With about a month left until the election, the prosecution has decided to clamp down on and punish the production and distribution of fake news.
Those who promote false propaganda will be investigated and arrested, and distribution of false information near the Election Day will lead to additional punishment.
Kim Jong-seong has more.
The prosecution will begin clamping down on false propaganda, including the distribution of fake news.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office held a local conference on public security with the Seoul Election Commission and Seoul District Police Agency, and decided to crack down on perpetrators of false propaganda and media manipulation.
As a rule, malicious and intentional false propaganda will be investigated for arrest, and distribution of false information when the Election Day nears will be subject to additional punishment.
The planners and accomplices of manipulating public polls will also be severely punished.
For expediency, the prosecutors will actively make use of the emergency notification system, where they will also have access to data on the cases that the National Election Commission is already working on.
The prosecution expects that false propaganda will be particularly rampant this time, since the election is taking place in an unprecedentedly short period of time.
<Kim Soo-nam / Public Prosecutor General> “False news is masked as media reports, which lead to distrust and conflict in the society. Not only the producers but also those who distribute the false news systematically with malicious intents must be tracked down and punished…”
In fact, according to research by a Korean big data company, the number of times false news were mentioned online increased rapidly, from 820 times in 2015 to 11,239 times in just a year.
Most of the false news pertained to extreme political orientations, such as “far right” and “reds.”
The Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office will organize an investigation team under the leadership of the head of public security team 2, and operate under a 24-hour emergency schedule beginning April 17, when the official election period begins.
Kim Jong-seong reporting for Yonhap News TV.
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