Tweeting has famously landed people in heaps of trouble: In fact, nine months ago, it got PR pro Justine Sacco fired and thrown into social-media no man's land. But getting thrown into jail? Thank you for not doing that, America.
But it's happening in South Korea, where, according to a New York Times story yesterday, Won Sei-hoon received a two-and-a-half-year sentence for attempting use the Internet to influence the country's 2012 election. Won, who was employed as director of the National Intelligence Service under former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, broke a law that forbids spy agency officials from public messaging about domestic politics.
And, the Times reports that Won was just let out of jail on Tuesday after wrapping up a 14-month sentence due to a separate corruption case. The daily stated that Won was part of a secret operation where Natonal Intelligence Service members authored 1.2 milion messages on Twitter and other digital forums to persuade the electorate to vote for Park, the aforementioned leader of the Conservative Party who actually ended up winning the '12 election. Per the NYT, prosecutors said some tweets accused liberal politicians of being "servants" of North Korea and being too conciliatory to the neighboring country.
The Times said the court stated: "This is a serious crime that shakes the foundation of democracy."
Tweet carefully, folks, especially in South Korea.