By Kang Shin-who
Naver has rejected a request by native English teachers to remove what they call derogatory and racial postings on a blog known as the “Anti-English Spectrum.”
NHN, the operator of Naver, told The Korea Times Thursday they had concluded that they don’t see anything in the blog that violates the standing regulations or its internal rules.
“Our monitoring team examined cases stipulated in the request and concluded that Andrea Vandom’s claim doesn’t merit any corrective action,” said Kim Hyun-chang, Naver’s PR official.
Its decision came after Vandom, who was an English-language instructor at Chung-Ang University, wrote a letter to NHN CEO Kim Sang-hun claiming that the blog is a race hate group and some of its articles should be removed.
Her written request was endorsed by a group of foreign English teachers, the Association for Teachers of English in Korea (ATEK).
In response, Gregory Dolezal, the president of ATEK, said, “I disagree with Naver that there is nothing wrong on the site. For starters, suggesting that foreign English teachers intend to spread diseases to Koreans is baseless.”
Members of the online community, which is also called the “Citizen’s Movement to Expel Illegal Teachers of Foreign Languages,” claimed victory.
“This is a very natural result. Our online community adheres to laws and our members are intellectuals. We stand by what we say,” said Lee Eun-ung, manager of the Internet cafe which has some 17,000 members.
One of its members posted, “If they monitored our community’s articles and wanted to have some removed, they should also equally advocate for the victims.” Another member said, “All we want is to kick out unqualified native English teachers.”
Meanwhile, immigration authorities tried to summon Vandom, who refused to undergo an HIV test but still got her E-2 visa extended through a mistake made by a Suwon visa official.
Kim Kwang-tae, an official in charge of the case at the Suwon Immigration Office, said Vandom was still being sought, adding that her visa status was no longer valid.
Last January, Vandom filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court against E-2 visa regulations that require English teacher applicants to undergo AIDS/HIV and drug tests.