SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Naver, the largest web portal in South Korea, revamped its news service on Tuesday, including shutting down the comments section for suicide-related articles.
Naver announced that as part of its efforts to foster a healthy online environment, it would exclude the comments and recommendation sticker services for articles recognized by AI as suicide-related ones, effective from the same day.
Instead, a suicide prevention banner saying ‘You are cherished’ will be displayed at the bottom of the concerned articles.
Prior to this, the web portal Daum, operated by Kakao, also revamped its news service. A notice popup saying ‘This article requires caution’ now appears first for suicide-related articles, and users can only read them after clicking on the view button, starting early this month. However, Daum did not shut down the comments section for suicide-related articles.
As suicide is becoming a pressing social issue, the nation’s two largest web portals are improving their news service, based on the recognition that access to suicide-related news can contribute to imitation suicides.
Naver recently signed an MOU with the Ministry of Health and Welfare to prevent suicide and promote a culture of life respect. Naver is also working on long-term initiatives using AI for suicide prevention.
Naver emphasized that its decision to shut down the comments section for suicide articles is part of the MOU it signed with the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Furthermore, Naver unveiled a string of measures to enhance the quality of its news service, including providing a collection of fact-checked articles, improving accessibility to the page that compiles correction reports, and encouraging follow-up comments, all aimed at ensuring the provision of accurate news and protecting users.
On the fact-check page, Naver plans to collect and provide fact-checked news from various news media, prioritizing the newest updates.
Recently, Naver faced criticism after discontinuing financial support for the nation’s only fact-check platform, SNU FactCheck, and closing the fact-check section on the News Home site.
However, Naver officials said that this move aims to gather and provide a more extensive range of fact-checked news produced by a diverse set of news media, rather than shutting down the fact-check page.
Kevin Lee (email@example.com)