South Korea cracks down on online racism

Racist and discriminatory comments on the rise in country, prompting local media watchdog to toughen Web monitoring and censorship efforts, according to report.

South Korea's media watchdog will be tightening its monitoring and censorship of online racism after an upsurge in such comments following a controversial murder case.

The Yonhap News Agency reported on Wednesday that the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) will boost its monitoring and censorship of racist and discriminatory remarks on online forums after it saw an increase in the number of such sentiments posted online by locals incensed by the alleged murder of a Korean woman by a Korean-Chinese man.

"Ever since the murder in Suwon, expressions of hatred and extreme discrimination have been on the rise. [We] will focus our censorship efforts on this trend," said Nam Hye-Young, a KCSC official overseeing censorship of illegal information, said in the report.

Other similar racist remarks were attributed to people attacking Lee Jasmine, a naturalized Korean from the Philippines, who was elected to the country's parliament in its recent general elections, it added.

The KCSC said it had reviewed and deleted six offensive posts since the start of the year.

Last December, the watchdog tightened the monitoring of social networking sites in a bid to curb illicit content, including North Korean propaganda. A team consisting of eight members were tasked to examine Facebook and Twitter posts and smartphone apps.