Is the Internet a sea of information or a source of human catastrophe or a forum for democracy or a source of rumors? President Lee Myung-bak, speaking at the June 17 ministerial meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which discussed the future of the Internet economy, said that the Internet without trust can be “a poison instead of medicine.” He expressed concerns about spam mails hiding under anonymity and the spread of lies and incorrect information that threaten rationality and confidence. He mentioned damage from viruses, hacking, cyber terrorism and personal information leaks.
It should be noted that the progress of software technology for the Internet lags behind that of hardware technology. We call this imbalance “cultural lag.” It means that technology is well ahead of us but that the level of consciousness, value judgment, education and ethics of people who use it is far behind the technological advancement.
The Internet allows exchanges of information between individuals and between individuals and groups. It is generating the second citizens’ revolution. It has been long since Internet newspapers and portals started exerting enormous influence. It was the print media that wiped out the absolute monarchies and opened a new civil society in the West. If modern newspapers played a leading role in raising the awareness of human rights and promoting equality, the Internet media of the 21st century has changed the world completely.
One of the outstanding phenomena in the Internet media is the emergence of Internet newspapers, also called “online newspapers” or “electronic newspapers.” The news sites operated by media companies are similar to the Internet newspapers. Portals such as Daum and Naver are no longer mere alternative journalism outlets but they are taking a central role in “citizen journalism.” Blogging and UCC (user created content) are also altering the media landscape. They take advantage of the...
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