ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 20th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Twitter Account Spoofs President Lee

This just goes to show that even with a real-name system people will find ways to get around it:

Twitter, which has become a powerful tool in expanding Internet-based and mobile communication, has put the South Korean government in an awkward position.

On Jan. 18, South Korean Twitter users found a Twitter account for President Lee Myung-bak. Several hundred users registered to “follow” President Lee’s Twitter stream. There is picture of President Lee Myung-bak on the account’s page with links to the Cheong Wa Dae’s (the presidential office in South Korea or Blue House) website.

The account, however, has been confirmed fake. Kim Chul-kyun, the presidential secretary for a newly-created Internet media public relations position, confirmed during a telephone interview with a reporter from the Hankyoreh, “President Lee never created a Twitter account.” Kim continued, “It was a fake account made by someone who wanted to make a joke.” Kim added, “This was not the first time this occured, in fact there have been several cases of fake Twitter accounts created under President Lee’s name.”

The Cheong Wa Dae has reportedly decided not to investigate who is responsible for creating the fake account. In fact, there is no way for them to investigate. If a person attempts to impersonate the president, they can be punished according to Korean law. In this case, however, the Cheong Wa Dae has no way of finding out who created the account, and Twitter does not fall under the jurisdiction of South Korean law.  [Hankyoreh]

You can read more at the link.

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  • JoeC
    5:10 pm on January 20th, 2010 1

    Over the past few years it seems the Korean government and some in the Korean public have become far too sensitive about things written on the Web. As the technology constantly evolves, I hope they come to the realization that there are some things they can't or shouldn't try to control.

    The social value of tools like Twitter has been demonstrated dramatically over the past few years, such as in the post Iranian election demonstrations.

    Access to free and open sources of information overrides the annoyances of trolls, spammers, and porn hustlers. For people around the world, I think it is as, or more, important for maintaining freedom than the right to bare arms and raise a militia.

    When Korea looks at what their neighbors across the Yellow Sea are doing regarding Internet regulation, I hope they recoil and reject that as a path they should never follow.

  • Teadrinker
    5:35 pm on January 20th, 2010 2

    "and Twitter does not fall under the jurisdiction of South Korean law"

    So, what's with Youtube?

    It's illegal to impersonate the president, not even for the purpose of parody like that Twitter account? That's nuts. I guess that would explain why Korean comedy lack bite.

  • Songtan1
    8:40 pm on January 20th, 2010 3

    JC…You are so correct in what you said…


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