Racism is still alive and well online. In response to the rampant violation of human dignity, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea initiated the first Cyber Racism Monitoring Team on Oct. 1.
This online monitoring team is composed of 10 university and graduate students who search for photos, videos and comments on the internet that reflect racial discrimination or provoke racial hatreds.
“The monitoring team will collect concrete data which contain racial insults and humiliation on social minorities which include migrant workers, women who have migrated for international marriages and multicultural families. They will investigate on the actual conditions of the human rights violation and racial discrimination online,” said Choi Jin, the deputy director at the department of human rights violation of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. “Such comments or references indicate that racism is still prevalent in society more than people think.”
Up till now the selected students have attended two pre-training sessions on recognising online comments that violate human rights, online search skills and the exact definition of racism.
The team will monitor public online contents such as photos, videos and texts until the end of October.
During the month, each member will submit an interim and final evaluation report containing diverse examples and cases which reflect racial discrimination and provoke racial hatred. Outstanding members will receive awards at the end of the term.
“I registered for the online monitoring team for the purpose to help socially disadvantaged groups which mainly refer to foreign workers and multicultural families,” said Lee Eun-hyun (Sookmyung Womens University, 4). “While I was monitoring the internet, I realized that the so-called ‘minority group’ are not only unprivileged in society but also online verbally. People abuse anonymity online as a weapon to irresponsibly criticize social minorities on the internet.”
“The ultimate goal of the Cyber Racism Monitoring Team is to construct an inclusive, multicultural society in which racial, gender, ethnic and other cultural and social identities are valued and respected at all levels,” said Choi.
The commission is planning to implement legal and institutional actions on comments or references concerning divisive racial language if the level of racial discrimination online is serious. It also considers taking legal actions along with the Korea Communication Standards Commissions on broadcastings and advertisements with similar contents. However, this still remains a last resort.
Currently, the Korea Communication Standards Commissions provides a consulting service for minority groups to raise their voice against violation of dignity as human beings.
“Individuals are offended with the comments on online postings. For people who find it hard to communicate in Korean can delegate their right to deliberate. When a petition is requested, the committee will examine its validity,” said the member of the communication standard team of Korea Communication Standards Commission.