US social media Tumblr has rejected the South Korean authorities' request to regulate adult content on its platform, claiming the company without a physical presence in the country is regulated by US law, a lawmaker in Seoul said Monday.
The Korea Communications Standards Commission earlier sent a statement to Tumblr, requesting the US firm cooperate with South Korean authorities' push to crack down on pornography circulated online.
But Tumblr said it is a service that enables broad freedom of expression and therefore hosts a wide variety of content, including adult-oriented material, according to a statement delivered to the KCSC last year, which was presented to Rep. Choi Myung-gil of the People's Party.
"Tumblr is a US company regulated by US law. Tumblr has no physical presence in South Korea and is not subject to its jurisdiction or laws," it added.
The lawmaker said it is regrettable that Tumblr, which emerged as a platform for illegal prostitution and pornography, rejected the KCSC's request for voluntary cooperation.
"Tumblr has been providing Korean-language service since 2013, although it does not hold a branch here. The company should give minimum respect to South Korean rules and cooperate (with local authorities)," Choi added.
In 2016, the KCSC cracked down on 81,898 adult content online, with Tumblr accounting for 47,480 cases. Twitter and Facebook had 6,853 and 27 cases, respectively.
The figure marks a sharp rise from 2014, when Twitter accounted for 9,839 cases out of the combined 49,737 pornography content detected by the KCSC. Tumblr then only accounted for 780 cases. (Yonhap)