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Alert on fake news

Posted January. 12, 2017 07:03,   

Updated January. 12, 2017 07:19


Jo Gwang-jo, who spearheaded a reform drive during the King Jungjong era in the Joseon Dynasty, ended his short life at age 38 because he was entrapped by his political enemies. Unofficial history has it that his political enemies placed honey on mulberry leaves to cause insects to write letters indicating "Jo will become king." The conspirators reportedly showed the leaves to King Jungjong as evidence that Jo had been plotting to become the king. When ordered by the king to take poison as death penalty, Jo left a poem of death, reading, "The bright, bright sun is shining over the world, and will brightly light up my innocent heart."

A news report suggesting that new U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is seeking to put the brakes on his predecessor Ban Ki-moon’s bid to run for the Korean presidency by citing violation of the U.N. law is circulating on the Internet. The news report included the resolution adopted in 1946, which says it is not desirable for U.N. secretary-general to assume a political post in a certain country soon after retiring as UN chief. The story on mulberry leaves regarding Jo Gwang-jo and fake Internet news on Ban Ki-moon are the same in nature in that they both seek to cheat readers.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched a campaign to eradicate fake news late last year. Zuckerberg admitted to Facebook’s responsibility after statistics showed fake news drew more attention than news stories filed by mainstream news outlets in the U.S. for the three months before the U.S. presidential election, and genuine news reports suggested that those fake stories had actual influence in many parts of the world. However, if "readers’ intention to trust (fake news)" is combined with fake news reports that sound like genuine, we wonder whether Facebook’s efforts to beef up its system to monitor news reports in collaboration with an external professional agency will actually work at all.

Online media BuzzFeed reported that the Russian government has evidence that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump enjoyed sex party at a hotel during his visit to Russia in the past. Of course, Trump immediately denied it, saying that the story is fake news, but the public is showing escalating curiosity. Trump, who only grudgingly admitted to Russia’s intervention through hacking in the latest U.S. presidential election, has effectively been stabbed in the back by someone he trusts. In fact, an alarm bell has also been set off against fake news in Korea, where the presidential race has effectively kicked off. It is only a matter of time before Korea will incur damage unless the government, SNS providers and users remain on high alert.