SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – To verify whether the comments on news webpages hosted by internet portal Naver were manipulated for political motives, one anonymous web developer has decided to take matters into his or her own hands.
According to tech industry insiders, a website with the address “www.wordmeter.net” has for the past two to three months provided a list of the most prolific commenters accompanied by data such as the number of comments uploaded.
Some have remarked that certain inclusions on this list – commenters who have been discovered to have left the same messages hundreds of times on news feeds – raise the suspicion that allegations of public opinion manipulation may be true.
Naver does not release data on comments made on the news articles on its platform. A Naver spokesperson said, “As comments are akin to content, we do not block outside services from making use of them. Since there is no concern over personal information leaks there is no plan at this time to put a stop to [www.wordmeter.net].”
Naver has not commented on the accuracy of the website’s list.
The individual behind the wordmeter website in one online message board early this month explained why the tracking service was created, saying, “I wanted to figure out whether the comments are truly expressions of personal opinion, or whether their purpose was to flood the web with comments to influence public opinion.”
The individual added, “If possible, I would like to receive funding or backing and keep the service running long term.”
Lina Jang (email@example.com)