South Korea Bans Adulterous Website

kpopluv, April 16, 2014, 11:21 a.m.

South Korea has blocked the Korean version of Ashley Madison’s dating website for married people.  The government has done so to “protect sexual morality, marriage and family life.”  Accroding to the Korea Communications Standards Commission, Ashley Madison’s operation was an incitement to adultery, which is a crime in South Korea. The website initially received legal permission to operate in South Korea on the premise that it was only a forum for the exchange of contact information.

Ashley Madison began in 2001 and operated in 29 countries worldwide.  Their slogan for their business is, ““Life is short. Have an affair.”  Korea is not the first country to block the infidelity website, as Singapore blocked the site last November. 

In a 2011 poll by market researcher Harris Interactive, 34% of South Korean men said they cheated on their spouses – the second highest among the 36 countries surveyed. (54% of Thai men admitted to being unfaithful.)

In any South Korean city, it isn’t hard to spot signs of infidelity. Clustered around any train or bus station are “love motels,” which can be rented for a few hours by couples having affairs or by young adults who live with their parents.

Adultery is punishable with up to two years of imprisonment under the South Korean law. In 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 42 people were jailed for adultery, down from 216 in 2004. The law has passed multiple reviews at the Constitutional Court. At the most recent, in 2008, a judge upheld the law on the grounds that adultery damages social order.

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