Posted : 2013-03-07 16:13
Updated : 2013-03-07 16:13

Kakao chats punishable for defamatory comments

By Kang Hyun-kyung

Spreading unfounded rumors through free mobile chat service KakaoTalk is subject to punishment on the grounds of defamation a court ruled Thursday.

The Seoul court fined a woman 700,000-won for spreading defamatory comments through KakaoTalk.

According to records, the woman made groundless accusations and shared them through Kakao with 13 others.

In another case, a man was given a six-month suspended jail term for insulting his girlfriend. The man had claimed on Kakao that she had a miscarriage after having sex with another man.

The chat room had 40 members and all of them could have access to his messages.

The man posted themessage in retaliation after his girlfriend filed a lawsuit against him for assault.

Sohn Kyo-myung, a lawyer, told The Korea Times that defamation can be applicable to any conversations or messages, if they are not one-on-one-based.

"If it is communicated to more than two persons and the content is of a malicious nature, it is legally punishable," he said.

"KakaoTalk or social media are not an exception," he said.

There are similar cases.

Earlier this year, a man was fined 5 million won for spreading unconfirmed rumors about politicians to nine people through the free mobile chat service.

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