Extreme harassment towards women leads to ‘Timetabl’ closure
Extreme harassment towards women leads to ‘Timetabl’ closure
  • Oh Jin-sung
  • 승인 2016.08.29 19:24
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“Timetabl (http://timetabl.com/)” is closing its operation on Sept. 11 after ten years of service after mysogenic comments made on anonymous online bulletin board towards its female users.
Timetabl is an online platform for students attending universities in the Sinchon area (Yonsei, Sogang and Ewha) to organize their own class schedules. It also offered an open forum where students can leave anonymous comments on each class. Diverse comments from students lured others to rely on the website to set their class schedules.However, on July 25, the website announced its plan to close due to the intensity of insulting comments that had been rendered. 
The problems began with certain comments written on “Playground,” a Timetabl section on which students can share their opinions anonymously. Some male students from Yonsei and Sogang university started to write sexually harassing comments targeted at Ewha students and other female students on Playground.
Personal insults were especially targeted at female users including Ewha students. The system operator concluded that there were no viable solutions for him to cease the ridicules and filthy talk towards women and women’s universities.
After ten years of the harassment targeted towards female students, some furious female users counterattacked the male users by harassing them, a tactic known as “mirroring” among university students. This counterattack began the last week of July, but after only four days, the system operator warned both male and female users to stop this action. However, the female students who were upset at the operator’s sudden response continued to write insulting messages towards the male students. Soon, the operator decided to shut down its service.
Although the problem of harsh insults towards female students on Timetabl has been prevalent over the last ten years, the system operator has done nothing to curtail the negative comments. His negligence on this issue infuriated many people, including female users at Timetabl.
“As soon as I saw those insulting comments toward Ewha and female students, I was so furious,” mentioned an incensed Ewha freshman student majoring in International Studies. “We were waiting for the operator’s measure to stop this action. But deciding to stop its service just after four days of female students’ counteraction? It doesn’t make sense.”
This incident has become a hot topic, as it has been covered in  “Korea Trend,” an official system operated by Twitter that introduces hot topics in Korea. After the incident was covered in Korea Trend, the public harshly criticized the operator for overlooking the harassment of female students over the last ten years, but acting quickly once the harassment turned toward the male students.
“I have been using Timetabl because of its convenience, but it is such a shame now that it is closing its service,” said a male student from Yonsei University who wished to be anonymous “I believe that the problem of mysogeny should be dealt in the media in a moderate extent. Extreme publicity on this issue might bring some resentment.”
Timetabl announced that it would transfer its data filled with students’ comments on different lectures to each university’s community website. Data of Sogang University students’ comments is likely to be transferred to Ssodam (http://seodam.com/), those of Yonsei University to be transferred to Seiyon (http://seiyon.net/), and those of Ewha to be transferred to Ewhaian (http://ewhaian.com/).
“I believe that if Timetabl had been based on a real-name system, students would not dare to insult each other in such an extreme way,” said a female student from Yonsei University. “However, what is much more important is misogyny that is prevalent in our society is the core problem which led to the incident.”

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