Identity online and Korea

Here’s one for you identity nuts out there (hankyoreh):

Identification verification required for online boards
New rules may reduce slander on the net

As of June 27, South Korea’s major Internet portal operators, including Naver and Daum, are being required to verify the identification of anyone who attempts to leave a comment on their online bulletin boards.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communication, a ‘‘limited real-name system’’ will be introduced to major portal operators on a trial basis, before being fully enforced later next month, when a total of 35 Internet business operators will be subject to the new regulation.

Under the new system, web surfers will need to undergo a identification-verification process before being allowed to leave comments on online bulletin boards. In the past, users were allowed to use these services without having to verify their identities. It is assumed that the new requirement will reduce anonymous cyber-slander.

Those under age 14 will need the approval of their legal representatives in order to get their identification verified. Foreigners will be able to use the Foreigner Registration Numbers that they received upon entering the country.

‘‘For the time being, visitors to our site will see a pop-up window, prompting them to enter their Resident Registration Numbers for verification,’’ a Naver spokesperson said. ‘‘Without proper identification, they will be limited to personal services, such as email, short messages, blogs and communities.’’

A Daum spokesperson said, ‘‘There are around 22 million members who log in to our site at least once a month… Content without identification can be moved to our public bulletin board only when the real name of the person uploading the information is verified. He or she can only leave comments with a pen name once the verification process is complete.’’

Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]

Remember: in Asia it’s more common to have totally anonymous posting – think 2CH the largest online community in the world (Japan). In the West, it’s more typical that we have both email and CAPTCHA (text as graphic) verification.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

4 thoughts on “Identity online and Korea

  1. Wow – RRN’s required just to post a comment.

    I wonder if this will cause an exodus of servers from Korea to international hosting providers where this law wont/cant be applied to in a similar situation to that of the USA music copyright laws currently being implemented next month.

    When is the law going to realise that ‘bandaids’ dont work and that the internet is truly global

    Dean Collins


  2. Verification wont help. You can use dozens of temporary email services like www.mytrashmail.com to stay anonymous and still confirm your comment.

  3. Hey anonymous….rtfa snapperhead.

    They aren’t talking about verifying against a fake email address they are asking you to enter (and I guess confirm against your name/home address/ or some other personal non displayed information in a web app gov database) so basically every web forum you post against you will need to provide your RRN (similar to the united states SSN), hmm wonder how many web forums are going to suffer hack attacks to steal personal information.

    Dean Collins

  4. Pay-per-service use credit cards, which is a form of verification.*shrugs* So there are less issues with communities such as Blizzard’s world of warcraft, for example, and more with Second Life which allows free accounts. As usual, it will inconvenience naughty members (who find easily find scripts to get around verification) not at all, and piss off privacy advocates mightily.

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