Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Social media arrives in North Korea: for foreigners only?

The mainstream media are all reporting on North Korea's decision to allow foreign visitors to the country to access the internet via the country's mobile 3G network.  For example, Bloomberg carried an article headlined "North Korea to Offer Foreigners Uncensored Mobile Phone Internet."  Today Mashable is reporting that Instagrams from within North Korea are showing up on the internet.
North Korean citizens themselves are not being granted such access to the internet, but it will be interesting to see how this move affects the overall digital information environment in the North.  While the North Korean government may seek to restrict its own citizens' use of social media to communication within its borders, even the spread of an indigenous sort of North Korean social networking seems likely to add to pressures on the part of citizens for access to the global internet.  The situation bears watching.

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