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September 4, 2008

What can we learn from the Korean code of Internet ethics as parents and users?

Korea, ASIA – Having earlier posted a piece on Nokia’s Jan Chipchase and his contribution to this week’s “Beyond the Web Browser” themed Lift Asia conference in Korea, it reminded me of an interesting article I came across last month regarding Korean Internet etiquette education, written by no other than Jan’s old partner in design, Younghee Jung.

The piece is written in response to news Younghee read of “new morality class text books” in Korea, which teach children the correct way to behave online and how to avoid danger. As pertinent today as when it went live back in August, the piece strikes a chord with the debates that are flying around at the moment, both locally and globally, opening even more points of discussion…

Younghee highlights some fascinating examples of how Korea takes the ever-changing social impact of the Internet, and this new text book for children examines topics such as “preventing internet addiction”, “moral problems children experience in internet”, and “problems caused by improper netiquette”.

These are the sorts of things as a father of two I’ve never really considered – granted, both my kids are under four, so not yet online – but I’m thinking about them now, and even more points related to them. What do you think? Are you super conscious of this stuff? What’s it like where you live? Are there codes of internet behaviour you live by, or have imposed?

With this in mind Younghee asks a potent question that delicately hangs in the air:

“Considering the Internet can be catalyst for globalization, how will we come to terms in establishing the desirable behavioral norms in years to come, and from what motivation?”

What’s your take on it?