Twitter & Politics: Can Tweets Change Our Society?

On Tuesday in Roppongi, Tokyo, Glocom (Global Communication Center, International Univ. of Japan) held a workshop focusing on how we can take advantage of Twitter for improving our politics.

Invited panelists are:

  • Fumi Yamazaki(@Fumi), freelance researcher and former project manager for Joi Lab, Digital Garage.
  • Daisuke Tsuda(@tsuda), freelance IT journalist and recently reporting on Twitter about undergoing developments about an event when attending it, and Japanese twitterers call that behavior “Tsuda-ru” (an Internet slang) after his name. Now it is a boom among people who use Twitter and frequently attend social events around the corners in Tokyo.
  • Gaku Hashimoto[J](@ga9_h), known as one of two diet members who have their own Twitter accounts and often post Twitter messages about their perspectives and undergoing developments in the parliament house. A son of former Japanese prime minister Ryutaro Hashimoto[J](deceased).

Mr. Tsuda’s presentation was being reported by an audience on Twitter, in other words, was “Tsuda-rareru” (the passive voice of “Tsuda-ru“) at the event, but he seemed to have complaint about what it is called.

Twitter is originally intended for telling updates around its users to their friends, and it is so natural that every tweet reflects what they see and hear. I call the behavior not “report” but “live in text” since I want to emphasize a function of Twitter as media, which allows us to tell others something without subjective relief.

Ms. Yamazaki presented on how Twitter plays a role for Iranian protest against presidential election results, and introduced Twitter had shifted scheduled system maintenance to avoid hampering message posts by protesters.

It is said that Japanese diet members using Twitter are only two guys, who are Gaku Hashimoto from LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) and Seiji Ohsaka[J](@seiji_ohsaka) from DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan). Mr. Ohsaka is known because he has reported the debate between party heads on Twitter (Mycomi Journal interviewed him on this[J]). The extremely small number of diet members using Twitter easily reminds us why there’s no significant developments on the talks to revise the public officers election law as more suitable for the Internet-based community.

This report was abridged from Umihiko Namekawa(@namekawa01)’s article for TechCrunch Japan under their approval for the quotation.

“Twitter and Politics” event was organized by Masahiko Shoji(@mshoji), Chief Researcher for Glocom, International Univ. of Japan.

All tweets on the event are tagged with #twpo on Twitter[J].

Presentation slides used at the event are available below:

Twitter Overview (by Fumi Yamazaki)

Twitter and Iranian Protest (by Fumi Yamazaki)

Japanese Characterestic on Using Twitter (by Daisuke Tsuda)

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Masaru IKEDA has co-founded several system integration companies and consulting firms in Tokyo. He has been contributing serial columns to nationwide newspapers and IT periodicals, also he's currently serving as tech consultant for several web companies. His biography is here. His private blog is here.

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Masaru IKEDA

Masaru IKEDA has co-founded several system integration companies and consulting firms in Tokyo. He has been contributing serial columns to nationwide newspapers and IT periodicals, also he's currently serving as tech consultant for several web companies. His biography is here. His private blog is here.

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