379)
    Stupid things like that would not happen if those amazing inscrutables would not have those "saving face" values... I mean, if someone tells shit about you anonymously, who gives a shit? It's worth where it's coming from: not much.

    Geeez, sometimes, those guys should get a life!!!

    • by kirun (658684)
      Your suggestion that we should take information from anonymous and semi-anonymous posts with a pinch of salt is a good one, unfortunately most people are stupid and believe anything they read. Anonymous postings CAN cause real damage to a person's reputation.

      There clearly need to be protections in place, so people can speak "anonymously" where this has public benefit, e.g. whistleblowers, people being more open with the truth, etc. This should not, however, mean people should be free to spread malicious lie
  • Anyone that post's will get a slap!
  • In Korea, only old people bully on the internet...
    • I could see getting moderated overrated, but how the hell does this get modded troll? Obviously by someone who hasn't been on slashdot long enough to see the story about the old people in Korea who are the only ones still using email...
  • Doesnt seem to be a right in their country. Oh well, it is their country, their rules, nothing to see here.
    • Are there rights that are yours simply by virtue of being a human being? Or are governments the ultimate decider of what set of rights you have?
      • It could be argued that any country is governed by the consent of the people (whether it is active consent as in a democracy, or passive consent in a dictatorship that has not been overthrown). As long as those people are free to leave their country and go somewhere else, then the remainder should be free to abrogate any rights they wish. Many of us only complain about people in the USA doing the same because our own governments have the habit of saying 'Look! They're doing something really stupid over t
        • by redhog (15207)
          And since then are you free to leave you please? In the real world, to leave, you acutually have to have somewhere else to go. And usually, if you live in a dictatorship country, your chances of getting a work-visa let alone a permanent visa in any other country are pretty slim.
        • As long as those people are free to leave their country and go somewhere else, then the remainder should be free to abrogate any rights they wish.

          Emigrating is seldom simple, and often involves leaving behind friends and family. Language plays a major consideration, as well as money. Setting up in a new country is complicated enough when you have a sponsoring employer helping you come in: without a job or resources, it is an overwhelming undertaking.

          Now, the "should be free" line begs the question: just wha
      • by nurb432 (527695)
        Both.
      • by ultranova (717540)

        Are there rights that are yours simply by virtue of being a human being? Or are governments the ultimate decider of what set of rights you have?

        Whoever can take away a particular right of yours is the ultimate arbiter of whether you have it or not. That someone is usually the government, since it is the strongest entity around. So yeah, the governments are the ultimate decider of what set of rights they bother honoring, and the rest are just fancy philosophical concepts which have nothing to do with you

  • Haven't the South Koreans heard of self-policing online communities? Why don't these communities take care of their own problems? And if the community won't take care of the problem, then why be part of that community? Go somewhere else, it's a big (world wide) world out there.
    • by imsabbel (611519)
      Have you ever heard of self-policing real live communities?
      They died out with the advent of the written law, in the middle ages.

      What good does it do to "not be part of the community" for anybody when the net is just the medium for in effect quite conventional crimes?
      • The difference is that real-space is a limited resource, while cyber-space is not. If you don't like your real community, then it is really hard (and expensive) to find some unused land on which to build a new one. On the Internet, it is much easier to get like-minded people and form a new community. Web hosting is almost free [nearlyfreespeech.net], and so you can implement your own moderation system (or just install one of the hundreds of free off-the-shelf systems).
      • by Doctor O (549663)

        Have you ever heard of self-policing real live communities?
        They died out with the advent of the written law, in the middle ages.

        No, they didn't. Actually they make quite a comeback in the low-income quarters of most Western cities. I don't think for example you're going to shout racist paroles in a French banlieue for very long, or try to molest a woman where I grew up. Gangs are another instrument of self-policing. Groups of patrolling Nazis, as in the eastern part of Germany, are another.

        Mind you, this se

  • I wrote a document on the possibilities of someone having their lives shattered via e-Framing a while back Breaking Point [infiltrated.net]. I saw it then as a method someone could screw someone else's life up in hopes to revise the document on how to protect one's self. I can see a black market economy in the shadows revolving around this same thing.
  • Perhaps the South's plan for reunification involves taking away the freedoms their northern neighbours lack one by one. The right to freely associate is a good place to start. Next, maybe they can make critizing the government a crime.

  • "Because on the internet information spreads quickly we need a system which blocks individuals from using the net in cases of defamation - something that will stop the spread of information before it happens, to save the victim."

    Uh yeah... or maybe you could teach people not to believe everything they read online.

    I love this "stop the spread of information . . . to save the victim".

    What perspective.
    • I agree. You deal with speech you do not agree with by doing more speech that makes a counter point. That's a lot healthier and easier to accomplish than running around trying to muzzle people. Who muzzles the muzzlers?
    • by aussie_a (778472)
      Uh yeah... or maybe you could teach people not to believe everything they read online.
      The problem is though, that the information is correct. The boss's phone number, the victim's street adress and credit card number does tend to be correct in these cyber bullying cases.
  • by Txiasaeia (581598) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @11:02AM (#16715517)
    According to the article, a major problem is using somebody else's username/password on various social networking sites in order to flame people. This seems like a serious problem. In reality, if Slashdot collected my SIN number and stored it in a database (linked only with my email address, for login purposes), why would I care? If I say something wrong, the police get me. If the database is hacked, my SIN & email address (from which my real name can't be generated) is in somebody else's hands. So what? A random number generator could come up with some SIN numbers too.

    Let them collect numbers. If it stops cyber-bullying, which is a *real* problem in our world, good for them. As an aside, I'm teaching English here in SK at the moment, and the whole social networking side of the country is pretty much invisible to me. The article was an interesting insight into a culture that, as a non-Korean speaker, I can never be a part of.

    • In reality, if Slashdot collected my SIN number and stored it in a database (linked only with my email address, for login purposes), why would I care?

      I'd care because I would have to self-censor heavily to make sure I don't write anything that could be construed by a powerfull entity as a reason to take actions against me.

      I'm in the "RIAA and MPAA suxorz" camp, what if that ends up being enough to seize my computers and fine me for more than I'm worth?
      What if my political views end up being illegal later on
    • by Qzukk (229616)
      If the database is hacked, my SIN & email address (from which my real name can't be generated) is in somebody else's hands. So what?

      They use it to sign up as you somewhere else and start saying something wrong. The police get you.
    • by ebyrob (165903)
      If I say something wrong, the police get me.

      Oh yeah. That's the society I want to live in.
      • by ultranova (717540)

        em>If I say something wrong, the police get me.

        Oh yeah. That's the society I want to live in.

        Don't worry. With that attitude you won't, for very long anyway.

        • by ebyrob (165903)
          Is that supposed to be funny? I fear your sense of humor might be even sicker than mine...
  • Does South Korea have a civil court system where someone can sue for libel and/or slander? It isn't a new problem. All you need is one psychopath with a grudge and a lot of free time to make your life miserable.
    • And how does one sue a person they can't identify? I think that's the whole point of this article, is it not?
      • by Detritus (11846)
        You file a suit against "John Doe", and subpoena the ISP for the person's real identity.
  • What are the chances of this being, at least in part, due to North Korea trying to sow disunity and chaos amongst the South?
    For some reason, the mental image of Kim Jong-Il yelling across the DMZ: "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries!" seems rather appropriate.
  • by l2718 (514756)
    We've already hashed this out [slashdot.org] once.
  • It's not cyber bullying that's destroying online anonymity... it's the SK government.
  • Find something that everyone finds bad (bullying) and use it as an excuse to prevent anonymous free expression! I wonder how long until the US mandates this?

    Just think about it, mandatory identification for your protection. It's just like the passport idea but on-line.

    Gee, I wonder what company will win the bid to design and build the huge database for everyone's name and login id's?
    • by libkarl2 (1010619)
      Probably DiBold.
    • by cemaco (665884)
      Why is it, that everyone assumes it has to be all or nothing?

      In the real world there are venues where you can't participate without identifying yourself and others where you are expected to stay anonymous.

      It should be the same way online. There are far too many idiots and predators that get away with a lot of crap because they figure they can't be identified. On the flipside there are also political dissidents who should be able to post online without having to worry about persecution.

      Something along the s
  • ...spending so much time online has created a whole new set of social problems.

    No. We have the same social problems we've always had. We're just seeing them in these new places we've created.

    We've always had anonymous gangs.
    We've always had mob culture.
    We've always had people reacting by suppressing expression and freedom.

    (I feel like David Byrne.)

    Same as it ever was.
    Same as it ever was.
    Same as it ever was.

    The good news is that the people who've been studying human behavior in "the real world" are

  • What with this, and the terror of fan death [wikipedia.org], South Korea is a dangerous place indeed...
    • You, sir, are a godsend. With this information about Fan Death in hand, I finally have a good counterexample every time I get lectured for not waiting a half hour to swim after eating.
      • Hmmm, I think Myth Busters might have covered that one, but this fan thing.... I wonder if it's too silly, even for them.
    • by Shadyman (939863)
      Fan death, FTW?

      When you have a fan in a closed room, and it's blowing, where does it get the air from that it's blowing? The room. Where does it push it? The room.

      *boggle*
  • Hmm, I read the article, but I'm having difficulty imagining the problem. So people can defame you and make threats to you online, right? But in what form? Do they send you messages on your personal account (not email, obviously ;-) )? Do they post messages on public fora? Do they post material on their own blogs or websites? All of the above? I think the form this "bullying" takes is quite important for understanding and dealing with the problem.
  • ...this pretty much counts as the nuclear option in South Korea's war on cyberbullies. Sure, it should certainly annihilate the target, online bullying, along with legitimate criticism of the government, corporate and civil corruption whistleblowers, and, heck, probably even cybering rooms. It's a huge step backward for free Korean society.

    On the plus side, I'm not quite so hopelessly envious of their median residential bandwidth anymore...
  • Sounds to me like 21st century book burning. South Korea doesn't have the capabilities to destroy the collective knowledge of the internet, so they restrict its own population into ignorance and loss of impartial ideas. This is step #1 to mobilize minds under false pretense. There was another superpower who did this...
  • "Cyber Bullying Destroys Anonymity" should read "Government Outlaws Internet Anonymity in Response to Cyber Bullying". Laws don't magically spring forth from citizen's bad behavior.

    -Peter
  • Quite a transparent attempt to collect info on people , just give a look at the article

    Online mobs first demonise those they disagree with, then the victim's home address, credit card details, and even their boss's phone numbers get passed around.

    Yeah it is possible, it ALWAYS was possible, it's hardly news. Why don't people do that all the time ? Because they a LOT better and more entertaining stuff to do , only a few deraged psycopaths looking for attention do that stuff routinely.

    Chun Seong Lee, Liaison
  • The article says,

    [Cyberbullying is] happening a lot. In these situations people could lose their job, or it could affect their social life, even causing mental illness. That's all happening because of the development of the internet, of course.

    Am I missing something? How could you lose your job because of something somebody said about you on the Internet? How could you lose your job because of something somebody said about you off the Internet?
    Boss: Hey, I heard on the Internet that you eat babies.
    Emp

  • some ISPs want the government to go further and to ban some people from being able to log onto the internet at all.

    Hell, that's a great idea -- I definitely know several people who should be banned from logging onto the internet at all...

    (This is a joke, for all you "Flamebait" and "Troll" moderators devoid of any sense of humor).
  • Seems to be a vicious extension of the clique mentality at the junior to senior high level. Some bad people post web gossip about other people. Female victims are criticised for appearance and friends. Guys are often called fags.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.

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