SEOUL, July 31 (Korea Bizwire) – Social network services, particularly messaging apps such as KakaoTalk with popular group chat features, are becoming one of the most popular means of communication among South Korean lawmakers, replacing e-mail and text messaging.
Group chat features, which allow people to create a chat room and invite others to have multi-way conversations, are proving to be a popular and effective way for lawmakers to discuss legislation without having to knock on the door of each member’s office to ask for opinions and gather support for their agendas and bills.
For instance, every member the incumbent Democratic Party of Korea is invited to a KakaoTalk group chat room dedicated to legislation, where opinions on new bill proposals are shared in the simple form of written agreement.
As group chats allow lawmakers to bounce ideas off each other and share feedback, helping deliver a much faster legislation process as a result, an increasing number of policymakers are adopting the new means of communication including Shin Chang-hyun, who is the former chief secretary of Choo Mi-ae, the leader of the Democratic Party.
Since last month, after serving as then chief secretary to the leader of his party, Shin has been using the group chat room almost every day as a driving force behind the party’s legislative activities.
Another group chat room led by lawmaker Ahn Min-seok dedicated to confiscating the property of Choi Soon-sil, who was at the center of now ousted President Park’s scandal, was also able to collect support from 102 members within his party.
However, opinions shown in group chat rooms can only serve as an indication of the level of support bill proposals might receive, as South Korean lawmakers still need to collect physical signatures to pass a bill.
Speaking to Yonhap News Agency, a newly-elected member of the National Assembly said, “Prior to regular sessions at the National Assembly, group chat rooms become much more active. When someone proposes a bill, opinions follow. Even if one doesn’t agree, lawmakers can consider the ideas.”
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)