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"Korea Times" featured Dyson Associate Professor Min Seong-jae in "Past social media comments that can be haunting"

08/10/2018

"Korea Times" featured Dyson Associate Professor Min Seong-jae in "Past social media comments that can be haunting"

...The last entry among those who have recently been exposed through twitter is another MLB player, Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb. He, similarly to Hader, had posted various racist and homophobic tweets, which also date back to when he was 18 or 19. Along the lines of all the others exposed through twitter, Newcomb also expressed deep regret and claimed it did not mean anything and was just stupid, thoughtless material written with friends.

"Freedom of speech is a highly-touted constitutional value in the U.S. and it is practiced and promoted more than anywhere else in the world. Although public figures who post racially-offensive and misogynistic messages on social media do get caught and punished, the reigning philosophy in the U.S. is still that you are entitled to your own opinions," said Min Seong-jae, an associate professor at the Department of Communication Studies of Pace University in New York. He found it to be case where other countries have stronger regulations against offensive and hate speech on social media, and thus the consequences are greater.

"I think in Korea's case, offensive social media messages are easily caught, shared, and judged publicly, because of the vigorous social media user base. Furthermore, in a relatively small and tightly-knit sports market such as Korea's, I think many fans have a? strong sense of personal connection to athletes, and when their expectations of the athletes are betrayed, the ensuing punishment can be harsher," Min said.??

The Pace professor acknowledged that social media, which plays a role of both community newspapers and personal diaries, can be confusing to people. "It is a mixed-used space where the personal and the public co-exist. And it is evolving fast. I believe users need to have a good understanding that their problematic postings can become public and may come back to haunt them," he said.

Read the full article.