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Korea: Netizens’ Opinions ≠ Citizens’ Opinions

As the longer Afghanistan hostage situation continues, there has been increasing divergence in treatment of these issues between main stream media and netizens. Netizens complain that their opinions are not taken as citizens’ opinions.

Minoci writes,

이번 아프간 피랍사태에는 두 개의 여론이 존재한다.
대다수 저널들에서 쏟아내는, 의미없는 관습적 수사로서의 ‘국민'이 만들어내는 ‘천사표 여론'(A)이 그 하나다. 나머지 하나는 네티즌 찌질이들, 그러니까 나와 같은 ‘막가파'들이 만들어내는 ‘악마표 여론'(B) 이렇게 두 개다.물론 나는 이런 이분법적인 관점과 태도 그 자체가 정말 폭력이면서, 야만이라고 나는 생각한다.

소위 대부분의 메이저 언론사들은 그저 피랍된 동포, 내나라 국민 걱정하는 (또 다른) 국민의 목소리를 그저 ‘관념적으로’ 조직해냈을 뿐이고, 이전의 관습과 관성에 의해 ‘그려려니'하면서 ‘추리'했을 뿐이다.

적어도 네티즌은 그 자체로 국민의 여론을 대표하는 최소한의 상징성을 갖는다고 추론해야 하고, 그것이 국민 여론 따로, 네티즌 여론 따로라고 생각해야 할 하등의 논리적 근거는 없다고 생각한다. 그런데 주요 언론들에서 다루는 네티즌들은 극소수의 ‘증오신자'들로 대표될 뿐이며…

About this Afghanistan hostage issue, two opinions exist.
(A) the ‘angelic opinion’ that ‘citizens,’ in the term of conventional rhetoric, hold and most media talk about. (B) the ‘demonic opinion’ of netizens who are regarded as ‘madcaps’ like me. I think this opposing attitidues and views are violent and savage.

Most major media conventionally assumed and formed how citizens are worried about those hostages as the compatriots…

At least, netizens’ opinions should be treated as representing citizens’ opinions. Citizens’ opinions and netizens’ opinions don’t have to be separate. But netizens are described as a few ‘anti-Christians’ by major media…

A question whether netizens’ opinions are citizens’ opinions has brought about more arguments about how to deal with netizens’ opinions.

오프라인으로 하는 시위나 파업은 ‘더’ 중요하고, 온라인으로 글을 통해 의견을 피력하는 것은 그에 미치지 못한다 하는 입장은 오프라인과 온라인을 무리하게 구분짓게 되는 결과일 수 있을 것입니다. 출퇴근때 길막고 남들에게 피해를 주고 목소리를 크게 내고 tv나 언론에 나와야지 영향력이 있다는 것은 옳지 않다고 봅니다…

대다수가 그렇듯이 저도 온라인과 오프라인에서 의견과 주장이 일치합니다. 그런데 같은 의견이더라도 온라인에서 말하면 ‘네티즌'이라 하고, 오프라인에서는 ‘국민'이라고 하더군요. 대한민국이 온라인과 오프라인 두 개로 있습니까? 그들은 온라인을 완전히 다른 세계처럼 인식하는 것인지 궁금합니다. 만약, 그렇다면 이미, 그들에게는 안타깝게도, 현세대는 온라인과 오프라인이 vs.관계가 아니라 and.관계라는 것을 안내하고 싶습니다…

핵심은, ‘네티즌'과 ‘국민'은 동일하며, ‘네티즌의 의견'은 ‘국민의 의견'입니다. 또한, 따라서 ‘악플/악성글'은 ‘온라인'에도 있지만 ‘오프라인'에도 있습니다…

Demonstrations or strikes offline are ‘more’ important, and expressing online is not as important. This kind of perspective would bring about separating online and offline. I don’t think that blocking other people on the street, speaking loudly, and being on TV and mass media, are just influential…

Like most people, my opinions and insistence are the same on on-line and off-line. Regardless of the same opinion, if I say it on line, it's regarded as the ‘netizen’s’ and if I say it off line, it's regarded as the ‘citizen’s.’ Is this country divided into online and offline? It seems that online is taken as a different world. If it is, we, the current generation, want to speak out that online and offline are not ‘vs. relations’ and ‘and. relations.’

My main point is that ‘netizen’ and ‘citizens’ are same. ‘Netizens’ opinions’ are ‘citizens’ opinions.’ Therefore ‘bad opinions/bad writings’ do not just exist ‘online,’ but ‘offline.’

Yong responds,

네티즌들은 정확히 말해 넷상에 접속하는 국민입니다
여기에는 넷상에 접속하는 기독교인도 응당 포함되며
그리고 네티즌을 자꾸 싸잡아 도마위에 올리는 언론인들도 포함됩니다…

넷상에 접속을 안하며 오로지 방송과 신문 언론에만 정보를 의지하는 사람들이 진실에 가까이 접근 할까요?

아니면 온오프 모든 정보에 두루 통달하는 사람들이 진실에 가까이 접근 할까요?

저도 몇년전까지는 신문 방송이랑 포탈 메인뉴스만 훓어보고 판단했었는데 그후 게시판 유저들의 토론에 참여하며 그동안 제가 주류 언론사의 정보에만 의존하며 진실이라 믿었던 정보들이 얼마나 의도적으로 왜곡 되었는지 깨닫게 되었습니다

물론 넷상에서 일반 유저들을 통해 알게된 정보들이 무조건적으로 신뢰할 만 하다는 뜻은 당연히 아닙니다
충분한 근거와 검증을 거치고 상식과 이치를 따져 분별해내야 하겠지요…

Speaking exactly, netizens are citizens who connect online. This means that Christians who connect online are also included and journalists who put all criticisms on netizens are also included…
Are people who don’t use the internet and depend on information from the mass media approaching the truth?

Or are people who go through information online and offline approaching the truth closer?

Just several years before, I went through the major media and main portal news. I have participated in panels on the internet and recognized how much information I had believed true from major media were distorted.

Of course information I get from some internet users is not always trustable. We should classify which one is sensible and reasonable…

The age of netizens is regarded as an important issue for this argument.

저도 네티즌이 국민이라고 생각하는데요..
문제는 네티즌의 여론을 주도 하는 세력이..
10대부터 20대 초반 이라는 거죠..
경제력이 있고 사회경험이 있는 20대 후반 부터는..
넷상에서 그렇게 강력하게 자기 의견을 피력하지는 않는 것 같아요..
왜냐하면 최소한 그 정도 나이의 사람들은 사회경험으로 인해..
상대방의 의견을 수렴하려는 태도를 가지고 있음에도 불구하고..
오히려 무차별적 자기 주장만 하는 몇몇 사람들로 인해 질려버린거죠..
인터넷에서의 대화가 실생활에서 직접 사람을 대하듯 하지 않는다면..
네티즌은 네티즌일뿐 국민이 될 수는 없을 듯 보입니다..

I also think netizens are citizens.
The problem is that the major influential netizens are teenagers and in their early 20s…
Those from the late 20s who have economic power and social experience, they don’t frankly state their opinions.
Even though those people have open minds to accept other people’s opinions, they are fed up with a few people who are just crazy about their own opinions. If internet conversations are not like people talking face to face, netizens are just netizens. They can’t be citizens.

Netizens’ opinions are not taken as ‘opinions,’ as in this argument:

인터넷에서 적극적으로 활동하는 사람은 10~30대이고 특히 토론방 같은 경우에는 정말 사용하는 사람이 매일 사용하는 것을 쉽게 볼 수 있어요. 특히, 이 토론방도 10대에서 20대 초반이 엄청 많습니다.

이런 곳에서 나오는 글만 보고서 그것이 국민여론이네, 언론이 여론을 숨기네 그러는건 너무 웃기죠.

제가 볼 때 네티즌은 그냥 한무리의 집단입니다^^

People who are active on the internet are mostly from teenagers to people in their 30s. Internet panel rooms are just for certain people who use them everyday. Especially, this panel room is full of teenagers and those in their early 20s.

It’s funny to hear that opinions from these kinds of rooms are citizens’ opinions and the mass media is covering up citizens’ opinions.

In my opinions, netizens are just a group.

As long as the perception that internet users are equal to the young generation does not change, netizens opinions seem not to be taken as serious as ‘opinions,’ as we can see in the opinion below.

잘생각해보세요
어떻게 네티즌여론이 국민여론?
인터넷에 글쓰는 주 연령층이 10대 후반에서 30대 중후반입니다
물론 언론에서 일방적인 보도를 할수 있으나
얼마전까지만 해도 k본부 m본부 s본부 기독교 비리 밝혀내기에 바빴던 언론입니다
그런데 지금 왜이렇게 비판여론을 무시하고 일방적 보도할까요?
일단
네티즌여론이 대다수 국민이 생각하는 여론이 아니기때문이고
방송매체에서까지 인터넷에서 떠도는 말로 기사쓰면 종교분쟁 일어납니다

Think about it.
How can netizens’ opinions be citizens’ opinions?
The main age of Internet users is from the late teens to 30s.
The media might have one-sided report, but they have also tried to investigate the corruptions of some Christian branches.
But why do media disregard critical opinions?

First, netizens’ opinions cannot be opinions that most citizens have and if the media deals with these Internet opinions, religious battles will start.

2 comments

  • Woojin Kim

    I’m in my late 30’s, about to be 40 – -;
    The thing is that most of neitiznes in my age have already lost guts to be involved in battles like how to get major mass media’s biased perception and to get them responsible for their misleading old citizens who don’t have any chance to balance their opinion.

    Even young netiznes who are in their early 20’s seemed to have an abnormally biased way of thinking. They may be Christians who consider themselves as very sincere or they be anti-Christians who think of themselves as being equipped with balanced wisdom.

    And I have to confess that, despite the fact I feel something’s going wrong, I am tired, too tired to do to stuff like feeding my family, just surviving cruel business world.

  • planet3rd

    You’ve been well deceived by mass media. That’s probably all I could say to you. How can you say that netizens are just a negligible group of people when mass media monitors and listen to them carefully on other matters (at least in South Korea)? If you’re right, this kind of conversation via internet becomes totally meaningless.

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