Science, Tech & Environment

South Korea government tackles online media

Reporters covering the anti-government protest this summer saw a lot of unfamiliar faces this summer, including many people wearing press badges from media outlets no one had ever heard of. Many of these reporters are members of online news sites that spontaneously sprung up to cover the protests. This reporter is one of them, who by day is a university student. The 21 year old says his dislike of the President was part of the reason he wanted to become a citizen-journalist, but he adds he tries to be as balanced as he can. But the government doesn't believe such reports were impartial, and it believes the spreading of biased information over the internet is a reason why the protests got so big. The president calls this phenomenon an info-demic and to battle it the government has come up with new newspaper laws, and hold online outlets to the same rules as the print media. The news has outraged opposition politicians and progressive civic groups and of course online media outlets. This online reporter says the President is trying to silence left-leaning media. This reporter says the President's new rules are pushing South Korean democracy backwards. But some academics think the stricter regulations will help keep Korean protests, fueled by misinformation, from spiraling out of control. this professor says the internet should serve the public good. He says a good start is ending online anonymity so online media outlets can be held accountable for what they say and report, and that blatantly untrue news should be taken down. He cautions to protect freedom of speech the government must clearly define what makes malicious content. The new rules have a good chance of passing in the Korean parliament.

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