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Facebook Deletes Accounts Purporting to Be From North Korea

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc., owner of the world’s largest social-networking website, said it deleted two accounts that purported to be from North Korea.

“If a person poses as a person or entity that you don’t officially represent, that becomes a violation of our policy,” said Kumiko Hidaka, a Facebook spokeswoman. “Facebook is based on real people that are on there making connections and people are going to get the most value of the site if they’re using real identities.”

The move comes as South Korea, which bans its citizens from communicating with the North, clamps down on Twitter Inc. accounts posting North Korean propaganda. This month, the South’s unification ministry said pro-North Korean Twitter accounts may breach national security laws and the communications commission in Seoul decided to block access to such micro-blogging postings.

One of the Facebook accounts, followed by more than 3,000 viewers, carried hundreds of pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and posted links to a website run by the state-run Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea. It was opened under the name “uriminzokkiri,” meaning “between our people.” Google Inc.’s YouTube and Twitter pages have accounts under similar names.

Under the law governing exchanges with North Korea, South Koreans need to notify the government when they come in contact with North Koreans and seek prior approval when traveling across the border. Another law on national security bans supporting “anti-state” groups, often interpreted to mean the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

South Korea remains technically at war with North Korea after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a cease-fire, which was never replaced by a peace treaty.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jun Yang in Seoul at jyang180@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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