Korean and international fans have gathered forced and started a petition on the 26th of June with the aim to shut down Dispatch.
Because the news outlet mistreats Kpop idols, the petition asked Dispatch to respect celebrities’ private lives, in the petition description, its stated that their privacy must be protected as the citizens of South Korea.
The infamous government petition reached the minimum of 200,000 Signatures of fans demanding the shutdown of news outlet Dispatch. This meant that within a month, The Blue House needs to respond to that petition.
Dispatch got into this trouble because they exaggerated in some articles while spread private information in other, this led dedicated fans to write this petition in hopes of getting the government’s attention to Dispatch’s continuous privacy invasion.
VIPS, Inner Circle and many other fandoms of all nationalities have signed the petition to get the attention of the government. The petition became so popular that it ranked one of the most signed petitions on the government’s website.
Fans were asking for strict measures, if abolishment is not possible, at least stricter rules should apply to Dispatch so that they wouldn’t so easily think of invading Kpop idol’s privacy.
A couple of days ago, the Blue House released an official response to the demands of the public.
Here is their translated response:
Petition to close down media outlet, Dispatch.
A petition was started to close down Dispatch. The petition was aimed to demand strong measures against media outlets that violate celebrities’ privacy by ﬁlming them secretly and releasing false news.
From June 26. 20l8 to July 26. 2018. A total of 211,296 participated and signed the petition.
Q: Is it possible to close it down?
Answer: First, the government’s power to close down any media outlet is very limited and, actually, almost impossible because ‘Freedom of Speech’ is very important right and the constitution protects. It is under article 21 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea.
We think we have responded last time that we do not accept approval or censorship for press publishing.
Anything that a journalist writes or any content that gets published is under the domain of press freedom. Naturally, it is impossible for the government to intervene. However, the part of the ‘private life’ emphasized by the petitioner is also a constitutional right.
According to Article 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Korea, it is guaranteed that ‘The privacy of no citizen shall be infringed’. Our country is one of the few ones with press laws. It is a promotion law that guarantees Freedom of Speech.
The press (Dispatch) mentioned in the petition is a media company that received legal attention in March 2012 (as an internet media outlet) in accordance with the provisions of the press law.According to the press law, there is a policy for discontinuance of a publication. If the media company registered with false information from the start or if it causes signiﬁcant damage to the morality of the public (such as obscene contents), the city governor is, very limitedly, supposed to appeal to the court for judgment.
Q: What happens when the media reports violate privacy?
Answer: Freedom of Speech is a very important part of democracy and is protected by the law; however, if the damage was caused by media reports then action should be done against it. That is where the press arbitration law comes in. Press arbitration law classiﬁes other people’s lives, liberty, body, health, honor, privacy and freedom (to name a few) as personal rights and in the event that any of these are violated; there is a process to follow to have it regulated.
The victim can request for correction on reports or rebuttal reports for damage control through the Press Arbitration Commission. The court also said that if the public thinks that the media report is a violation of human rights, then it (the media report) can be considered as invasion of privacy.
Again, this makes it hard for the government to come into terms of whether a report is right or wrong. But let‘s be reminded that the media company mentioned in the petition has been sued for invasion of privacy hack in 2013. They were given a correction report and were sentenced to pay a 15-million won ﬁne.
There are many procedures like compensation, etc. and these procedures can only be done by the person directly involved. It is better for the victim to file a claim to the Press Arbitration Commission because if done this way. The press would have to accept it humbly. There are no laws against the discontinuance of publishing news content; the government has no right to do so. However, this petition proves the will of the people who seriously considers the issue of privacy violations and defamation issues caused by media reports. Closing down a media outlet is something that the government is unable to do.
However, since it is possible to avoid any damages and since privacy is a constitutional right, we are hoping that social awareness regarding this issue will be increased.
What do you think of this?
Translation source: @ALEXAsaki