Malicious Online Comments, the Silent Killer | Be Korea-savvy

Malicious Online Comments, the Silent Killer

A memorial altar for K-pop star Goo Ha-ra at Seoul St. Mary's Hospital in Seoul, South Korea on Nov. 25, 2019. (Yonhap)

A memorial altar for K-pop star Goo Ha-ra at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital in Seoul, South Korea on Nov. 25, 2019. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Nov. 26 (Korea Bizwire) – K-pop singer Goo Ha-ra, who was bombarded with malicious comments online and suffered from depression, was found dead at home Sunday in a suspected suicide.

As such sad news spread following fellow K-pop star Sulli’s death last month, calls are growing for the government to supplement the system of punishment for those making malicious online comments.

The music industry refers to malicious comments as the “Silent Killer.” Many celebrities suffer more than the public has realized, and struggle to cope with the viciousness of some of the more salacious comments.

Some point out that as social media takes a closer look at the daily lives of celebrities, the media is expanding and reproducing this content with articles, and the “vicious cycle” of posting malicious comments is repeated.

In this process, everything from images to past remarks will be evaluated. One K-pop industry source pointed out that “we have no sense of guilt, so we are releasing the most provocative and volatile comments to celebrities.”

In particular, there has been a significant increase in the number of cases of legal responses to malicious comments in the entertainment industry around Sulli’s death.

Furthermore, more celebrities are also expressing their displeasure with malicious comments through social media.

However, there has been no change in the legal system. Now with the death of Goo Hara just about a month after Sulli took her own life, there is a resurgent call for legislative action.

“Even if it is difficult to introduce a real-name Internet system that is considered legitimate, it is urgent to abolish comments on entertainment articles or to introduce a technology that filters out certain words such as abusive language,” said Sohn Sung-min, president of the Korea Entertainment Management Association.

Entertainment agencies stress that punishment for those writing malicious comments should be strengthened while also lowering the bar for investigation.

“Of course, these comments are currently punishable by fines, but the reality is that people perceive it as a light punishment just as they pay fines for violating the driving code,” said a representative of an entertainment agency that is home to top actors.

D. M. Park (

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