Media watchdogs criticise South Korea’s new ‘fake news’ bill

A new bill proposed by South Korea’s ruling party is set to step up penalties for “fake news”. Under the Press Arbitration Act, news organizations would be required to issue prompt corrections for the “deliberate” or “grossly negligent” dissemination of false news reports and calls to increase the penalty by five times, if a court acknowledges the publication is false.

For cases that are hard to track the specific damage amount, the bill dictates media organizations to compensate plaintiffs within the range of 50 million won ($43,000) to 100 million won ($85,000).

International media groups said the measure could hamper press freedoms and opposition lawmakers said it’s intended to silence critics.