Girl band NewJeans takes legal action against cyberbullying

By Park Sae-jin Posted : April 12, 2024, 10:46 Updated : April 12, 2024, 13:39
Photographed by Yoo Dae-gil  dbeorlf123ajunewscom
[Photographed by Yoo Dae-gil =]

SEOUL, April 12 (AJU PRESS) - K-pop girl band NewJeans has taken action against cyberbullies by pursuing legal measures in an ongoing defamation case. The five-member band has filed a request with a federal court in California, urging Google to disclose the identity of a user who repeatedly posted malicious content targeting NewJeans.

Cyberbullying within the K-pop industry poses a significant threat to artists. Awareness of the detrimental effects of online attacks has grown here, particularly following the tragic suicides of prominent stars such as Jonghyun from the boy band SHINee, Suli from the girl band (f)X, and Gu Hara from KARA. These stars endured years of relentless cyberbullying.

The methods of cyberattacks against celebrities have evolved over time. Initially confined to malicious comments on entertainment news articles, cyberbullies have since migrated to social media platforms, where they orchestrate coordinated attacks. In the latest wave, a new generation of cyberbullies is resorting to creating and distributing misleading content on YouTube, under the misbelief that South Korean authorities are unable to trace users utilizing foreign services.

NewJeans' agency, ADOR, announced on Thursday that their legal representative filed a request in March to trace a YouTube user who engaged in malicious online behavior targeting the top K-pop band. If approved by the court, ADOR plans to pursue legal action against the cyberbully for defamation and insults. "We consistently take legal measures to protect the rights of ADOR artists," the agency said.

Although celebrities taking legal action against cyberbullies is not an uncommon sight in South Korea, it is rare for cyberbullies to get punished because artists normally decide to "forgive" them, thinking taking a stern stance against attackers could ruin their perfect image.

In various statements, ADOR has underscored its commitment to take strong legal action against cyberbullies, particularly because two NewJeans members, Hyein (15) and Haerin (17), are minors under the age of 19, the legal age of adulthood in South Korea. ADOR is not the first K-pop agency to file a request to Google to identify a user. Starship Entertainment the agency of popular K-pop girl band IVE, succeeded in receiving identity information from the YouTube operator in 2023.
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