Political astroturfing in South Korea: examining how the secret service manipulated twitter during the 2012 presidential election
Project Description

The project examines a large dataset of 1.2 mio political tweets posted during the South Korean presidential election campaigns in 2012. It examines the activities of a list of accounts associated with the National Intelligence Service, charged in court of "astroturfing", i.e. attempting to influence public opinion by pretending to be ordinary citizens supporting candidate Park.

KELLER Franziska
Course type
Applicant's Roles

The students will read through some of the (Korean-language) tweets posted by the NIS accounts and describe what arguments and strategies these accounts use. Do they copy-paste each other's comments? How do they interact with other non-NIS accounts? How does their behavior change over time? Do different group of accounts pursue different strategies?

Applicant's Learning Objectives

1. Gain basic knowledge on how to analyze social media data
2. Learn how governments and parties influence public opinion using social media
3. Basic knowledge of how twitter works "under the hood"
4. If interested: learn how to conduct simple statistical analysis and social network analysis on such data.

Complexity of the project