In our technological society, information can reach all over the world from the southernmost to the northernmost. Technology has benefits but can also be a controversial tool when deflected from its main function.
Technological leadership of Korea is undeniable since we can experience fast Internet connection and see a great number of people holding smartphones whenever we take public transportation. In this technologically advanced country, it is quite normal that people express their opinions freely on the World Wide Web.
Citizens feel the need to supplement judicial system
In the modern society, which is frenetic and thirsty for new and technical advance, people express their dissatisfaction via Internet. The strength of those expressions can no longer be underestimated. As soon as a case comes into the public sphere, it inflames the web and media in turn and finally substitute the justice system. Public opinion acts as a kind of unofficial court, when facing incapacity of the tripartite democratic powers’ representatives. In online tribunal, judicial rules are not the rules of the game. Korean citizens manage to regain some legitimate political sovereignty by public power, which has often been confiscated by political leaders, as many other democratic countries of the world.
Citizens feel the need to supplement judicial system with dynamic evolution of technological sectors. Those citizens are called “netizens,” who express their opinion on the net and makes online trials. If judicial system is inefficient, netizens punish those who pass through the judicial cracks.
Netizens offer a significant counter weight to the political institutions and conservative media. The dictatorial governments in South Korea have denied citizens’ freedom of expression for many years. Since 1980, a real turning point has brought freedom of expression and Korean national voice can now be heard without a hitch. It is common to see Koreans speaking on the net and enhancing participatory journalism among Internet users.
Otherwise, there are powerful groups of netizens that can cause problems. On the Internet their action is anonymous and they feel free to say everything on forums and blogs. It is only recent that the government considers some measures to require identification before writing any comment in online. It is always interesting to observe the adaptability of people. Those committed citizens are aiming to fight impunity, as well as training the human justice in everyday life. Of course, supreme standards which govern each democracy are not applicable on the web. The government has a big role to play here, but the Internet is a problem on a global scale. The rapid development of the Internet did not allow for time to set up international common rules.
Media act on behalf of the justice in France
In France, a story went viral that the media took the role of the police and the ineffectual justice at the time on a murder case. The incident is called as “the little Gregory’s murder case.” A little kid was murdered and the judge made mismanagement of the case resulting the journalists investigate it and relay police information. The interference of the media on this case made everyone suspect that the culprit was a cousin of Gregory’s father. Therefore, the father ended up killing the cousin.
An online petition was posted in order to restore the justice after a little boy was raped.
/Extracted from Change.org
Through the case, we can understand one thing. In France, people do not really act on behalf of the justice but the media tend to do so. Whenever facing an unfair matter, people post opinions on the social network and even make online petitions in order to get the media’s interest. Once the media take over the story, then politicians or higher institutions feel the need to restore the justice when they do not want to face the angry citizens.
Public opinion will have power to make a change through the Internet or directly on the streets. People will organize demonstrations in order to address some problems. This second solution might turn into a real chaotic situation where we face the police, literally an abuse of power by our representatives. Even if some political representatives try to stop people from expressing their freedom of speech by using the police, French people will never let the police take the freedom from them!
Public opinion is important for keeping the fragile democracy alive. Each country has its own particular way of expressing its freedom of speech. Public opinion is also dangerous because the expression is unconstrained. Thus, political powers should be able to listen to it rather than restraining them.
Leila Bouhend firstname.lastname@example.org
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