The Emergence of Social Media Politics in South Korea

The Case of the 2012 Presidential Election

Authored by: Lars Willnat , Young Min

The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  December  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138860766
eBook ISBN: 9781315716299
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506560


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South Korea ranks among the most Internet-connected nations in the world, with slightly more than 92 per cent of its 50 million citizens online (Internet Live States 2014). As in other democracies with well-developed online environments, digital media have played an important role in South Korea’s local and national elections. During the 2011 mayoral election in Seoul, for example, Twitter users overwhelmingly supported the opposition candidate Park Won-soon, which contributed to his unexpected victory in a highly competitive race (S.-Y. Lee 2012). Similarly, during the legislative election in April 2012, which was considered a bellwether for the presidential election later that year, nearly half of the 1,090 candidates used Twitter as part of their campaign strategy (W. Chang & Ryu 2013).

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