Real-name verification in South Korea

Just a few moment ago I wanted to upload a video to YouTube for a blog post. In the screenshot you’ll see what I encountered (i.e. in the green frame).


Yes, that’s right, real name verification. It is a requirement for all websites with an average daily viewership of 100.000 and more,  only allowing users to upload their content (UserGenerated Content UGC) when they provide their real name. In my case that would be my name and my alien registration number as provided to me by the Korean immigration office. This way it is always possible to track down who has said what on the Internet. In this case I can solve this easily by chanching the location. Then again the video, which is harmless, most likely will not be available in South Korea.

One Korean guy that had to learn the hard way was Park Dae-Sung a.k.a. Minerva, blogging about the financial credit crisis. Read the story in Wired. This goes to show that freedom of speech is still an issue in South Korea.

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Maurice Vergeer

I am Maurice Vergeer, working at Communication Science department of the Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands.