Cyber bullying, star suicides: The dark side of South Korea's K-pop world

SEOUL (Reuters) – The plain suicide of a 2nd Okay-pop artist in a month has solid renewed focal point in South Korea on vicious non-public assaults and cyber bullying of susceptible younger stars, and the way it most commonly is going unpunished.

Scholars attend a cyber bullying prevention magnificence by way of the Nationwide Police Company in Seoul, South Korea, November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Received Chae-youn

The police believe cyber violence a significant crime and feature an lively program teaching the general public how to not fall prey to on-line assaults, or to grow to be the wrongdoer.

Fees laid are frequently on the upward push with just about 150,000 instances final 12 months, however they shape only a minuscule portion of what is going on and there is not any just right recourse for the sufferers in a rustic as soon as touted as one of the vital stressed on earth, police say.

“It’s reasonably easy with bodily violence, because the sufferer can move see a health care provider, however with cyber violence, there is not any remedy,” says Jeon Min-su, a cyber crime investigator with the Seoul Metropolitan Police Company.

Okay-pop singer Koo Hara used to be discovered useless in her house on Sunday and the police discovered a handwritten notice despairing about her lifestyles. She were subjected to vicious assaults on-line about her relationships with males, native media mentioned.

Koo had spoken out towards cyber bullying. She used to be discovered subconscious at her house in Would possibly and hospitalized, and a month after the incident she mentioned she used to be affected by despair and vowed to combat malicious on-line remark.

Koo used to be buddies with the Okay-pop famous person Sulli, who used to be discovered useless in October, who used to be additionally outspoken towards cyber bullying.

The Korean pop track international is common throughout Asia however has a dismal underbelly. Previous this 12 months, a number of male Okay-pop stars and one of the most business’s largest manufacturers have been puzzled by way of police in reference to unlawful playing and prostitution.

Kwon Younger-chan, comedian-turned-counsellor who has himself been a sufferer of on-line violence, mentioned stars have little recourse once they come below assault and it’s nearly inconceivable to keep away from rumors and private assaults.

“When the perpetrators write vicious feedback, they first start with a ‘mild faucet’ and the dimensions of cyber bullying then intensifies to a ‘punch’”, he mentioned in an interview.

The rumors and private assaults on-line make their method into the celebrities’ non-public lives, Kwon mentioned.

Each Sulli and Koo were with lady bands and later broke out on their very own, which made them extra susceptible, Kwon mentioned.

“After the artists started appearing solo, they needed to handle despair and assaults towards all of them on their very own.”

Member of parliament Park Solar-sook, a former presidential spokeswoman who first addressed the problem of on-line assaults in 1998, needs to make it imaginable for any individual to invite internet portals to take down malicious or blatantly false feedback.

“Younger stars are uncovered with out a protection to cyber violence. It’s time for the legislation and the society to give protection to them,” she informed Reuters.

Reporting by way of Hyun Younger Yi, Sangmi Cha and Minwoo Park; Enhancing by way of Jack Kim and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Believe Ideas.

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