More than 150,000 people have called for strict measures against cyberbullying in South Korea following the death of two young celebrities who have been targeted with hate messages on social media for years.
Professional volleyball player Kim In-hyeok and famous YouTuber Cho Jang-mi, both 27 years old, died on Friday and Saturday respectively, believed to have committed suicide due to intense harassment on social media.
In 2020, Cho appealed to cyber bullies to stop spreading hateful messages online when her mother, who monitored the comments on her Youtube videos, took her own life.
Kim had also called for people to stop sending hate comments and spreading rumors about his sexuality and appearance online.
“People who have no idea who I really am, send countless direct messages and post spiteful comments whenever I play a game. It’s really hard to bear all that. Please stop,” Kim said on Instagram.
Following these deaths, South Korea’s leading web portals, Naver and Daum, have shut down the comments section in sports and entertainment as a preventive measure.
Authorities said cyberbullying crimes in South Korea are punishable with a fine of approximately US $25,090 or a maximum of three years in prison.
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