Parties Buck Pre-election New Media Blackout

March 22, 2010, midnight

South Korea's ruling and opposition parties are uniting in protest over the National Election Commission's (NEC) policies toward their use of social media. The NEC is sanctioning politicians who electioneer on Twitter in advance of June 2 local elections. Korean law forbids the distribution of promotional materials within 180 days of elections. The NEC has said this provision applies also to Facebook, Web sites, blogs, and direct communication tools like email and text messaging. Opposition lawmakers have announced draft legislation to revamp the code, and a spokesman for the incumbent Grand National Party has said it may formally challenge the NEC's ruling.

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