Google announced today that they are re-enabling YouTube uploads in Korea after a three year block. It was first disabled by local regulation because of a law that enforces real name requirements for contributions. This is a part of Korea’s Cyber Defamation Law back in 2009 requiring users to provide real names and national ID card numbers. Recently, Korea decided to abolish laws that prevent anonymous Internet users from posting any comments. All this time, however, Koreans were able to watch YouTube videos from their own portal, but can not upload until now. Other methods were used to bypass the restrictions if Koreans wanted to upload videos. With today’s announcement, YouTube can finally go back to normal at Korea as it has been that way on pretty much everywhere else that supports it. The community gets a fresh start uploading videos as well.
Despite the block in Korea, K-Pop’s main success socially has been on YouTube with music videos reaching thousands and millions of views. Google has been involved in the music genre’s rapid success recently with their own channel and Google+ hub. Even Facebook has gotten into the act by having a K-Pop fan page for all artists of the genre in recent months. If there is another benefit from Google allowing uploads again in Korea, you can surprisingly thank the biggest song in the world currently that is from Korea, which is PSY’s “Gangnam Style.” I recently wrote up a piece about the social phenomenon of the song, which you can check out here. More independent artists from Korea might be influenced to make something viral just like how “Gangnam Style” took off to have worldwide success as it has over 108 million views today. Now that Google has re-enabled YouTube uploads in Korea, it remains to be seen what is next for Google and YouTube in terms of expanding to more countries.
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