After false Samsung rumors, police raid Ilbe

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After false Samsung rumors, police raid Ilbe

Seoul police raided the two most controversial online communities in the nation, Ilbe and DCInside, on charges of spreading false rumors that the Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee died, police announced Wednesday.

On June 30, rumors spread across the nation that Chairman Lee, who is supposedly lying unconscious, had died. This sparked major fluctuations in Samsung Group’s stock prices. The company denied the rumors and on July 1 requested that police find the people who started the rumor.

Police said that a day before the rumor became widespread, similar posts were seen on the two online communities, leading them to confiscate the websites’ user data.

The two websites are accused of violating the Telecommunication Framework Act, which stipulates that the government can take punitive measures against people who upload false information to inflict harm on others.

Many expressed gratitude for the police raid on Ible, the online website known for its racist and sexist content.

“I knew this would happen to Ilbe eventually,” wrote one online user on Naver, Korea’s biggest search engine. “Get lost Ilbe.”

But others criticized the police for not having investigated the self-claimed sexist and xenophobic website earlier and supposedly only embarking on this investigation at the behest of Korea’s biggest conglomerate.

“Ilbe has done so many bad things up until now but was left uninvestigated,” read a post on Twitter. “But, wow, they are finally being investigated just because it spread false rumors about the Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee.”

Meanwhile, in a separate case, Seoul police booked five other Ilbe users on charges of defamation and uploading false information, it said Tuesday.

BY SHIN SOO-YEON [shin.sooyeon@joongang.co.kr]

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