Thursday, August 19, 2010

My IP Address Says No.

There are times i forget that Korea was ruled by a dictator less than 30 years ago. Kind of interesting to think about. I hardly entertain that thought most days as I walk around feeling, most of the time, as if I were in a America. Despite the foreign language. The food. The music. Oh, and the strange "who the heck are you" stares. I don't question the fact that I am generally free here. Though there are times, like this morning, I am reminded sometimes, this "freedom" is masked. When things deviate from the norm, the remnants of Korean history, more specifically those of a powerful dictatorship, still surface. Corporal punishment, and strict school regulations are an example of that mindset.

That mindset has summit new heights. Folks, please brace yourselves!

North Korea has a twitter account. @uriminzok. ("Our People") Yup, that's right! In so many ways it is absolutely crazy! Absolutely insane! First, for a country marked by its ultimate communication restriction and alienation from the world, it's a little ironic they'd jump on the ultimate social media band wagon. Twitter, really? How can a country, which restricts internet usage to all it's people, introduce a Twitter account? It's confirms the insanity.

In researching this epic Twitter account, i also learned they are rockin' a YouTube Channel. Welcome to the world Korea!! I hope longingly for two things. First, to find an up-close video of Kim Jong-Il rockin his MacBook webcam. Second, for a long arm, "check-out- my-mom's- hideous-bathroom- and-my- awesome- emo-bangs" MySpace picture. That would make my century.

What makes this whole thing even crazier is the South's reaction towards it. And seeing that i find myself sitting in South Korea as i write this... it starts to get personal.

This morning i came face to face with overt government censorship. That's right folks... via my IP address, i am Korean and well, i have no business reading it. Articles claim the South is protecting it's people from the propaganda the North . Hmm... sounds a little like the past, no? A top down enforcement of an national position. Last I checked, folks, that'd be what i call a propaganda. Isn't that what we're censoring?? I mean, isn't that what you're censoring?

Maybe not. At least that's what they're telling me.

So. You in the free world, read the articles for yourself. And for my twitter buddies, confirm for me if you will if you can access the Twitter account. You can use the lovely Google Translate to read the Tweets. As of this morning i have been officially warned and redirected, from the Korea Communication Standards Commission, to steer clear and back off the Tweets...

Fine. You want to fight? I'll change my IP address... and pray a uniformed man doesn't come to my door.

(Just kidding mom.)

Check out the deets for yourself.

BBC News
NY Times "North Korea Takes to Twitter and YouTube"
Christian Science Monitor "Why South Korea is Blocking Access"

1 comment:

  1. I can see it on Twitter. They have almost 10,500 followers. Someone has also created a "fake" account that gives a satirical perspective. Maybe you can access it- @Fake_Uriminzok.