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HomeEntertainmentMusicBTS’ Label Recruits ARMY to Protect the Band From ‘Personal Attacks and...

BTS’ Label Recruits ARMY to Protect the Band From ‘Personal Attacks and Defamation’

BigHit Music, the South Korean report label, says it’s going after “malicious postings” associated to K-pop supergroup BTS – and is seeking to followers to provide intel to help within the crackdown.

On June 29, BigHit launched a be aware on social networking platform Weverse warning that the corporate had not too long ago filed “additional criminal complaints against postings with personal attacks and defamation,” utilizing new info supplied by followers and picked up by means of its personal monitoring actions.

The Weverse be aware got here two weeks after BTS shook up the pop music world by revealing that the seven-member boy band was taking an indefinite break to pursue solo tasks. The group’s fan group, often called ARMY, has lashed out on Twitter in opposition to journalists within the U.S. for his or her portrayals of the group’s break, which was initially translated by BigHit guardian firm HYBE as a “hiatus” on the video of a dinner the place band members mentioned the problem. (“We’re going on a hiatus now,” Suga stated in Korean.)

While ARMY is well-known for criticizing on-line posters who make unflattering feedback about BTS, poisonous cyberbullying is actual in Korea — and has been attributed to a number of high-profile suicides, together with within the Okay-pop world.

BigHit says that one poster uploaded posts containing “insults against [BTS]” utilizing dozens of various IP addresses on DC Inside, a South Korean web discussion board. “We have been monitoring these types of malicious postings and filed criminal complaints against the poster for all the postings with malicious comments,” the corporate stated.

The label says it has discovered different defamatory postings with “extremely malicious and delusional content” and initiated authorized proceedings in opposition to the posters. “The complaint we have filed includes platforms not mentioned in this notice and we would also like to inform you that we cannot reveal every detail of the content of the complaint to ensure a proper investigation.”

BigHit described their Weverse be aware broadly as an “update” on its actions to guard BTS. “Our company regularly initiates legal proceedings against perpetrators of malicious activities related to BTS, including defamation, personal attacks, sexual harassment, the spread of groundless information, and ill-intentioned criticism,” the label stated.

The firm has refused to settle circumstances, noting that “the accused of an ongoing investigation recently attempted to settle the case but there will be no settlement nor leniency… our policy of no settlement and no leniency remains in effect.” BigHit urged followers to make continued use of a hotline ([email protected]) to report any circumstances of abuse.

Tension Over Criminal Defamation and Cyberbullying

In South Korea, in contrast to within the United States (on a federal stage), defamation is a felony cost — and talking fact shouldn’t be all the time a protection. “Openly false facts” beneath South Korea’s felony code may end up in as much as seven years in jail. But if the court docket finds {that a} defendant made true statements with the “intent to commit defamation” and never out of “public interest,” then a defendant can nonetheless be convicted and sentenced to as much as three years in jail or a advantageous.

Criminal defamation creates an environment of constrained expression. A defamation legislation like South Korea’s, which “does not adequately distinguish between truth and falsehood, can act as a powerful tool of repression,” says Pen America, a free expression advocacy group. International teams just like the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression have repeatedly called for decriminalization of defamation around the globe due to the way it can restrict free speech.

In the leisure world, the specter of defamation fees has usually led South Korean media retailers and blogs to self-censor – with gossip publications withholding superstar names after they report on salacious information. And in recent times, following high-profile suicides, information portal websites have eliminated the remark sections just for leisure tales.

Despite extra protecting legal guidelines for targets of doubtless defamatory speech, South Korea has been beneath strain to crack down on cyberbullying after a sequence of high-profile suicides.

In 2019, actress and singer Sulli was discovered useless at 25 after receiving on-line abuse for years. She rose to prominence as a member of woman group f(x), starting as a trainee for Okay-pop firm SM Entertainment, and later grew to become recognized for her outspokenness about her struggles with psychological well being points, cyberbullying and even her romantic relationships.

After taking a break from music in 2015 to give attention to performing – SM Entertainment stated in 2014 that she was “suffering physically and mentally from malicious and untrue rumors spreading about her” – she hung herself on the second flooring of her house in Seoul.

The suicide prompted a number of celebrities to name for higher help for these within the Okay-pop trade.

Then this February, influencer Cho Jang-mi, 27, often called BJ Jammi on YouTube and Twitch, was discovered useless at her house, with an individual claiming to be an uncle writing on Twitch that she had been affected by extreme melancholy resulting from on-line hate speech “and rumors,” Korean information company Yonhap reported.

Cho had been accused of constructing a hand gesture in one among her movies implying she hated males; she had appealed for bullying that branded her a “man-hater” to cease.

Her loss of life got here a day after Kim In-hyeok, a 28-year-old skilled volleyball participant, was discovered useless. He had pleaded with individuals to cease sending hate feedback and spreading rumors on-line about his look and supposed sexuality.

Days after information of Cho’s loss of life, a petition was posted on the South Korean president’s web site calling for punishment for YouTubers and on-line commentators who unfold rumors or hate speech about Cho. In just some days, it had been signed by virtually 150,000 individuals.



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