The South Korean government has filed fraud charges against some bloggers who inflated visitor counts for the websites:
In a statement released Thursday, Seoul police said the phony clicks could “lead to a distortion of public opinion on the Internet.”
….The government has sought to outlaw what it calls Internet rumor-mongering and may seek legislation that would require online posters to use their real names.
Last month, the South Korean Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that fined a man $2,300 for manipulating the number of clicks on a company’s website. The move was allegedly a scheme to lift its popularity ranking among domestic Internet portals.
Some of the bloggers allegedly used “sophisticated viral programs” to boost their traffic rating, which I suppose is at least colorably illegal. At least one, though, is accused of the nefarious crime of placing a coin on the refresh key so it continued to repeat hits on his posting. Off with his head!
Oh — and one more thing: all four of the arrested bloggers were anti-government activists “who had criticized the South Korean government and advocated protests after demonstrations last May against U.S.-imported beef.” Is anyone surprised?