The Korea Communications Standards Commission has unveiled regulations for multi-platform service providers including Multi Channel Network (MCN) because of their tremendous influence in society. The reason behind the revised legislative regulations is to ensure stability. With widespread use of the internet, everyone is a sender and user of shared public information. Moreover, the proliferation of diverse digital devices such as smartphones and tablets makes it easy to access media content through multiple channels. Accordingly, multi-platform content providers like MCN, which operate off of blogs and social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Kakao Story, are empowering netizens to consume provider’s active content creation activites.
Compared to the dispatch of information and ease of public access, multi-platform content regulation has fallen far behind. The problem is that, more and more treacherous and dangerous content is being produced by a large number of multi-platform service providers to attract viewers. Examples of this include social scandals like intemperate jokes, gambling, and money scams. In response to the problems, Park Hyojong, Chairperson Korea Communications Standards Commission, said, “There is an immediate need to create a stable foundation that guarantees steady grown in Korea’s multi-platform content industry. For this reason, the Commission will establish a system to ensure proper blending of creativity and integrity.”
However, the proposal is actually clashed with contradiction. One’s freedom of speech is the driving force behind the growth in multi-platform content. In other words, if the government starts to implement policy and regulations, one’s freedom of speech is affected. Multiplatform content must be allowed a broader range of freedom when it comes to its operations compared to other medium. That being said, there is still a need to deal with tasteless influence. At present, roughly 30% of the world’s population has access to social media, and that number is expected to grow exponentially. Content that is deplorable or violent often attract attention. In the case of YouTuber ‘CHULTUBE’, a multi-platform content creator, the YouTuber faced 9 distinct cases of sanctions by the Korea Communications Standards Commission mostly related to the abusive content on the channel and its inappropriate speech. Despite action by the Korea Communications Standards Commission, the YouTuber remains active and maintains a large fan base with over 500,000 subscribers who claim his videoclips are exciting. Although freedom of expression must be guaranteed, people should not ignore the responsibilities it brings. Rather than resorting to arbitrary suppression, there needs to be a commission established that will engage in discussion and decide appropriate recommendations for self-regulation before establishing legislation so that individuals and groups become more socially responsible. In addition, multi-platform content awareness campaigns are needed to increase public consciousness. Because this is a new and emerging issue, all aspects of reform should be considered carefully before new legislation is put into practise. It is important to ensure freedom of expression among multi-platform content, but it is better to make changes gradually rather than in haste to ensure creativity and integrity are maintained.
Oh Soo Jin, “Korea Communications Standards Commission Prepares to Launch New Policy Regarding Multi-platform Content Include That of Multi Channel Network Content”, Yonhap News Agency, February 10, 2017