The Naver Search Word Verification Committee, which has been verifying the appropriateness and validity of Naver's search word service since 2012, tried to apply consistent standards and principles in its verification process, but there have been cases in which value judgments and opinions are opposed sharply within the committee or the limits of drawing realistic standards are encountered.
Therefore, the necessity of user awareness arose to find out the public sentiment except for the experts’ opinions and what the public’s commonsense criterion is. The survey was conducted by the investigation company Macromill Embrain on 2,000 men and women from 19 years old to 60 years old. The survey questions were composed of a) usage and evaluation of search word service and b) opinions of search word service policy.
|▲ The press conference on user awareness survey of Naver’s search word service was held.|
First, as for the results of the usage of search word service, users use the whole search word service about '2 to 5 times' on average per day, and it does not show any difference according to age, sex, region and political tendency. However, heavy users who use ‘more than 10 times’ a day were mostly ‘20s and 30s’. In the case of the real-time search, the result shows that users look for the ranking of the search words to check recent topics or issues, and then click on ‘1 to 3 search words (45.7%)’ to obtain relevant information.
On the other hand, the overall reliability was not as high as satisfaction with the service. The survey according to the age group shows that the satisfaction and reliability of the 50s were the highest, and the reliability of the 20s was low. As for the evaluation by each search word service, 'Autocomplete Search> Related Search> Real-time Search' appeared in the order of all evaluation items (degree of use, usefulness, convenience, necessity, intention to use).
Next, the section on opinions of search word service policy was divided into 1) judgment about deletion of search words, 2) portal provider’s intervention in search word service, and 3) opinions on portal provider’s policy of search word service.
1) Judgment about deletion of search words
Among the search words that were exposed as main ads, there were some differences in opinions according to the nature of the public service event and the commercial nature, but more than half answered 'Leave it as it is.' In order to protect children and adolescents, 87.1% of respondents answered that they should delete the adult video title, and 13% of the respondents said that they should leave it. In addition, for copyright protection, when the title or episode of popular content is uploaded to the real-time search, respondents answered it should be deleted (58%) because the illegal download method etc. appear in the search result.
In case of accidents like suicide and sexual violence that could become national concerns, the answers on whether to expose local names and school names as search words showed high percentage of ‘Leave it as it is’. In detail, 5% higher response rate was shown in ‘exposure of school names’. Moreover, about 80% of respondents said that the names of hospitals where medical accidents occurred or the names of companies or products under investigation should be exposed as search words.
There were many opinions on the names of celebrities and specific body parts should be deleted because of defamation and insult. On the other hand, there was a high percentage of the opinion that the search words for celebrities' romance rumors, accidents complicities, crime-related cases should be left as they were. The interesting point related to the search words for celebrities' search words is that the opinions of the search words of the celebrities who separated long ago should be 'deleted (63%)'. In this regard, the verification committee said, “The judgement on deleting search words from the public is more reasonable than the experts expected.”
In the case of the real-time searches that became controversy after anonymously reported on media, the answer of ‘Leave it as it is’ showed high percentage for the troubled religious people, restaurants, and celebrities. On the other hand, as for the names of issued celebrities at entertainment shows, the difference between ‘It should be deleted (42.5%)’and ‘Leave it as it is (57.5%)’ was not significant. In addition, in the case of antisocial and illegal criminality search words in which a specific person’s name is mentioned with search words like ‘garbage, suicide, communist, etc.’ the answer of ‘It should be deleted’ was remarkably high.
The search words related to Sewol Ferry were judged different depending on the case. In case of disgusting expressions of Sewol Ferry, 78.8% of the respondents answered that they should be deleted, but in case of the search word ‘7-hour theory of Sewol Ferry’, 61.4% answered ‘Leave it as it is’. As for the search word ‘human sacrifice theory of Sewol Ferry’, 62.8% answered ‘It should be deleted’.
2) Portal provider’s intervention in search word service
According to the survey on whether portal providers should intervene in defamation search words, the results were different depending on jobs. Only the case of the ordinary citizen (57.6%) showed high percentage of the answer ‘need intervention’, and the responses on ‘need intervention’ in the other categories showed as follows: independent creator (39.6%)> celebrities (36.9%)> businessman (27.6%)> politicians (26.6%)> high-ranking officials (26.5%).
Meanwhile, in the section on intervention on the deletion of the real-time search related to the protection of users, the intervention on 'youth protection (80.8%)' showed the highest percentage.
As for portal provider’s intervention in deleting search words for protection of privacy and personal information, the answers for high-ranking officials (34.1%), politicians (35.1%), and businessman (37.2%) showed low percentage of ‘need intervention’, and the answers for celebrities (49.0%) and independent creator (52.2%) showed similar percentages of ‘need intervention’ and ‘nonintervention’. On the other hand, the opinions to ‘intervene’ for ordinary citizens’ privacy were high with 69.8%.
3) Opinions on portal provider’s policy of search word service
As a result of the survey on the portal provider's search word service policy on a scale of one to five, the answer of “portal provider has responsibility to manage the search word service” got the highest score with 3.99, and that of “portal provider should manage fairly” got the lowest score with 2.66. As with previous reliability surveys, it is shown that users have low reliability in the management of search words of portal providers.
In this regard, the verification committee said, “Because that giving a feeling of intentional engagement to users is the thing that portal providers fear the most, they always sugarcoat by saying ‘There is no manipulation’, which means that there is no bad intention to manage it. However, because users think that they do not touch search words at all, reliability has been lowered due to the differences in understanding of the management of search words between users and portals. If a portal provider transparently presents the criteria for managing search words, it will help users to improve their reliability.”
For the most appropriate method for the fair management of the search word service, 'Management according to the principles of self-responsibility of portal providers (37.7%)' got the highest percentage. For discontinuation of portal providers’ search word service, the answers mostly showed negative position: ‘It should be continued’ got 63.7%, and ‘It should be discontinued’ got 7.5%.
Moreover, respondents answered that a portal provider should ‘reveal (79.0%)’ management principles of search word service or standards of search word deletion. The answers of ‘I don’t know’ got 10.4% and ‘No need to reveal’ got 10.4%. Lastly, when asked about the necessity of external institutional verification of Naver's search word service, 87.1% answered that 'external verification is necessary'.
After releasing the results of the survey, Naver Search Word Verification Committee presented political proposals. “First, the main goal of the policy of the search word service should be aligned with 'protection of users and promotion of interests'. Second, it is necessary to continue the process of gathering opinions of various interest groups in the policy of the search word service. Third, the principle of 'nonintervention' in the policy of the search word service needs to be reconsidered. Fourth, it is urgent to improve the reliability of the search word service.”