The bread-and-butter for several of the best bloggers we read would be illegal in Korea. Pseudonymous South Korean blogger “Minerva” have been arrested for, well, being to bearish.
FT: South Korea said on Thursday it had arrested an elusive blogger accused of undermining the country’s financial markets with his doom-mongering, ending a case that has illustrated government unease with the growing influence of online gossip in the world’s most-wired economy.
The case comes amid government efforts to combat negative comments on South Korea’s ailing economy in the media and from private sector economists. The export-dependent economy has been among the hardest hit in Asia by the global financial crisis.
So who is this Minerva? Someone in a position of power looking to undermine the markets? Nope.
Although some had speculated he might be a civil servant or even a market insider, authorities said Minerva was an unemployed university graduate without any substantial expertise in economics. Prosecutors declined to disclose his name, saying only that his surname was Park, the Korean equivalent of “Jones”.
Government officials were incensed by an incorrect article Minerva wrote claiming they had ordered financial institutions to stop buying dollars. Authorities have said they are considering charging him with spreading false information.
Good thing that’s all the way over there, and that here nobody ever tries to scapegoat the writers of negative stories. Oh wait.