South Korean police said Monday they've found additional comment manipulation by a power blogger and his accomplices, who have been indicted for tempering with Internet comments on politically sensitive news articles.
Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said the blogger, who goes by the nickname "Druking," and his followers manipulated some 20,000 comments on 675 news articles using 2,290 different IDs from Jan. 17 to 18.
A ruling party lawmaker and former aide to President Moon Jae-in is also probed over his alleged ties with the blogger.
According to police, they used an automated computer program to jack up the number of "like" or "feel the same way" clicks for comments on news stories carried by the online portal website. The police said some 2.1 million clicks were made with macro software.
The prosecution already indicted Druking and two others last month for using macro software to repeatedly generate clicks for two comments critical of the liberal government on a news article carried by the online portal Naver. The article was about the government's decision to have the two Koreas form a joint women's hockey team for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February. The trio was then suspected of using 614 different IDs to increase the number of clicks.
The police said it will notify prosecutors of the newly found counts so that they can add them to their ongoing trials.
The police said it has booked 21 additional members of the online community founded by Druking for their involvement in the online opinion rigging scheme. The police said so far 30 people have been booked for the case. (Yonhap News)