Conferences & Workshops

CeDEM Asia 2016: Daegu Metropolitan City Meeting

During this year`s CeDEM Asia 2016 International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government, a meeting between the Daegu Metropolitan City (Information Management Division), National Information Society Agency (Department of Government 3.0) and the Danube University Krems (Department for E-Governance) has taken place to exchange the knowledge and strategies in the field of E-Government and Open Government Data.

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Participants of the workshop: Daegu Metropolitan City: Mi Young Park, Yong Won Kim, Jae Yeoul Jeong; National Information Society Agency: Shin-Ae Shin; Danube University Krems: Peter Parycek, Michael Sachs, Malgorzata Goraczek.

The goal of the meeting was to get a better understanding about the objectives and current status of Daegu Metropolitan City, which can be summarized as following:

  • What are the main objectives of the e-government strategy of Korea?

The national Department for Government 3.0 wants to improve the services for citizens and reduce the costs for businesses through open data. New business opportunities shall be established through the use of open data by private companies. The core of the project is a further transition from information to data in a cloud solution. There shall be a transition from digital government to data driven government. Korea has its own data centres and a government owned cloud system for security reasons.  The city of Daegu is the first local government that has the cloud based information system. Cloud solutions for government are all domestic. Now, private companies shall be certified by the government to be able to host such clouds. The information that is handled on national level are in national data centers, and data exchange between the levels of government is possible.

  • How Daegu deals with electronic identification of citizens and businesses?

The government has its own verification system. National government agencies have their own certification. Having an integrated system is a target.

  • What is the most popular or most favourite e-government service?

Most important service for citizens is the public government website that contains all information. Each local government has its own government services.

  •  What is the current status of open government data in Korea?

Since the enactment in 2013 all government agencies have to open their data. Personal information and information related to national safety issues are protected, but all other data is made publicly available. There have been developed  popular open data applications:

  • Application for locations of nearby hospitals and medical services
  • Parents can talk about schools all over the country in an application
  • Applications with mobility data und location based information about Daegu
  • Preparation for an open data market
  • Data based solutions for health care, e.g. devices for cardiac issues

The meeting allowed a bright inside into the work of Daegu, national strategies and plans according to E-Governance and Open Governement Data.

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CeDEMAsia2016: Panel, Day 2

 

Marko Skoric, Tetsuro Kobayashi, Muneo Kaigo: Social Media and Citizen Engagement in Asia: A Comparative Study of Five Societies

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The presenters are part of a research team that conducts an international study to learn about political disagreement and what people do about it in social media. The study shall support the understanding of patterns of engagement. The international study analyses 6 countries: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, hence the study is currently titled “Citizen Engagement in Confucian Asia.”

Social media expand social networks and they go beyond face-to-face meetings; hence many thought the social media would diversify the social network of individuals. However, the opposite seems to be the case. People that actively express themselves on social media are likely to unfriend people who have different opinions. This becomes especially true during political campaigns and when users are politically active. Some people try to persuade others with different political opinions and when they fail after some time, they unfriend these people. Social media feeds look more like face-to-face conversations nowadays than 5 years ago as similar opinions are shown in the threads.

Koreans that live in Japan for long time are called Zainichi and there are about 350,000 of them. Hate speech and racism in Japan focuses on Koreans and Chinese and there are hate groups against Zainichi that got especially stronger after the World Cup in 2002 and through other events. The Matome Website is a place for hate speech and people that consume their news in such an ecosystem find themselves in a vicious circle. Firstly, they are racists or have racist tendencies, which is why they go to websites like Matome. If they consume the biased news from such a website they become even more racist. The more they use these media the more racist they become.

This corresponds to the findings that certain media attract people with certain mind-sets. In Japan, NHK is a public broadcaster and people that watch these news find racism distasteful, like users of Youtube in Japan also generally do. On the other hand, Sankei Shimbun is a media that is consumed by more racists. Matome is among the worst mass websites concerning racist users, and looking at the actual users of Matome website, one realises that they are equally spread among the different educational backgrounds.

The study is still ongoing and further results will be published in the near future.

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CeDEMAsia2016: Paper Presentations Parallel Session A, Day 2

Heike Hermann: The promises of digital political communication and the reality in South Korea

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While South Koreans are frequent users of social media, politicians have not yet embraced these communication channels to engage with citizens. The most popular digital communication tool is Kakao Talk, which is used by 37 million users. Kakao Talk provides closed space for communication. Facebook and Twitter are public social media and popular in Korea, but politicians are only followed by a few numbers of people. A quarter of politicians on public social media is not or not very active. Most items posted are news items often about the politicians themselves and the posts are often not about policy. 3/4 of politicians do not respond to comments, hence politicians don’t really engage with citizens via Facebook. Most politicians have a Twitter account and two thirds actually use it. However, only 10 percent of politicians have more than 15000 followers which is not a lot considering the Korean population. Twitter is mainly used for engagement with news agents and similar.

Dal Yong Jin: Understanding of Smartphone Divide: From Digital Divide to Digital Inclusion in the Smartphone Era

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Over the last 20 years, Korea had great development in the ICT infrastructure. It was expected that smartphones would bridge the social and digital divide, but it has not quite been up to expectations. There are two major problems in the discourse of the digital divide: (1) Inequality in physical access to the technology and (2) the knowledge to use ICT effectively. Koreans must spend among the most money on communications. While the first divide will disappear in the future, the second divide – usage skills – is systematic and structural problem.

Ben Huffman: E-Participation in the Governance Process: Redefining its Worth and Modality

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Focus of the talk is the Philippines that made good progress in the global e-participation index. Physical access is a core factor in these rankings, but capability to make use of the access is almost equally important. In the Philippines, free internet access is facilitated to make use of governmental services. The e-government services are provided in English, but this is language barrier, as there are 2 national languages and 8 dialects in the Philippines. The e-government service might also intend to train English of the citizens, which should be realised differently. Other barriers are the need to login in at some public access points, as not all that have access to an interne access point have login data.

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Robert Krimmer: Internet Voting: Elections in the (European) Cloud

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Estonia is often narrowed down to e-stonia as they have implemented and use many electronic services. The talk discusses, why do some countries use e-voting and why do some countries not use e-voting? The use of technology and innovations in voting processes happens already in ancient Greece and Rome, and the use of paper ballots is also use of technology that was not there before. Casting votes in parliaments often happens with the use of electronic devices nowadays. By using the electronic voting you change the electorate, as people from elsewhere can participate. Especially for citizens that are abroad, voting ins difficult, as they can go to embassy or send their ballot via mail (which is getting slower). Internet voting is not about democracy but it is a service to make citizens participate in elections.

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CeDEM Asia 2016: Day 2, „Motivation(s) behind Open Access Publishing” (Workshop)

Workshop „Motivation(s) behind Open Access Publishing”

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Workshop by Noella Edelmann & Judith Schossböck

The project outline presented in this workshop is to access the motivational factors in Open Access publishing.

Judith Schossböck presented the “green way” of publishing, which means to publish in repositories. The “golden way” means to publish in Open Access journals. She pointed out, that “the character of the electronic academic journal is changing rapidly as new technologies, reader habits, and patterns of communication evolve and the Internet is increasingly adopted as a common medium.”

The journal JeDEM – eJournal for eDemocracy and Open Government is publishing since 2009 and the editors want to evaluate the motivations of the authors to publish in an Open Access Journal. Publishing in JeDEM is free of charge.

Which research questions will be examined during their study on motivational factors in Open Access publishing?

  • Can we distinguish differences in motivation for publishing in open access across disciplines or countries?
  • What type of users are JeDEM users? How can users be classified according to their motivations? What are users’ opinions on different aspects of open access publishing, e.g. open peer review etc.?
  • How can these results help other e-publishers?

We are looking forward to their results!

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CeDEM Asia 2016, Discussion: Enthusiasm for Political Topics

How to fill people with enthusiasm for political topics via social media (discussion hosted by KAS, Singapore)

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The discussion was led by Sayasat Nurbek (Institute of Public Policy, Kazakhstan).
Astik Sinha (Bharita Janata Party,  India) told us about the masses of Indian youth voters who are engaged on Facebook.
Ben Guerin (New Zealand National Party, New Zealand) was active in political campaigning and started a consulting company. He looks at how politicians engage on social media and the value of these activities.
Rajit Hewagama (United National Party, Sri Lanka) runs a consulting compagny for digital communications and strategic communications. In Sri Lanka some journalists disappeared and have been murdered, so they are scared of publishing anti government data. Social media allowed to bypass the mainstream media without relying on forms of media that could be censored. Now some ministers complain that media freedom came to far (sometimes those who have been in the oppostition before).
Pheaktra Neth (Spokesman of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Cambodia). The special body is set up between the UN and Cambodia to investigate the war crimes in the region. There is a young cohort of Facebook users in Cambodia. Sometimes there are postings about plans to kill someone, f.i. an officer, in a ceremony. The government has, however, no plans to control the social media or the internet. Campaigns are now focusing on social media and see it as a chance for the next 2017 and 2018 elections.

Truth vs. visibility?

We are now entering the second phase of social media, with a general phobia in many governments in Asia towards counter-revolutions. F.i. in the Hong Kong Umbrella revolution case, many protesteres used now Firechat as police switched off the mobile networks. In the West there was the worry that the liberal are dominating the social media. However, with view to dominating views, social media rather promotes echo chambers and oxygen might be provided to political movements that thrive on anger etc. These network effects are only going to be a better problem in the future. There is the fake news phenomenon plus people taking on extreme or simplified views: the information that gets the most views is not necessarily the most truthful. However, social media literacy is also changing, and people might do more fact-checking.

The discussion also revolved around the rise of Facebook and its power regarding the definition of truth and manipulation. Trust filters are now established within our friends (reputation networks). Also it was discusses how much censorship was done in social media by the government. India, for instance, has one of the highest rates of requesting Facebook for user data. Regarding the prediction of elections via social media data, so far many cases might have been luck, also due to problems of representativeness.

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