The Korea Herald


Two teen members of 'Depression Gallery' stopped from livestreaming suicide

By Lim Jae-seong

Published : May 8, 2023 - 17:01

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A screenshot of the online forum, A screenshot of the online forum, "Depression Gallery," hosted by the platform, DC Inside

Two teenage girls, aged 15 and 17, were stopped from attempting to take their own lives while livestreaming the event by the police on Friday.

The teens are said to be members of the online forum, "Depression Gallery," a teenage member of which livestreamed the taking of her own life last month.

According to reports, the police were alerted to the two teens' attempt by their friend at 3:55 a.m. on Friday, after they had climbed over the railing on the northern end of Hannam Bridge in Seoul.

The scene was being broadcast via their social media accounts, according to Seoul Gangnam Police Station.

Just like the victim in the previous case that took place on April 16, the girls were members of the controversial online forum, “Depression Gallery," hosted by the anonymous internet forum platform, DC Inside.

In Friday's incident, a man who is also a member of the online forum, was found at the scene. The man has since claimed that he was there to dissuade the teens from attempting suicide.

After being stopped, the girls were sent to their respective guardians, the police said.

“Depression Gallery” was initially intended to be a venue for those who suffer from depression to share their feelings and know-how in overcoming the mental health condition, but the police accuse it of being a community that fans suicidal impulses.

The police believe that some of the forum's members use it to find people to attempt suicide with, and that some are using the board to target vulnerable people for sex or drug-related crimes.

Based on this suspicion, the police asked South Korean internet regulator the Korea Communications Standards Commission to block access to the forum, but the KCSC postponed making a decision on the request, citing that it needs further discussion whether illegal posts account for the majority of forum posts.

Aiding or encouraging suicide is illegal in Korea.

The forum's host, DC Inside, also refused to shut the forum down, saying it could cause copyright issues with posts on the board, and that problematic users might simply move to other forums.

After the two girls’ attempted suicide, the KCSC vowed to make a decision as soon as possible on Monday.

If you’re thinking about self-harm or suicide, contact the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s helpline, 1393, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please request a translator for English-language services.