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Election Coverage Regulations to be Imposed On Internet Communities

Election Coverage Regulations to be Imposed On Internet Communities

Posted March. 08, 2006 03:07,   


DCInside (www.dcinside.com), the Internet portal widely known for its distribution of synthesized photographic images and its role in coining new terms such as “ah-hae-haet,” was cautioned yesterday by the Internet Election News Deliberation Commission under the National Election Commission for “unfair broadcasting.”

With GNP lawmaker Kim Moon-soo’s declaration to run for governor of Gyeonggi Province in the regional elections this May, the site’s posting of nine of Kim’s essays and a banner with Kim’s picture on it were viewed as something that could potentially damage the election chances of other candidates.

DCInside’s content largely comprises digital camera related information and various parodies, while the news it provides hardly goes beyond entertainment issues, which is why Internet users are calling the review committee’s action “absurd.”

According to the review committee’s standards, numerous Internet communities that operate based on articles posted by “Internet user-reporters,” not to mention Internet magazines and Internet news providers, will be regarded as “the press” and placed under review.

“The election law states that regardless of being registered as an Internet news provider in accordance with the newspaper act, an Internet homepage or any other place that provides broadcasted, edited, or written articles for the distribution of public opinion or information through the Internet should be seen as an Internet press,” claimed the review committee.

The committee can order the insertion of a warning sign on a website that is cautioned continuously and can file a lawsuit should the site refuse to follow.

Regarding the committee’s actions, some Internet users criticize its definition of the Internet press as too broad, pointing out how such an action may contract the freedom of expression on the net.

The committee’s standards may render the introduction of a certain candidate’s views on an Internet community dealing with women’s rights, environmental issues, or labor issues, a violation of the election law.

However, Ahn Myung-gyu, leader of review team at the deliberation commission, said, “The Internet’s power in elections is growing everyday. Despite some opposition, I believe there exists a social agreement on the need for a minimal regulation mechanism regarding election coverage.”

Kang-Myoung Chang tesomiom@donga.com