Freedom of speech should be done with more responsibility
Freedom of speech should be done with more responsibility
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2008.10.10 17:18
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             The recent suicide of ’s most favorite top star Choi Jin-sil, put the whole nation into a deep grief. Imprudent comments by Internet users on various websites are assumed to be one of the reasons that caused the top start to commit suicide. After the death of actor Ahn Jae-hwan, Choi has been accused of being one of the main money lenders who threatened Ahn and made him to commit suicide. Of course, the accusation is nowhere near the truth or has been proven.


The so-called “ackplers,” (meaning people posting false or thoughtless comments on the Internet) have been causing a lot of problems since the development of Internet. As Korea is one of the countries with active Internet users, Internet space has acted as the main place to exchange opinions. However, with some users disseminating false information using of anonymity has hurt several people, especially those whose identities are revealed to the public. Choi was another victim of these unproven hollowing comments on the Internet.


Moreover, there was an incident at the Student Union Building recently. The rainbow flag that represents equal rights for sexual minorities hung on the building by Byunnal, a club that promotes rights of lesbians, was stolen. Byunnal screened the CCTV and posted up a notice afterwards warning the people who took the flag to return it and apologize to them officially. However, their request was not met and instead, another poster written by one of the three people who took the flag was posted again on the building.


The person explained that she was a Christian and protecting the rights of sexual minorities is against God’s will. So she took the flag along with her colleagues who shared the same dislike of sexual minorities. Following the poster, more than 20 related letters and posters written by Ewha students with their opinions regarding this incident, was posted at the building. Among those, there were logical and polite rebuttals, but blames or satires.


We live in an era where freedom of speech is protected and means for expressing one’s opinion varies. However, this excessive liberty and choice have made people rather irresponsible about their actions and thus, have led to irreplaceable consequences.


Everyone has the right to express their own opinions. However, it should be done in a responsible way where innocent people do not get hurt by false information. Also, more respect for other people’s opinion is what lacks among people. Just as we have our own opinion, other people have their opinions too, and it should be valued and respected. Although it seems like common sense, the two recent incidents show how irresponsible and impolite people are these days. These attributes must be soon recovered by individuals.  


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