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NGOs uncover fake news about Gwangju Uprising

Civic groups on Monday called attention to fake news concerning the 1980 Gwangju pro-democracy uprising circulating in cyberspace.

The May 18 Memorial Foundation and Citizens’ Coalition for Democratic Media revealed the results of their monitoring of fake news about the Gwangju Uprising during a joint press conference in Gwangju on Monday.


According to the organizations, fake news has been actively circulating on websites and social media platforms, including blogs and YouTube, since the government launched an inquiry into sexual assault by troops during their crackdown on the pro-democracy uprising.

The Committee for Investigating the Gwangju Uprising, which operated from June to October, confirmed 17 cases of sexual violence perpetrated by the martial law forces at the time.

The organizations rebutted an online rumor claiming the assaults were committed by police and the citizen’s army, not the martial law forces, citing the victims’ testimonies and the Ministry of National Defense report released in 2007.

The organizations also pointed out various false rumors circulating online. On a rumor that Gwangju citizens attacked a jail to release North Korean spies, the organizations again demonstrated that it was false by citing Gwangju District Court’s ruling and the Ministry of National Defense report.

“The government has clearly confirmed the facts, but some people continue to distribute fake news,” the organizations said.

To root out such fake news in the cyberspace, the Citizens’ Coalition for Democratic Media called on the Korea Communications Standards Commission to review 142 videos and posts circulating online that distort the Gwangju Uprising.

By Park Ju-young (
catch table
Korea Herald daum