Go to contents

Six Internet Portal Sites Face Character Defamation Lawsuits

Six Internet Portal Sites Face Character Defamation Lawsuits

Posted July. 08, 2005 05:19,   


With “cyber violence” becoming rampant on the Internet’s portal sites, victims of cyber violence are taking legal actions against portal sites.

In a press conference held on July 7 at the Korea Press Center, Jung-gu, Seoul, “Victims of Cyber Violence on Portal Sites (VCVPS)” announced a plan to file a civil suit next week against six major Korean portal sites—naver.com, daum.net, kr.yahoo.com, cyworld.com, empas.com and paran.com—for “helping defame individuals’ reputations on the Internet.”

“More and more people are falling victim to cyber violence prevalent in replies to news articles, as well as postings on cafés and blogs in portal sites,” said the VCVPS. “The administrators of these portal sites were well aware of the contents of the postings in question, but they helped proliferate the postings by placing them on the main pages of their sites.”

A man referred to as Mr. A who quit his job after being accused of leading a girl to kill herself, and the mother of another girl, known as Miss. B, who ran away from home due to cyber violence, attended the press conference to present their own cases.

“False accusations against [him] had been posted on mini homepages and blogs on portal sites since early May, bringing about personal information leakages, curses and threats,” explained Mr. A. “I quit my job after the accusations became widespread on the Internet. Now I live in seclusion, as I feel threatened to face the outside world.”

Mr. A emphasized that the portal sites “linked insulting postings against [him] on their main pages, in the name of ‘popular keywords,’ even without a verification process.”

Miss B’s mother said, weeping, that “[her] daughter chose to disappear from home after being denounced as the main culprit in a teacher’s suicide and suffering indescribable slander.”

The group asked for a meeting with Chin Dae-je, minister of Information and Communication, and is planning to call for a forum with portal sites on character defamation on the web.

Suk-Min Hong Jae-Dong Yu smhong@donga.com jarrett@donga.com