Essay on Policy and Social Media

1807 Words Feb 19th, 2012 8 Pages
Departments: Korean Consumer & Society

Social Media’s Impact on Policy Making

(Age) 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-49 50-59 60 and above

Source: National Election Commission (Aug 3, 2010). Press Release: “Analysis of Voting Rates in the 5th Nationwide Local Elections.”

October 2011 | SERI Quarterly | 125

Social Media’s Impact on Policy Making

has also become a potential solution for Korea’s government to improve operations and address numerous issues. According to the 2011 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, Korea ranked 22nd to 30th in performance indicators like “effective implementation” and “transparency” of government policy. Embracing social media can spur improvements in these areas by providing a fast and low cost
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In the 2010 local government elections, 42 percent of Korea’s Twitter users said that they obtained information about candidates through social media rather than mass media. In 2009, Gordon Brown, then prime minister of the UK, began requiring public servants to use Twitter to check public feedback on government activities in real-time. Brown gave specific guidelines on how to use Twitter, including use of colloquial English, sending at least two or three tweets a day, and spacing tweets at least 30 minutes apart. Lastly, the citizenry as a whole have become the main force of public opinion, unlike in the past, when the government and a few opinion leaders could dominate public discourse. Social media
October 2011 | SERI Quarterly | 127

changes in the Political environment
Social media’s restructuring of inter-personal communications is also revamping the political environment. A prime change is an increase in public participation. In Korea, where peer pressure is a powerful motivating force, social media’s expansion into politics has spurred young people to vote, largely because their friends and role models are doing so. In the 2010 local government and by-elections this year, novelist Lee Oisoo and comedian/MC Kim Jae-dong posted pictures of themselves taken in front of a polling station on their Twitter pages. These pic-

Social Media’s Impact on Policy Making

has paved the way for “citizen journalists” and made it more difficult for officials to

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