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Korea ups monitoring of fake news on Wuhan coronavirus

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

The Korea Communications Commission is stepping up its efforts to monitor online posts concerning the new Wuhan coronavirus, to counter rapidly spreading falsehoods that could mislead the public. 

The agency said late Monday that it was focusing on preventing false information about the virus from spreading online. The existence of a fourth coronavirus patient has been confirmed in South Korea, with 15 suspected cases under investigation.

KCC Chairman Han Sang-hyuk visited local broadcasters on Tuesday to encourage them to ensure the accuracy of news about the coronavirus outbreak. KBS and Yonhap TV have been designated to provide emergency broadcasts, and both are accompanying news about the outbreak with English subtitles and sign language interpretation.

According to data compiled by Global Bigdata Research, the number of online posts on the coronavirus situation had reached 65,000 as of Monday, almost double what it was Saturday.

Misinformation, however, was also spreading, including incorrect estimates of casualty counts in Korea.

“(The KCC) will continue monitoring information that is being distributed indiscriminately, which could cause confusion among the public,” the KCC said in its statement. It added that it might order corrections or delete the unverified information.

The KCC has asked Naver and Daum, Korea’s largest portal operators, to cooperate with its efforts to counter fake news about the coronavirus.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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