Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

North Korea is Now Itself a Twitter Account

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, August 16 2010

Photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il by Robert Huffstutter

Perhaps drawing on Hugo Chávez's tremendous success as inspiration, North Korea has joined Twitter. The Guardian runs its translation magic on the country's regime's first tweet, and comes up with "Website, 'our nation itself' is a Twitter account." Okey doke.

While the idea of the notoriously secretive country tweet-tweet-tweeting away might strike at first as almost comically incongruent, there's much to predict this latest move.

A 2007 report from the OpenNet Initiative found that, indeed, North Korea is a "virtual 'black hole' in cyberspace" from the perspective of North Koreans, who are largely limited to accessing a few dozen government pre-approved websites.

But the regime in Pyongyang isn't so closed-minded when it comes to the utility of news mediums for spreading the word. "The North Korean regime does maintain a nominal presence on the World Wide Web through sites promoting its ideology and agenda," found the ONI report. "As with print and broadcast media, these sites largely extol the nation’s leader Kim Jong Il, his father Kim Il Sung, and the Juche Idea of national 'self-reliance,' while espousing the country’s stance on reunification of the Korean Peninsula."

More on North Korea's new Twitter account here.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

monday >

Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

GO

More