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Naver's online forums largest source of COVID-19 fake news: lawmaker

Online forums operated by Naver Corp., South Korea's largest portal operator, had the most cases of COVID-19-related fake news censored among popular websites here, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

The country took action in 47 cases on Naver's online forums out of a total of 196 cases of pandemic-related fake news it censored this year, according to Rep. Jo Seoung-lae of the ruling Democratic Party, citing data from the country's censorship body, the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC).

The KCSC also censored pandemic-related false information in 23 cases on YouTube, followed by 22 cases on Facebook and 21 cases on Naver's blog service, the lawmaker said.

South Korea has battled against fake news on the pandemic since its first confirmed outbreak in late January, with authorities vowing to take strong action against those who spread false information that impedes the country's anti-infection efforts.

Under local law, those who spread fake news can face up to seven years in prison or fines of up to 50 million won ($42,000) if convicted on charges of spreading false information online to defame others. (Yonhap)