S.Korea lifts ban on Internet for electioneering

Jan 13, 2012
South Korea will hold parliamentary elections in April and a presidential poll in December
This file illustration photo shows a busy traffic intersection in Seoul. South Korea's election watchdog on Friday lifted a ban using Twitter and other social networking sites for campaigning ahead of key polls later this year.

South Korea's election watchdog lifted a ban using Twitter and other social networking sites for campaigning ahead of key polls later this year.

The National Election Commission's move came after the Constitutional Court last month condemned the ban as unconstitutional as it eliminated "economic and fair" means of campaigning, the Internet and sites.

"Electioneering by the Internet, emails and social networking sites (SNS) are now allowed," the commission said in a statement.

"Those who are allowed to engage in campaigning can use Internet homepages including portal sites and blogs, as well as emails, mobile messengers, and other SNS," it said.

The decision was seen as a blow to the ruling conservative Grand National Party as young voters, frequent users of the Internet and , tend to support opposition candidates.

South Korea will hold parliamentary elections in April and a presidential poll in December.

During a mayoral election in Seoul in October last year, young voters chatting through networking sites encouraged colleagues and friends to go to the polls and cast their ballots en masse. The was won by an opposition-backed candidate.

Activist groups welcomed the decision.

"The move marks a major step forward in terms of voters' freedom of expression on the Internet," 52 leftist civic groups, including the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, said in a joint statement.

But the Citizens United for Better Society of the conservative bloc said safeguards should be set up in a bid to prevent the spread of slander and false information ahead of this year's major elections.

is one of the world's most wired countries, boasting a large population of smartphone and high-speed Internet users.

Explore further: LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Thais warned to stay off Twitter -- or face jail

Jul 03, 2011

Thai police on Saturday warned election candidates and citizens not to use websites such as Facebook or Twitter to continue campaigning on the eve of the national vote -- or risk going to jail.

Russia needs 'China-style' web controls: official

Dec 14, 2011

Russia needs Chinese-style government regulation of the Internet, a top official said Wednesday, after election protesters organised nationwide rallies through social networking sites.

S. Korea tightens monitoring of social media

Dec 08, 2011

South Korea has tightened monitoring of popular social networking sites to curb illicit content including an upsurge in North Korean propaganda, officials said Thursday.

Recommended for you

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

18 hours ago

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

Apr 18, 2014

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

Apr 18, 2014

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...