Go to contents

"No Name Can Mean No Responsibility"

Posted April. 09, 2002 09:18,   


Internet Community Portal-site Netian’s director Jun Ha-Jin (44. picture). He is the one who enforced `Internet Real-Name System` (IRNS) for the first time as a community portal service in August 1999.

For that time, Netian’s decision was generally accepted as a `foolish act`. In cases of Internet sites, the number of subscribers made the order of service providers, and that is why most of the providers ignored when one user subscribed with 2 or 3 artificial IDs. Also for many netizens, who enjoyed `freedom of no responsibility` behind artificial IDs, the IRNS was `inconvenient`.

Subscribers reduced in the early phases of the IRNS enforcement. However, the number of subscribers then, 3.78 million, has increased to 6.21 million now, proving wide support for the IRNS.

A Netian authority said, "We have more subscribers in their 30s, rather than teenagers, compared to other portal communities, perhaps because of the real-name system. Swearing and slandering occur much lesser too."

"Netian’s decision, then, became the seed of `Green Internet Movement` that is spreading widely these days," reflected Korea Association of Information & Telecommunication’s manager Song Yoon-Chul.

It is a controversial issue, whether `freedom` is more important than `responsibility` on the web, or vice versa. In relation to the issue, Song said, "Considering that serious social issues of Spam mails, swearing, slandering, or even online contract-murder cases are all based on `anonymity`, Jun’s real-name system has definitely contributed towards the establishment of right Internet culture."

Director Jun emphasized on the importance of the IRNS by saying this.

¡°Information industry is a kind of infrastructure. Information-infra only advances when users take responsibility of what they do by their names. I don’t deny the freedom that anonymity brings, but such freedom must be limited to the space, where it can be used correctly. There is a sense of license, when people hide their names. That’s just human nature.¡°

Yoon-Jong Yoo gustav@donga.com