Hate speech

31, Oct. 2019

Heated debate over hate speech has re-emerged in South Korea, following the suicide of 25-year-old singer-actress Sulli on October 14.

Many media outlets speculate that the vicious string of cyberbullying, defamation and discriminatory comments directed at Sulli may have contributed to her untimely death.

According to a survey by Korea's culture ministry conducted in December 2018, eight out of ten people in the country said they had been subjected to similar cases of verbal abuse at least once in their lifetimes, with women, sexual minorities, and migrants seen to be especially vulnerable.

Sulli's suicide has driven some advocates to call for the re-introduction of Korea's Internet real-name system in order to curtail cyber violence.

Countries such as Germany, France, and the UK already have stringent laws in place to punish those who incite discrimination and violence through hate speech, although some have expressed concerns that these types laws and regulations could have the unintended side effect of curtailing free speech.

In this week's edition of 'Foreign Correspondents', we sit down with our panel of journalists to talk more about the wide-ranging issues surrounding hate speech.