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S. Korea's election watchdog asks Facebook to help prevent 'fake' news

All News 17:36 April 13, 2017

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's election watchdog on Thursday asked U.S. social network service Facebook to help prevent the circulation of fake news that may affect the outcome of the upcoming presidential election here, the election commission said.

The request was filed in a meeting with Katie Harbath, Facebook's global politics and government outreach manager, according to the National Election Commission (NEC).

"NEC Secretary-General Kim Dae-nyeon and Katie Harbath discussed ways to prevent circulation or spread of fake news, slander and false propagandas via Facebook, and (for Facebook) to take part in the commission's efforts aimed at boosting the voter turnout rate," the commission said in a press release.

Fake news has yet to become a serious problem, but the number of fake news stories apparently is on a sharp rise ahead of the May 9 election.

According to an earlier report, only some 1,600 fake news stories appeared online in 2014, but the number shot up to over 77,000 in less than three months between the start of this year and March 9, the day before former President Park Geun-hye was removed from office by a Constitutional Court decision that upheld her parliamentary impeachment over a series of corruption charges.

Kim expressed hope that Facebook will help make the upcoming presidential election here a fair and clean election, noting some 18 million people here subscribed to Facebook, NEC said.

Kim Dae-nyeon (L), secretary-general of South Korea's National Election Commission, holds talks with Katie Harbath (R), global politics and government outreach manager at Facebook, at NEC headquarters in Gwacheon, just south of Seoul, on April 13, 2017. (Photo courtesy of NEC)


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