SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — The social media accounts of celebrities who committed suicide after suffering from malicious comments are still exposed to negative comments.
The Instagram account of singer and actress Sulli, who passed away in October last year, has been visited by a steady stream of Internet users.
Some 100 comments were posted a day after reports of a recent conflict between family members over inheritance.
Although most of the comments were written in remembrance, there are several comments that can be seen as negative and some comments were advertisements.
Meanwhile, the situation was similar on the Instagram account of singer Goo Ha-ra, who ended her own life in November of last year.
The two are still suffering from malicious comments on their accounts because their accounts remain open even after their death, an indication of the complications associated with closing social media accounts after death.
According to guidelines released by the Korea Communications Commission in 2016, if the immediate family of the deceased submits death certificates and family relations certificates to social media companies, the contents of the deceased can be deleted or restricted from being viewed by other users.
However, it is difficult for the parents of the deceased, who might not be familiar with the Internet environment or social networking services, to manage their accounts.
There are also concerns that if the deceased’s social media accounts are left unattended for a long time, they could be susceptible to hacking.
According to an academic paper, the contract terms of major portal sites do not stipulate a user’s death as a reason for termination.
Therefore, photos or writings of the deceased can be circulated on the Internet for a long time after death.
Accordingly, some point out that the government needs to take measures such as lifting the dormant state when users or their representatives apply for the use of the account after turning it into a closed-door dormant account for a long period of time.
Oh Byoung-cheol, a professor at Yonsei University Law School, said, “As we are leaving the rights of the deceased to be forgotten to the terms and conditions of each site, the interpretation and scope of authority are different, and we need to come up with clear legal standards.”
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)