Naver takes aim at trolls with new comment rules

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Naver takes aim at trolls with new comment rules

Korea’s top internet portal is no longer a safe space for trolls.

Naver announced Wednesday that it would link all users’ profiles to their histories of previous comments, starting today, in an attempt to discourage malicious messages and bring out the positive side of its comments section.

While each user has a unique ID, only part of those IDs were visible to other users under the platform’s masking function, allowing users to remain partially anonymous. Now in addition to their unique IDs, users will also have a nickname, which will be fully visible and help to differentiate users who share a similar ID.

Previously, users could choose whether to disclose their comments history. But beginning today, the platform will reveal the dates and quantities of comments, replies and likes for each user on Naver.

The comments that users deleted on their own will not be disclosed, although Naver will display the percentage of comments they deleted in the past 30 days.

Naver also said that newly registered users have to wait for a week before they can submit comments, as a preventive measure to discourage users who soon deactivate or abandon their accounts after engaging in internet trolling. Comments features were already closed to the news readers who were only connected on the platform via social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook.

Internet portals in Korea have been tightening their restrictions on public comments sections as hateful comments and cyberbullying toward celebrities gained controversy last year - especially after singer and actress Choi Jin-ri, better known as Sulli, committed suicide after hateful comments reportedly drove her deepening depression.

Kakao, as a result, removed certain search keywords related to public figures and temporarily closed comments features for entertainment news on Daum, Korea’s second-largest internet portal, last year.

Naver said it will improve its artificial intelligence technology, which it calls its “Cleanbot” service, to filter and block malicious comments in the future.

BY KIM YEON-AH [kim.yeonah@joongang.co.kr]

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