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The scandal that riveted South Korea’s online busybodies began when Kim Ji-seon checked into a beachside condominium in February. A 29-year-old office worker planning a June wedding, she had nothing more salacious in mind than meeting with members of her church to organize a youth program.

Then Kim tested positive for the coronavirus — and the details of her life became grist for South Korea’s growing culture of cyberbullying and misinformation, a phenomenon that has complicated the country’s widely praised digital effort to find those infected with the coronavirus.

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