HYBE Asked for Help in Identifying an Internet User They Accuse of Defamation and Harassment Against Them

HYBE Asked for Help in Identifying an Internet User They Accuse of Defamation and Harassment Against Them
HYBE Asked for Help in Identifying an Internet User They Accuse of Defamation and Harassment Against Them

On May 30, in Seoul, the entertainment group HYBE, production house of the K-pop group BTS, requested a US court to force the social media platform X to reveal the identity of a user it accuses of defamation and harassment, according to a court file consulted by Reuters.

The request for the court order seeks to support a criminal complaint filed by HYBE (352820.KS) against an anonymous X user with the handle “@guiltyarchive” with the Yongsan Police Station in Seoul on May 2. The case comes after calls from BTS fans to better protect the group from malicious rumors amid an ongoing internal dispute with a label within the company.

Some fans, known as ARMYs, sent flowers and trucks carrying messages of support to HYBE’s headquarters in Seoul earlier this month, and called on the company to take legal action. HYBE said it had no comment to add. X Korea did not respond to request for comment, while X Corp and HYBE’s attorney, Eugene Kim, were not immediately available for comment. The mentioned X account could not be contacted for comment.

In South Korea, those who create sensationalist content on social media, often targeting celebrities, are called “cyber wreckers” and are accused of encouraging cyberbullying. In a rare move, K-pop singer Jang Won-young and her agency Starship Entertainment have identified a person behind a YouTube channel with the help of Google, as part of a defamation lawsuit against the person.

HYBE asked for help to identify an Internet user they accuse of defamation and harassment against them K-Sélection

“It’s about gathering evidence on litigation in a foreign court, so when you judge free speech, you don’t do it from the perspective of U.S. law,” said Kyongsok Chong of LIWU Law Group, representing Jang and his agency. HYBE’s lawyer said in the legal document that Account X’s false and defamatory statements have caused irreparable harm to the company’s business and its shareholders.

Posts about X cited in the filing refer to K-pop groups managed by HYBE and its subsidiaries, including BTS and girl group LE SSERAFIM. The request for subpoena was filed in the San Francisco Division of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, where X’s offices are located. The term “ex parte” refers to proceedings legal actions carried out without informing the other parties concerned and in their absence.

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