Opposition Wins Big Among Facebook, Twitter Users

      April 13, 2012 13:16

      The opposition parties had stronger support in Wednesday's general election in areas where people use social media more actively. The main opposition Democratic United Party and Unified Progressive Party lost to the ruling Saenuri Party in most provincial constituencies except for the Jeolla Provinces but dominated wired Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, which account for more than half of the number of facebook and Twitter users in Korea.

      Kim Hyung-joon, a political science professor at Myongji University, said, "Messages on these sites tend to be progressive, so young people in the Seoul metropolitan area who use them regularly favor opposition parties, whereas provincial areas, where the population is dominated by the elderly, are still a social-media black hole."

      A survey by Millward Brown Media Research for the Korea Advertisers Association found that out of 10,000 social media users over 18 nationwide, more than half were in the Seoul metropolitan area -- 24.8 percent in Seoul and 30 percent in Gyeonggi Province. Those in their 20s made up 58.2 percent and those in their 30s 27.8 percent.

      Asked about their political inclination, 45.2 percent identified themselves as progressive, four times more than 11.4 percent conservatives.

      Busan was the city with the second highest number of social media users with 7.77 percent. While the opposition only managed to win two seats in Busan, it still garnered a respectable 31 percent of total votes. Kim said, "Opposition parties are winning more and more votes in Busan. This trend may well have something to do with the increasing use of social media among young people there."

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