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LinkAsia | Feb 19
When hermetically-sealed North Korea ran its third nuclear test this past week, the news first broke on Asian social media. It soon became the top ...
And now for some good news regarding internet freedom. South Korea has decided to permit online electioneering via social networking services like Twitter. The ruling is expected to change campaigning, as social media tools have emerged as one of the strongest means of reaching younger Koreans, who make up 37 percent of eligible voters. Our South Korean broadcast partner, MBC, has the story.
The National Election Commission will allow candidates to use internet services such as twitter and blogs during the April 11th general election campaign.
Kim Yong-hee, National Election Commission:
Any kind of internet election campaign should be freely allowed, including on election day itself.
Internet campaigning is now allowed before the official campaign period starts up thru election day. Also allowed now: voicing opposition to a candidate and negative campaigning. Slander and spreading false information are still illegal. The Election Commission is waiting for the National Assembly to change the general election laws before applying the new internet campaign rules. Voters generally welcome the idea, but some have expressed concern.
Ko Yea-seul, University Student:
Internet election campaigning not only saves money, but I believe it could increase young people's participation in politics as well.
Kim Jun-bum, University Student:
Information spreads quickly on the internet, so if there's false information, it could be dangerous.
Social Media played a huge role in last year's mayoral elections in Seoul. It's credited with being a powerful tool in encouraging voter turnout.