[Foundation-l] Korean Wikipedians charged with "criminal defamation:" a potential threat of censorship

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Wed Dec 22 05:11:24 UTC 2010

Puzzlet - How unfortunate.  Is there a lawyer available to advise the
Wikipedians?   - SJ

On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 11:56 PM, Puzzlet Chung <puzzlet at gmail.com> wrote:
> At most four Korean Wikipedians are charged with defamation of Song
> Young-gil, the Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City.
> According to the contributors, the prosecution is upon the Song's own
> request, and is going to be over publicizing a fabricated sex scandal
> in the article about him and (semi-)protecting it.  The text in
> question is merely a sum-up of various reports about the speculations
> eventually found to be a hoax.  Non-logged-in user(s) from various IP
> addresses have tried to remove the whole controversy section,
> including not only the scandal but other arguments about him,
> replacing it with personal contrary comments and legal threats.  The
> edits are consequently reverted by some users and rollbacked by one
> administrator.  The admin, [[ko:User:Kys951]], is also accused of
> being an abettor just because he is an admin.
> In the South Korean legal system, criminal defamation is partially a
> "crime upon complaint," (친고죄/親告罪) which becomes irrelevant to be a
> crime when the complainant chose to withdraw the case.  (Note that I'm
> not a specialist of law, especially in English terminology.)  The
> police of Southeastern Incheon thought the case itself is too
> insignificant to be a criminal case and tried to persuade him to
> withdraw it, only to be declined.
> Song has reportedly demanded the admin to remove the paragraph in
> exchange for fixing the charge, which is definitely not the way how
> Wikipedia works.
> Another concern about this incident is that this could happen to every
> bit of contribution to the project.  South Korean government had been
> censoring any scribble on the web they think beneficial to North
> Korea,[2] and for later on, anything they think "fraudulent" whenever
> the state is in "threat," according to an exclusive report.[3]
> [1] https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ko/w/index.php?title=%EC%86%A1%EC%98%81%EA%B8%B8&diff=5832689
> [2] http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/shame_on_democratic_south_korea_for_censoring_face.php
> [3] http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/economy/it/455022.html
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Samuel Klein          identi.ca:sj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266

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