[전주대 신문 제905호 14면, 발행일 : 2020년 12월 2일(수)]
The police said they will take stern action against fake news related to COVID-19 cases. Infodemic and false information spread like an epidemic and cause severe damage to the people as much as COVID-19. As the Corona virus spreads nationwide, rumors and fake news stemming from public anxiety are also increasing. Most of the fake news has been false information about the number of infected patients. Once fake news is posted on the online community, it is widely shared with messengers like Kakao Talk.
A man in his 40s was arrested for spreading fake news that there was a COVID-19 infection in Ulsan. He spread the fake news that there were infected cases earlier this year even before the first outbreak of COVID-19 in Ulsan. His message was shared in several Internet cafés and bulletin boards, and the Buk-gu Health Center and Ulsan University Hospital received so many phone calls that they could not continue to work. He said that he had spread the message as a joke, but he stood at the bar on charges of obstruction of work and was sentenced to six months in prison and two years of probation.
The National Police Agency said that it will take stern action by tracking down and arresting not only the first producers but also malicious middle distributors. Meanwhile, as of the 20th of November, the police arrested 269 people in 170 cases: false information related to CORVID-19 (130 cases, 204 suspects) and personal information leakage (40 cases, 65 suspects). They are still investigating 94 cases now.
By Pyo Sooyeon & Kim Jieun, Reporters
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