KCSC Reveals Potential Punishment For Mnet Regarding “Produce X 101” Vote Manipulation

The Korea Communications Standards Commission (hereafter KCSC) has revealed that they may impose fines on Mnet for manipulating the votes on their audition show “Produce X 101.”

On October 17, the KCSC answered a question made by Noh Woong Rae, the chairman of the National Assembly’s Science, ICT, Broadcasting, and Communications Committee regarding “Produce X 101.” The Commission responded, “We are considering the issue of a show claiming to be a national voting audition program deceiving viewers as a grave one. We may be able to impose a heavy sanction or a penalty based on Clause 1 of Article 1 of the Broadcasting Act. We have decided to hear the opinions [of those involved] regarding the issue, and we will make a decision after taking into account the results of the ongoing police investigation.”

In the Broadcasting Act, “a heavy sanction” refers to “a correction, rectification, or suspension of the relevant broadcast program or commercial” or “disciplinary action against the person in charge of broadcast programming or the person related to the relevant broadcast program or commercial.”

Mnet, as a programming provider, can be fined a sum ranging from 10 million won (approximately $8,400) to 30 million won (approximately $25,300) in fines based on the Enforcement Decree of the Broadcasting Act.

Following the end of “Produce X 101,” allegations arose that the results had been manipulated to change the final outcome of the top 20 rankings, of which the top 11 then went on to debut as X1. Since the investigation began, the police have conducted multiple search and seizures to obtain documents and other information. They are currently looking into the possibility of the producing directors (PD) manipulating the show in exchange for monetary compensation.

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