October 25, 2019 / 7:09 AM / 2 months ago

South Korean portal to disable entertainment comments after death of K-pop star

A member of the South Korean girl group f(x) Choi Jin-ri, also known by her stage name Sulli, is seen in this photo obtained October 16, 2019. Yonhap via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) - Major South Korean portal Daum will temporarily close its comments sections on entertainment news, operator Kakao Corp said on Friday, after the death of a K-pop star who had opposed cyber bullying.

Sulli, a former member of top South Korean girl group f(x), who had spoken out against cyber bullying, was found dead on Oct. 14 aged 25, with police saying she had been suffering from severe depression.

Her apparent suicide prompted an outpouring of grief and calls to rein in the cyber bulling many K-pop stars face.

“Many agree that the degree of insults that occur through comments under entertainment news sections has reached a level that harms the health of the public,” Kakao Corp officials said in a statement citing the “recently devastating news”.

The decision to switch off the comments, which will take effect this month, was part of Kakao’s long-standing efforts to stamp out unacceptable comment, such as hate expression, it added.

The portal will stop providing related search keywords for people by the end of this year, according to Kakao.

Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Catherine Evans

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