8:55 pm - 07/10/2018

Seoul Metro Bans Feminist Ads on Metro Stations

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Seoul Metro on Monday announced its decision to ban ads that contain “personal opinions or motivations,” such as contents in favor of certain religions, ideologies and political activism -- including those by feminist organizations.

The new restriction means that such ads will not be allowed on all metro stations in Seoul and Subway Lines 1-8. Labor rights groups and feminist activists denounced the move.

The decision was made after a number of ads triggered controversy. In January, an ad that openly endorsed President Moon Jae-in was put up by his supporters on his birthday. Some citizens criticized the ad, and the Seoul Metro for allowing it, saying it damages “political impartiality” in public space.

In May, students at Sookmyung Women’s University made an attempt put up an ad that protests against misogyny and spycam porn videos at the subway station named after their school, but it was disapproved by the Seoul Metro.

Last month, another group of university students filed a request to put up an ad that endorses the Panmunjeom Declaration, which was signed by President Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un, in April. It was also disapproved by the authorities at the Seoul Metro.

The operator of Seoul's metropolitan railway system, however, said that ads that celebrate K-pop stars by their fans on their birthdays will continue to be allowed, as they “tend not to cause conflicts among citizens.”

It is absurd to me that just because some opinions are opposed by many, they have to be banned,” said a Seoulite in her 20s who identified herself as a feminist. “What should be banned is hate speech, not legitimate opinions calling for equality.”

Seoul Metro Labor Union also immediately protested the decision, saying it limits freedom of speech.

We believe metro stations in Seoul are a wonderful space for Seoul citizens to share their opinions freely, as the city does not provide such spaces, especially for students, social minorities and civic groups,” the union said in a statement.

Instead of thinking of ways to help citizens communicate with one another better, the Seoul Metro has decided to ban all kinds of opinions altogether. They should retract the decision.

Last year, Seoul Metro announced its plan to ban all ads that promote plastic surgery clinics, especially in stations in Seoul's affluent Gangnam area, after receiving criticism that they promote lookism while exploiting women's bodies.

Mods, please ignore the previous post. I forgot to add the source. Thank you!

Source: Korea Herald
jyushimatsu 11th-Jul-2018 02:33 am (UTC)
“In May, students at Sookmyung Women’s University made an attempt put up an ad that protests against misogyny and spycam porn videos at the subway station named after their school, but it was disapproved by the Seoul Metro.”

This is just disappointing. Why is this being treated as such a feminist issue? I mean, of course it has to do with misogyny, but can’t everyone after that spycam porn is wrong?
jasmineakaiumi 11th-Jul-2018 04:39 pm (UTC)
mte, it should be considered basic human rights...
taurocj 11th-Jul-2018 06:49 pm (UTC)
Why is this being treated as such a feminist issue? I mean, of course it has to do with misogyny, but can’t everyone after that spycam porn is wrong?
i would be surprised if use of spycams wasn't also a literal crime? ia, i don't see how something that's so clearly related to public safety in the sense of preventing/opposing crime even needs to be classified as "feminist," whatever your attitude about that word is. the only conclusion i can draw is that a denial like this is motivated by mysogyny tbh.

eta: i guess i'm zeroing in on the ad re protest against spycam porn and that's not really the point of the article. but i guess i also don't really see ads that protest mysogyny as being clearly political speech in and of itself. /shrug

Edited at 2018-07-11 06:52 pm (UTC)
daynr 11th-Jul-2018 05:14 am (UTC)
Banning all political speech is very different from banning some political speech, and this seems to do that. It may not be to my personal tastes, but if they're banning all of it, that is certainly better than only some of it.

I am assuming the Seoul metro is publicly, not privately, owned. There are adverts on U.S. public transport, but they're clearly regulated. I don't recall seeing political, pornographic, obviously religious, on our systems either. I don't see how this is different?

That said, it sucks that people don't feel they have a space to advocate for changes, especially things as simple as STOP THE SPYCAMS.
jasmineakaiumi 11th-Jul-2018 04:41 pm (UTC)
yeah I have conflicting thoughts on the issue because I can see both sides.

in my mind anti-spycam ads aren't political though so I don't see why they're being treated as such, but banning all political ads isn't that far-fetched to me since I don't think I've seen political ads in most if not all of the subways I've been in around the world...
welljustguess 11th-Jul-2018 05:54 am (UTC)

Seems like they are banning opinion on ads, which is ok for me because seems like everyone get the same treatment.
But spycam?

premonitioner 11th-Jul-2018 06:56 am (UTC)
more space for Happy Birthday adverts for idols, I guess.
miwa201 11th-Jul-2018 02:27 pm (UTC)
actually they're banning those ads too
goshipgurl 11th-Jul-2018 02:50 pm (UTC)
huh, really? last ive heard was that they're not banning them
cagallisakura 11th-Jul-2018 04:20 pm (UTC)
it's literally in the article that they're not banning them lol

" The operator of Seoul's metropolitan railway system, however, said that ads that celebrate K-pop stars by their fans on their birthdays will continue to be allowed, as they “tend not to cause conflicts among citizens.” "
premonitioner 11th-Jul-2018 09:43 pm (UTC)
tbh, some are left up so long I'm shocked that they don't cause more problems
lilykt7 11th-Jul-2018 11:44 am (UTC)
I get not having opinions as ads. Even if your a feminist that doesn’t mean you’ll agree with all other feminists. That being said, spy cams being wrong, shouldn’t count as an opinion to me. More of a public warning. Like those subway ads you see all the time.

If you see something say something transcends political boundaries cause it’s just about the common good. I think they should figure out a way to do the same in warning the public about sexual harassers.
jasmineakaiumi 11th-Jul-2018 04:42 pm (UTC)
mte
mjspice 11th-Jul-2018 02:41 pm (UTC)
wtf
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