|University students of Korea, China and Japan discussing on tne ways to promote the Sunfull Movement on April 3, 2008, at the National Assembly Building.|
While entertainers usually become the targets of cruel Internet comments, they are not the only target. A high school girl appeared on a television program called StarKing in 2007 for losing 40 kilograms and took a picture with the famous pop idol, Kang In. Jealous fans began posting malicious comments on her personal homepage, and the girl committed suicide on June 6, 2007
Such tragedies prompted Professor Min Byung-chul of Chung-Ang University (CAU) to start a positive comment movement called the Sunfull Movement on May 23, 2007. The movement aims to create a sounder and more positive atmosphere on the Internet. The name of the movement, “Sunfull,” comes from the Korean words “sun,” or good, and “ple,” which is short for “reply,” the Korean word for an online comment. The name also means “full of sunshine”.
Many universities, including Ewha Womans University, CAU, and Sungshin Women’s University have participated in a campaign to write positive comments on the Internet as part of Positive Reply Campaign with the Sunfull Movement.
In 2007, about 40 students from college of nursing of Sungshin Women’s University visited the late comedian Kim Hyung-eun’s homepage and wrote positive comments wishing her happiness after death. Even after Kim’s death, her website was filled with malicious comments saying that she deserved to die because she was so ugly. Some people urged her to be born pretty next life. Sunfull participants gathered printouts of positive comments and delivered to Kim’s parents so that they could be comforted amid the agonies coming from their daughter’s death.
In 2008, the campaign was accelerated and a Positive Reply Group was established in November. Two elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and 10 high schools participated. Roughly 20 students from CAU and about 50 students from Ewha also joined the group.
“When the Sunfull Movement told us to visit one actress’s homepage to help her fight against malicious postings, I realized that one positive comment could generate a number of other positive comments,” said Yang Gil-suk (CAU, 2)
In 2008, the campaign developed further to reach out to the world. As the Internet is operated worldwide, there have been some incidents where people posted malicious comments across borders. For instance, some Korean Internet users posted malicious replies about the Sichuan earthquake in China rather than caring about how to aid rescue operations. To reduce international discord with regard to malicious postings, the Sunfull Movement also hosted a forum and gathered university students of Korea, China, and Japan to discuss how to solve the problem on April 3 at the National Assembly building.
In his opening address to the forum, Min said that the Sunfull Movement hopes to have even more practical accomplishments in 2009. Rather than broadly developing activities to encourage people to write positive comments, it will concentrate on university students’ activities.
“I believe that those who didn’t know about sunple got to know more about them and about how malicious postings hurt innocent people’s feelings, through the forum. Portal sites such as Naver and Daum already have regulations to prevent malicious comments. Now it is urgent for people to improve their individual attitude to create better communication with more positive comments,” said Kim Doo-ri (Computer Science, 3).