Prof. Min Byoung-chul of Konkuk University, founder of Sunfull, a nonprofit organization against Internet hate, launched a campaign Friday to counter antifan sites by promoting online communities that will post encouraging messages.
Antifan sites, called anticafes by local netizens, share a mutual aversion to certain figures and generate hate speech and malignant rumors about them.
The campaign is intended to drive out such anticafes from the Internet by proliferating what it calls “sun cafes” or online clubs whose members will post positive, encouraging messages.
|Min Byoung-chul (six from right, front row), lawmakers and entertainers launch the “sun cafes” campaign at the National Assembly on Friday. (Yonhap News)|
Scores of lawmakers and celebrities joined the campaign’s kickoff ceremony held in a hall of the National Assembly.
Sunfull said that antifans who are opposed to fans of celebrities and other newsmakers have opened a number of anticafes out of jealousy or a desire to brag about themselves in a distorted way.
Internet hate speech in Korea is getting more and more serious, Min claimed.
For example, a post defiled the recent death of a Korean comfort woman who was taken by Japan to provide sex to its soldiers during World War II.
An antifan of pop singer Son Ho-young left a message on the news of his attempted suicide, wishing for him to succeed (in killing himself) next time.
“Little Psy” Hwang Min-woo, an 8-year-old child celebrity who was raised in a multicultural home, was the subject of racist hate speech in an antifan cafe against him.
An anticafe also emerged for 6-year-old Yoon Hoo, who is currently appearing with his dad on a popular TV variety show.
“Many anticafes such as those against Min-woo and Yoon Hoo exist in different Internet portals,” Min said. “The ‘sun cafe’ campaign aims at producing as many online communities as possible, whose members will post positive ‘e-opinions.’ It is expected to contribute to the spread of a harmonious social culture and drive hateful messages out of cyberspace.”
Sunfull has campaigned for Internet users to leave positive, encouraging comments to counter hateful posts.
By Chun Sung-woo (firstname.lastname@example.org