Internet Witch-hunt (EAP500 Oral Presentation)

A presentation by Harry Baek (April 11th, 2012)

[Introduction to My Topic]

Hello, Everyone. My name is Harry. I am going to talk about “Internet Witch-hunt”. It is a major problem in Korea. I chose this topic because not only was I surprised with the “Internet witch-hunt” situation, but also I want to give a message to Internet users who leave offensive comments on the Internet. I hope that my presentation will make our world a better place.

[Outline of My Presentation]

This is outline of my presentation. I am using an essay style for my presentation, so my presentation is divided into three main parts. Introduction and give three examples: Public Criticism, Disclosure of Personal Information, and False Morality that result in Internet witch-hunt. Finally, I will explain how serious the “witch-hunt” situation is then I will suggest some solutions in conclusion.


“Witch-hunt” is a phenomenon that is receiving more and more attention on the Korean Internet. In this witch-hunt, Internet users start to dig up personal information and spread it over the Internet with the intent of hurting the reputation or feelings. Often the information gets twisted, exaggerated in order to make the rumor more damaging. The three factors that result in “with-hunt” situations are public criticism, disclosure of personal information, and false morality.

[Body 1]

[Case 1: Public Criticism]

The first problem, which causes the “Internet witch-hunt”, is public criticism. To explain it, I need to describe the “Soup-girl (Korean: Guk-Mul-nyeo)” case in Korea. “Soup-girl” name given by South Korean bloggers to a woman who hurt a child in a restaurant. The child’s mother posted this story on the Internet website. The story spread quickly through the Internet and other netizens were forwarding the information to more people or joining the “witch-hunt”. Soon many Internet users strongly blamed the “Soup-girl” and left negative comments about her. Within days, the truth came out through CCTV (Closed-circuit television). The Internet users, who blamed the “Soup-girl”, started to blame the child’s mother. This case became one of the most famous examples “Internet witch-hunt” in Korea.

[Body 2]

[Case 2: Disclosure of Personal Information]

The second case is disclosure of personal information. The “Dog-poop-girl” case refers to name given by Internet users to a woman who refused to clean up when her dog defecated in a subway car. One of the subway riders took photographs of the incident with a digital camera and posted it on a popular website. Soon Internet users were observing the picture in order to prove the woman’s identity, and within days, she had been identified and much of her personal information was being exposed on the Internet in order to punish her for the offense. The girl is the victim because netizens invaded her personal privacy and it will affect her life negatively for a long time.

[Body 3]

[Case 3: False Morality]

Finally, the false morality, which results in Internet witch-hunt, causes an abuse of human rights. This is one example about false morality. Stephanie and her husband went to Boners BBQ in Atlanta for a meal. They leave the review on Yelp. After seeing the Yelp review, the person who worked for Boners BBQ told “she didn’t tip the server” and he decided to put her picture with negative comments and many people copied the picture and comments for fun. She became a laughing-stock. However, The Stephanie actually, DID leave a tip, 20% on the table. When the restaurant owner knows the truth, he wanted to compensate her by money. The money cannot compensate the mental damage.


One of the most damaging effects is that a victim begins to avoid friends and activities, which is often the very intention of the cyber-bully. It is easy to hide one’s true identity.  In recent years, the witch-hunt situation leads to tragic outcomes such as the victims committing suicide or suffering from severe depression. The Internet witch-hunt resulted in tragic results. The famous actresses in Korea, Da-bin Jeong and Jin-sil Choi, singer Yuni, they eventually committed suicide. Remember that you could make a real difference to someone’s life by one comment. Think before you leave a comment.


[Refer to the Thesis]

조아라. 2011. ‘사이버 공간에서의 악성댓글 사용에 대한 탐색적 연구’. 한국청소년 상담원

[Online Newspaper]

권혁기기자. 악플에 상처 받는 연예인들, 누리꾼 의식 개선 ‘절실’ TV리포트 <2011>


정슴임기자. 비방 글 네티즌 11명 검거”페미니스트 집단” “수류탄…”. 한국일보.<2011>


[Searching Data]

(N.D), Naver, Encyclopedia


(N.D), Wiki Encyclopedia


(N.D), Wikipedia


초이, 2012/03/05, Personal Blog


Online Dictionary


(N.D) January 10, 2012, Worst Use Of Social Media Article


(N.D) Feb 28, 2012, The source of the photo and video



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