Naver will hold a seminar at the National Assembly on a "smart" election strategy, the company said Thursday.
During the seminar that will take place on July 19, the nation's largest portal operator will share techniques to better utilize Naver and the internet for running election campaigns.
|A poster for a seminar that will be jointly hosted by Naver and Rep. Choung Byoung-gug, July 19, on smart election strategy / Courtesy of Rep. Choung Byoung-gug|
The seminar is targeted at aides to lawmakers and those working for political parties.
Choung previously served as a chairman of the parliamentary special committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
During the seminar, Naver officials will give their respective lectures on how to use the portal's search function, how to understand readers' comments on news articles and how to write influential posts on blogs.
Political analysts see the plan to hold the seminar as Naver's attempt to resolve the controversy triggered last year over alleged deliberate manipulation of internet comments led by a power blogger on news articles on the web portal.
In his trial held in January, the power blogger nicknamed Druking was convicted of using software to increase the number of likes or dislikes on particular comments and articles, in an attempt to manipulate public sentiment in favor of or against certain political figures.
An appeal is currently ongoing, with prosecutors claiming Druking has remained impenitent about his unlawful acts. Prosecutors asked the court to hand down a more severe punishment, Wednesday.
But a Naver official denied the accusation, saying it is not the first time for the company to hold such an event.
"We carried out similar sessions previously," he said. "The upcoming seminar will be an opportunity to summarize and present existing materials on a variety of topics, such as how to utilize the internet."
Naver has been making an effort to overhaul the portal as it faced mounting pressure to take measures to prevent online public opinion-rigging.
In April, the IT firm released its new mobile website, placing its search engine feature and shortcuts to other services on the first page.
Existing news headlines, provided by news outlets from across the nation, and a rolling bar of trending keywords were removed from the first page of the mobile website as part of efforts to make its homepage similar to that of Google.
This marked the first time for the firm to overhaul its mobile website since 2009 when the service was introduced.