In this Oct. 2, 2018, photo, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, center, announces a crackdown against "fake news" during a cabinet meeting at the government complex in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea declared a crackdown against supposed “fake news” flourishing online, vowing to use its criminal laws to curb what officials here have proclaimed a threat to democracy. (Choe Dong-joon/Newsis via AP)

S.Korea's war on fake news raises concern of censorship

October 25, 2018 - 9:11 pm

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has declared a crackdown against supposed "fake news" flourishing online, vowing to use its criminal laws to curb what officials have proclaimed a threat to democracy.

Civil liberty advocates see the plans as an attack against free expression and question whether liberal President Moon Jae-in is pivoting toward a path taken by his disgraced conservative predecessors, who used their powers and a criminal charge of defamation to suppress their critics.

Some experts say Moon's government is becoming increasingly sensitive about public opinion as it struggles with economic and social policies and desperately tries to keep optimism alive for its fragile diplomacy with North Korea.

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