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Line under fire over mobile stamps mocking President Moon

Line Corp., a Japanese subsidiary of South Korea’s major portal Naver, has come under criticism for selling mobile emoticons that portrayed President Moon Jae-in in a disparaging way.

Line hurriedly removed the stamps from its online store available in Korea and Japan after Korean users filed a complaint about the problematic mobile content.

Stamps of Mr. Moon (Screen grab of Line Store)
Stamps of Mr. Moon (Screen grab of Line Store)

Line took down the collection of emoticons titled “Stamps of Mr. Moon” from its online store Wednesday, shortly after getting complaints from Korean users.

The stickers, which depict President Moon in grotesque forms, sparked fury from Korean users. The character’s hair was disheveled and the eyes and mouth were shaped abnormally. Each emoticon comes with a Japanese phrase referring to the deepening diplomatic and economic disputes between Korea and Japan.

Line said it failed to filter out the problematic emoticons in its screening process.

Line allows individuals to share and sell their mobile content on its store, but the sales of products that defame or disparage a specific person, nation, company or organization are prohibited.

Line runs one of the world’s biggest mobile messenger services, with its global users numbered at some 164 million. Line app, which dominates the Japanese messenger market, is popular across Asia.

By Choi Ji-won (