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Cussing, Threats Account for 14% of Web Comments

Posted January. 15, 2009 08:34,   


Online comments often fail to effectively reflect opinions of the public at large, with derogatory posts containing foul language and threats comprising 14.3 percent of the comments.

Derogatory comments such as cussing and threats are rampant in cyberspace, while only a small number of online commentators dominate opinions.

The Dong-A Ilbo and the National Internet Development Agency of Korea analyzed online comments posted on Korea’s three largest Web portals of Naver, Daum and Yahoo Korea.

The study poured over 320,000 comments on news reports that had more than 200 Internet comments each between August and November last year using a program for analyzing Internet comments.

Analysts examined 69,671 comments on major news reports on current issues one by one, the first such analysis to cover all comments on news reports in Korea. The work took four months to complete.

The comments surveyed were those that remained intact after a filtering process based on the guidelines of each Web portal. As such, such derogatory comments are believed to take up a much larger portion of Internet comments.

Among derogatory comments, cussing and threats accounted for 65.3 percent, while repeated postings of the same comments to prevent users from reading the posts of others took up 36.4 percent.

Domination of Internet comments by a small number of posters was also a problem. Five percent of frequent posters accounted for as much as 30.5 percent of all Internet comments. Considering that only 2.5 percent of readers among Web users post comments, only 0.12 percent of users reading online news reports generated a third of all Internet comments.

The top five percent of those posting comments wrote 44.2 percent of the Internet comments considered derogatory.

nex@donga.com smhong@donga.com