By Kim Tae-gyu
The governing Saenuri Party plans to propose a series of bills soon aimed at regulating Naver and other major portals, which have come under fire of late for their various irregularities.
Rep. Park Dae-chul is leading the campaign as he seeks to prevent portals from revising headlines or texts of articles provided by media outlets without their explicit agreement in advance.
If they change them in their news sections, they should let readers know what was revised.
Park plans to submit such a bill to the National Assembly next month. If it is approved it will go into effect after three months.
Violators will be subject to a maximum of 200 million won in fines.
"I have yet to check the responses of opposition parties to the bill. Hopefully, they will be on the same page with us in consideration of the recent criticisms against Web portals," the journalist-turned-lawmaker said.
Up until now, the portal sites including Naver and Daum have been accused of modifying headlines or texts of articles offered by newspapers or TV channels on their own.
The ruling party is also poised to come up with a bill designed to restrain large-sized Web portals' monopolistic approach, under the auspices of Rep. Kim Yong-tae.
Complaints have surfaced that mammoth Web portals, especially business bellwether Naver, prey on competitors and smaller players.
Cheong Wa Dae is very critical of Internet portal's business practices, too. The presidential house also takes issue with runaway leader Naver, which claims a lion's share of the market.
"As Naver introduced the service of providing online information for real estate transactions, thousands of small outfits have collapsed," said a Cheong Wa Dae official who asked not to be named.
"This is not good. This is against the government's main goal of chalking up win-win growth between conglomerates and small-sized enterprises. We need to do something to deal with the situation."