A couple of weeks ago Choi Jin Sil, South Korea's most famous actress, committed suicide. Now the country's officials and media have placed the blame of the tragedy at the feet of the Internet, and the rumors its users perpetuate.
Before she took her life, South Korea's vigorous online community accused Choi of being a loan shark, and motivating another actor to gas himself because she pressured him to repay a $2 million loan.
Choi's death has increased the urgency for a government that already put quelling verbal abuse at the top of its agenda, after online comments critical of their plastic surgery apparently caused the suicides of two young celebrities, a singer, and another actress. Nine hundred agents from the Cyber Terror Response Center are searching blogs and discussion boards for slander, or users who instigate cyber bullying.
In the US, the cyber bullies who contributed to the suicide of a 13-year-old girl had to answer to the law — do you think there should be a different legal standard when the victim is a celebrity being bullied by the public?