South Korean intelligence accused of using Twitter to influence elections

Posted by: Jennifer Cefai (3 years, 10 months ago)

The South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) has been accused of using Twitter to influence the presidential elections that took place last year. 1.2 million Tweets in favor of Park Geun-hye, now the President of South Korea, were posted ahead of the elections. The masses of tweets were largely copies of 26,550 original tweets that were posted through a specially designed computer program, something that prosecutors have blamed the NIS for. The tweets were written to smear Park’s opponents and accuse them of being sympathetic towards North Korea. A secretive brand of the South Korean army, called the Cyberwarfare Command, is also being accused of the same online smear campaign. Park herself has been accused of being behind the operation, and of being in cahoots with outgoing President Lee Myung-bak to secure such a victory.

Park ended up winning the presidency by a margin of one million votes, but claimed no involvement in the entire campaign. She has gone on to vow that the NIS would no longer get involved in political matters. On the other hand the NIS claims that the tweets were posted as part of a routine operation against North Korea, which uses the internet to attack its Southern counterpart on a regular basis.  

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