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Voters get active on social media

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Published : 2014-06-04 23:48
Updated : 2014-06-04 23:52

Voters were more active than ever on social media during this year’s local elections season, generating hilarious parodies and comments about the candidates and anticipated results.

Some 11 million tweets about the June 4 local elections were posted from Jan. 1 to June 3, according to Twitter Korea.

South Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world. More than 67 percent of local mobile consumers had smartphones in 2012, far exceeding the global average of 14.8.

The nation first allowed voters and election candidates to voice their opinions on SNS in December 2011.

According to Twitter Korea, some 142,000 tweets about early voting were posted from May 22 to 31, the official campaign period. The tweets mentioned almost all of the candidates, regardless of the parties they belonged to, the company said.

On the day of the election, social media sites were filled with parodies and comments after the exit poll results were announced at 6 p.m.

One of the parodies that went viral involved a sobbing photograph of Saenuri Seoul mayoral candidate Chung Mong-joon as well as a crying picture of Seoul education chief candidate Koh Seung-duk.

The creator of the parody complemented the photos with the lyrics of “Confession,” a mournful ballad by singer Yim Jae-beom which deals with a man’s love for a woman whom he thinks he doesn’t deserve. 
A parody post of Koh Seung-duk goes viral on Twitter after exit poll results were announced Wednesday. (Twitter)

“What should I do? I dare say I love her,” the lyrics says. “Please forgive me (for loving her). If I need to be punished for loving her, I’ll gladly accept.”

Chung was photographed in April, while apologizing for his son’s Facebook comments critical of people’s enraged reaction to the April 16 sinking of the ferry Sewol. He burst into tears as he offered his public apology.

Koh, on the other hand, cried “I am sorry, my daughter!” during his public campaign in southern Seoul, after his U.S.-based, 27-year-old daughter posted a Facebook message arguing that her father is not qualified to be Seoul’s education chief as he never participated in raising his own children. Both candidates’ approving ratings dropped dramatically after their children’s Facebook remarks went viral.

The parody has been retweeted almost 400 times.

Koh’s setback heavily affected by his daughter’s angry revelation online created another trending topic on local social media: “Koh Candy Crush Saga.”

“Seoul education superintendent race in one word: Candy Crush,” said a post by Twitter user @adobe3064.

The tweet was a play on words in reference to the popular game Candy Crush Saga, which boasts over 500 million downloads, as well as to the first name of Koh’s daughter ― Candy. 

By Claire Lee and Suh Ye-seul
(dyc@heraldcorp.com) (sys@heraldcorp.com)

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