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Big Hit Entertainment goes legal over “malicious” BTS posts

By | Published on Tuesday 27 August 2019


BTS’s label Big Hit Entertainment has confirmed that it has begun legal action in its home country in relation to “malicious” online posts about the K-pop superstars.

The Korean music firm’s statement on that legal action doesn’t go into any detail about the nature of these “malicious” posts, but confirms that the legal proceedings include formal complaints to the authorities of criminal conduct on the part of the “malicious” posters.

That statement reads: “We have filed complaints with the Seoul Namdaemun Police Station on charges of defamation (Article 70 of the Act On Promotion Of Information And Communications Network Utilization And Information Protection, Etc) and criminal insult (Article 311 of the Criminal Act) against netizens who have repeatedly uploaded malicious comments and postings in online communities, portals and social media”.

Some of the posts over which Big Hit is taking action are seemingly defamatory and therefore could also fall foul of libel laws under European or North American legal systems. Though the law in South Korea provides additional sanctions against statements that, in the words of Big Hit, “exceed the reasonable and accepted boundaries of expression and personal commentary”.

Earlier in its statement Big Hit explains that it routinely monitors the net for posts about the artists it represents that amount to “ill-intentioned criticism, the spreading of groundless information and personal attacks”, as well as defamatory statements that are both damaging and untrue. We pretty much knew this already because this isn’t the first time Big Hit has taken action of this kind in South Korea to protect the reputation of BTS.

The new statement goes on: “Materials for evidence were collected via our own monitoring initiatives as well as through the Big Hit hotline and submitted to the police”.

Confirming that “law enforcement agencies have launched investigations … based on this evidence”, it concluded: “We have responded with zero tolerance against insults and defamation against our artists, and our stance will remain unchanged as long as these acts occur. We emphasise that there is, and will be, no leniency or settlement with the perpetrators of these acts”.