SEOUL, Apr. 2 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s top portal operator, Naver Corp., said Tuesday it will place only its search engine feature on the first page of its mobile website later this week.
On Wednesday, all news headlines provided by news outlets across the country will be removed from the first page of the mobile website.
It will be the first time in 10 years that Naver has changed its overall look, making its appearance similar to the home page of U.S. tech giant Google Inc.
The so-called real-time search feature — which displays the words that are most frequently checked every minute or so — will also be removed from the first page of Naver’s mobile website.
The news headlines, meanwhile, will now be edited by artificial intelligence (AI) and placed on the next page.
Naver announced the plan to overhaul its mobile website in October 2018 following criticism over the portal’s neutrality in the wake of a sprawling online opinion rigging scandal. The company has been criticized for having too much editing power.
The scandal centers on allegations that a 48-year-old blogger who goes by the nickname Druking used a computer program to mastermind illegal online opinion rigging. Druking is suspected of having rigged comments on news articles carried by Naver, as they can exert considerable influence on public opinion.