Japanese anti-hate speech network, online activist to receive internet peace prize

By Park Ju-young
  • Published : Sept 19, 2018 - 14:06
  • Updated : Oct 1, 2018 - 15:11

The Japanese anti-hate speech organization the Kawasaki Network of Citizens Against Hate Speech and Japanese activist Ken Ogiso are the winners of the 2018 Sunfull Internet Peace Prize, the Sunfull Foundation announced Wednesday.

From left in first row: Bae Joong-do, chairman of Seikyu-sha; Hiro-o Sekida, president of the Kawasaki Network of Citizens Against Hate Speech; Min Byoung-chul, chairman of the Sunfull Internet Peace Movement; and Min Byung-do, president of Scout Co. (Sunfull Foundation)

The Sunfull Foundation, the Korean nongovernmental organization that awards the annual prizes, intends to honor the Kawasaki Network of Citizens Against Hate Speech for its efforts to promote peace on the internet and Ogiso for spreading online etiquette among the general public.

Min Byoung-chul, a professor at Hanyang University and founder of the Sunfull Internet Peace Movement, established the prize for individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to the prevention of cyberbullying, hate speech or human rights violations on the internet.

The award ceremony will be held Oct. 11 at Hanyang University, and the recipients will take home medals, certificates and prize money.

Hiro-o Sekida, president of the Kawasaki Network of Citizens Against Hate Speech, Japan (Sunfull Foundation)

The Kawasaki Network of Citizens, which comprises 156 human rights organizations, works to eliminate hate speech and end discrimination against foreigners and members of other minorities in Japan. The group monitors hate speech on social media, organizes demonstrations and gives lectures to educate people about the problem. More than 1,000 participants from the group have protested hate speech since 2016, the foundation said.

The other winner, Ken Ogiso, a safety team manager at an internet-related company in Japan, Gree Inc., has delivered more than 2,000 lectures addressing more than 400,000 netizens in Japan, in an effort to encourage internet etiquette and stop online violence.

“Spreading false information online hurts victims badly. Words that can’t be said face to face should not be shared via the internet either,” Ogiso said.

Ken Ogiso, Japanese internet etiquette advocate (Sunfull Foundation)

The Sunfull Internet Peace Movement has been working to combat cyberbullying and hate speech since 2007, and strives to promote a positive culture of encouragement and respect on the internet.

More than 7,000 schools and organizations have joined the Sunfull Movement, and 296 of the 299 members of Korea’s National Assembly have expressed their support. So have two US House representatives, one US state representative and one Japanese Diet member, the foundation said.

“With 2 million foreign residents living in Korea, hate speech that targets foreigners and minorities is reaching an intolerable level,” professor Min said.

“Hate speech and cyberbullying amongst regions and countries spread via the internet are even more destructive, becoming a threat to global peace,” Min said. “I hope to create a peaceful global village by spreading the positive, encouraging culture of the Sunfull Internet Peace Movement.”

By Park Ju-young (