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Female game devs in South Korea are being harassed for feminist beliefs

Female game devs in South Korea are being harassed for feminist beliefs

April 13, 2018 | By Emma Kidwell

Feminist female game developers in South Korea are being targeted by Twitter users in an attempt to push out "anti-social ideology", with harassers calling for companies to fire them over their social media posts. 

This censorship and bullying of South Korean women has apparently been ongoing in the South Korean game industry as far back as 2016.

Major companies have pressured female devs into removing their posts relating to women's rights or feminism, choosing not to defend their employees. 

As reported by AFP News Agency (a reputable news agency covering global topics), the harassment began after CEO of Seoul-based IMC Games Kim Hak-kyu launched an investigation into a female employee after complaints about her personal activity on Twitter were raised.

The female developer, Sung Hye-jin, followed several feminist groups on Twitter and retweeted a post which had a slang term for sexist men.

After being called a "cancer-like creature" who "followed a dirty ideology" by male players, Sung apologized for the perceived offense. 

She was able to keep her job after Kim decided her actions were "just a mistake but not a crime", assuring players she would "remain endlessly vigilant" to prevent a recurrence. 

After the investigation into Sung, Kim issued an apology for his actions after South Korean trade unions called out his decision. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions said that "this misogynistic action... has left many women in shock and fear." The organization also accused Kim and other studios of policing the actions of female employees. 

Players often monitor female developers online accounts to check whether any of their tweets, retweets or likes involve feminism, and if they do, file complaints to their employers with boycott threats, according to anonymous sources who have approached AFP.

"These gamers relentlessly attack whoever posts anything slightly related to women's rights issues, and label the person a Megalia supporter who should be sacked immediately," explained one anonymous source. "Game sales could go down very quickly if we don't cave in."

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