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2005’s Most Popular Issues

Posted December. 24, 2005 03:00,   


The most popular topic this year among Internet users was, of course, the Hwang Woo-suk controversy. On Yahoo, the Hwang Woo-suk controversy took the top place for the most-read articles, as well as the articles that gathered the most comments.

Below are the keywords in each section of 2005, as selected by Internet users.


The keywords in politics this year were “army” and “political identity controversy.” The eight articles out of the 30 most read articles in politics on Naver were army-related.

Earlier this year, a company commander in the army training camp at Nonsan force fed human excreta to a trainee. The case prompted many Internet users to tell their experiences online (ranked 10). Other popular topics included the Private Kim case, in which he randomly shot and killed eight people in his barracks (ranked 23), the long discussed issue of women’s army service (ranked 8), and the issue of extra points for army service (ranked 28).

There was significant controversy between Internet users regarding the identity of conservatives and progressives. On Yahoo, of the top 30 articles with the most replies in politics and society were eight articles concerning “identity controversy.”

The issue surrounding the statue of General Douglas MacArthur (ranked 21 in comments) and Professor Kang Jeong-gu of Dongkuk University (ranked third in comments) were at the center of the identity controversy.


This year’s keyword in economy was “Samsung.” On Naver, 10 out of 30 most read articles in economy were concerning Samsung. The most read article was the suicide of Yoon-hyeong, Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s youngest daughter. The article with the most comments was about Korea University students causing a riot at Chairman Lee’s honorary philosophy doctorate reception ceremony from the university.

Real estate and the price hike of cigarettes were also popular issues.


In the society sector, of the 30 most read articles, 17 of them were related to crime.

The most read articles included the case where a couple left their 4-month daughter at home while playing computer games at an Internet Cafe, which caused her death (ranked 9), and the sale of female eggs online (ranked 16).

There were 14 articles concerning children and teenagers. These include the nurse who took funny pictures of newborns and posted them up on her homepage (ranked 7), Iljinhoi, a teenage gang, performing sexual acts in public (ranked 13), and the city of Seoguipo providing unfit lunches to underprivileged children (ranked 18).

Bae Gyu-han, a professor of sociology at Kookmin University, said, “As younger Internet users take an interest in participating in society and become more aware of their rights, they take an interest in articles on teenagers and crime, which they can easily see in society.”

In the social section, there were articles which were especially popular online. The so-called “fan lady,” who is suffering side effects from numerous plastic surgeries, “dog poop girl,” who did not clean up the mess her dog made on the subway, and the Internet star who became famous with a video of her dancing, placed 23rd, 25th, 30th, respectively, on Yahoo’s most read articles.