Google Doesn't Want To Disclose Korean YouTube Uploaders; Turns Feature Off Instead

from the letter,-not-the-spirit dept

Some new internet regulations recently went into effect in South Korea, forcing sites with more than 100,000 users per day to confirm users’ personal information before they upload content or leave comments, so they can ensure people post content under their real names. The cutoff was lowered from sites with 300,000 daily users, and the new, lower bar caught YouTube Korea. But instead of complying with the system, Google has instead disabled uploading and comments on its Korean site (via PaidContent). Google’s stance on censorship of its search results in China garnered it a lot of bad press; the fact that YouTube Korea lags behind other local video sites in popularity probably made this latest decision a bit easier. Apparently, though, people can easily get around the ban by using versions of YouTube aimed at other countries — highlighting the frivolity of these sorts of laws given the global nature of the internet. Unless countries want to go as far as setting up Great Firewalls of their own, users will easily circumvent the rules, should they so desire.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Google Doesn't Want To Disclose Korean YouTube Uploaders; Turns Feature Off Instead”

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Rekrul says:

Apparently, though, people can easily get around the ban by using versions of YouTube aimed at other countries

You know, I was just about to post a comment asking why people in South Korea can’t just use the regular YouTube site. In fact, why do they even need a Korean YouTube?

I’d always thought the internet was a global network, but every time I turn around, I read about how some company is forced to censor local versions of their sites to comply with the laws in other countries. Why do they even bother setting up sites IN other countries? So they want to setup a Korean site? Fine, run it on American servers in the US and tell South Korea to f*** off.

kyle clements (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

have you ever been to Korea?

on every Korean DVD player, the words read “Play”, “Stop/Eject”, “Menu”, etc.

The buttons on a Korean cellphone say “Talk”, “End”, etc.

even in tiny Korean villages far away from foreigner-friendly Seoul are full of storefronts written in English. Sometimes, but not always there is a small Korean translation in the bottom corner. (English is very cool and trendy)

many of the channels broadcast in English, with subtitles, not dubbing. They learn English in elementary and middle school. In high school, they must also learn either German or French. Even if they can’t speak English, the Latin alphabet is drilled into them from an early age, and is constantly reinforced.
With many things relating to technology, they use the English word, only expressed in Korean characters “kom-pyu-taw” “down-loh-du” “upu loh-du “bi-de-yo”

believe me, they can figure out “” or “”

it’s very frustrating, because when I lived there, I was able to upload my own videos without any problems, but now, many of the friends I made while over there are unable to respond to my videos because of these stupid laws. when these laws block facebook, another communication channel will be cut off.
This law is having social consequences, and it sucks.

aguywhoneedstenbucks says:

Re: Hmmm

I don’t know that it was necessarily a flame. I agree that they shouldn’t make the rules in the first place. Personally I’m of the belief that to have truly free speech you need anonymous speech and that freedom of speech is a basic human right. There are a few people out there with balls who will tell exactly who they are and state their point (I’d venture to say mostly people with very little to lose), but some people can’t without endangering their livelihoods or way of life. So they speak anonymously. To force everyone to post using their real name is cowardly because it just gives the government a way to go after people it doesn’t agree with even if they’ve done nothing ‘illegal’.

kirillian (profile) says:

Re: Re: Hmmm

@Anonymous Coward & aguywhoneedstenbucks – I agree that there is nothing wrong with posting as Anonymous Coward as, yes, some people need to keep their identities hidden. That’s perfectly fine. But I think it is important to realize that those who post with a name/handle of some kind inherently have a more identifiable and, therefore, stronger voice. The handle allows everyone else to associate a character and voice with the person, lending them credibility and a personality. Just as you would pay less attention to some random guy on the street trying to tell you something than you would to your buddy right next to you, you also give comments on the internet a little longer of a glance and a better read when you can see that they posted with a handle. It’s partly a trust thing.

A handle DOES make a person more identifiable on the internet – it’s roughly the same thing as me giving you my name at a party…while it’s not enough for you to track me down and show up at my house, it does identify me enough for you to have a conversation with me.

There’s nothing wrong with anonymous speech…I do agree with that…but I do think that people really do need to understand just how their speech affects others…and part of that is in HOW they address others…

Todd H says:

Re: Re: Hmmm

I only partialy agree with aguywhoneedstenbucks. In context with the You Tube uploads I think there should be identity verification. Please read all of this before making judgement.

Anonymous speech has only one major flaw in that it removes any feeling of personal responsibility. Because of that, you have the risk of those that abuse free speech rights for things like child porn.

If governments were requiring identity verification only to prosecute against those that extemely abused the right, I wouldnt have an issue. But, that is not what Korea is doing. They just want to block any difference of opinion, so I agree with Googles choice not to abide.

Anonymous Coward says:

Valkor, I agree, thought should be put into place, but here in the US, you could say the same about speeding. What percentage of vehicles on the road are going past the speed limit? I would venture a guess to say that it is above 70%, but I don’t expect the law to go away. Littering is another law. I think this law is broken by 90% of smokers, but you still see those butts on the sidewalk and streets.

Anonymous Coward says:

Kirillian, what happens if that random guy on the street is telling you to watch out because a bus is about to hit you? Going to worry about the identity?

One thing I like about anonymous posts is that you can consider the content instead of worrying about who is posting it. If Weird Harold makes a post here, it seems that many don’t even consider it and would discount it even if he was saying that water is wet. Take some of Obama’s decisions currently, people say that his continuation of some of GWB policies is a good thing and defend them. When GWB said (or did) the same thing they said he was an idiot and bad.

Reminds me of a trip to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)here in NYC, there was one painting, a huge canvas with a yellow circle painted in the middle (it may have been blue) and I was looking at it, because it was just a circle, or a big dot. My brother in law said when I asked what the fuck was that, “it probably took that artist 30 years to be become good enough to create that painting”. It was a yellow dot. I just shook my head and laughed as I walked away. To him, the name of the artist mattered, to me, the content mattered. He was impressed, I wasn’t.

How many conversations at parties are totally fake? Oscar Wild once wrote “Man is least in himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” Maybe its just me, but I rather focus on content than names, especially at parties, although in the past, that did cause for some touchy moments the next morning while trying to remember her name. But that was quite a while ago and I digress.

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