Naver cracks down on malicious comments

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Naver cracks down on malicious comments

Naver is clearing out malicious comments from its news section using “Clean Bot” technology based on artificial intelligence (AI).

The technology automatically spots curses or hateful language in comments on the portal site’s news section, then automatically hides the comments.

It was partly introduced to its news service on Oct. 29 in the celebrity section as well. The expanded release, which took effect Tuesday, applies to all news categories including politics, culture and business.

Back in 2012, Naver introduced a function in the news comments section that automatically removed curse words, replacing them with blank boxes. But as only curses were erased, users were easily able to guess which words were blanked out based on the context and the rest of the sentence.

The Clean Bot, on the other hand, removes the comment, replacing it with the phrase: “This comment was hidden by Clean Bot for user protection.”

Although the AI function is automatically active, users can choose to deactivate it for their own accounts to continue to see all comments with only curse words blocked out.

However, at the current stage, the AI Clean Bot cannot perceive words that are not curses but have been used in a malicious context.
Malicious comments have been a reoccurring issue in Korea.

The news section is one of the most popular services for portal sites, but questions have been raised over whether the comments section should be kept alive due to the number of malicious comments uploaded and the negative impact they could cause.

The debate resurfaced after the death of singer and actor Sulli, whose real name is Choi Jin-ri. Sulli, who committed suicide in October, was a highly visible victim of online bullying.

Kakao, the operator of Korea’s No. 2 portal site Daum, was faster in responding to the issue. The company announced on Oct. 26 that it will close the comments box for good in its celebrity news section. It also halted a service that suggested “related keywords” when searching for individuals so that users are not so easily led astray by celebrity-related gossip.

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