North Korea on Social Media... or Not

08/24/2010 12:11 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Last year (2010) we have seen announcements about the Country of North Korea establishing a footprint on various social media channels.

A few months ago, the North Korean government tells the media, no they are not on social media. The Washington Post even tweeted this, giving wiggle room to their own reporting on the issue.

This is not some simple question to be debated over coffee or through social media. There are serious, real world implications to not knowing the answer to this question.

In the summer of 2009, many westerners got caught re-tweeting and resending material put out by the Iranian government disguised as content created by the protesters in the streets of Iran.

My main point here is this: Obviously the social media tools exist. Obviously every leader worth their salt is looking at how to use/abuse/overwhelm through social media.

Our defense against a militaristic and paranoid regime that wants to use these tools is to be aware. Then we can monitor, track, disavow and disprove North Korea's bullshit. If we do not take the steps to verify if these accounts are real, then the media and governments around the world are just asking for a repeat of last year's issues with Iran and Twitter.

Some updates since this post was originally written in August, 2010 at a time when there were not active hot tensions between the two Koreas.

Social media is powerful. Iran, Tunisia, Egypt have all experienced major social upheavals.

Additional information about North Korea ISPs:

South Korea internet censors finally catch on to new KCNA domain/IP + & now blocked