Monday, March 25, 2013

Twitter CEO 'Dick Costolo' In Tokyo, Japan Discussing U.S. Use Of Twitter During Political Campaigns Unlike Japan!!

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo In Tokyo, Japan Discussing How U.S. Use Of Twitter During Political Campaigns Unlike Japan!! -- Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo swooped in under the radar for a 48-hour landing in Tokyo this week. His first stop: to meet with the country’s newly elected and unconventionally social media savvy — at least by Japanese politician standards — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday. During the meeting, they discussed one of the major modern-day differences between the U.S. and Japan: the use of Twitter during political campaigns.

 Bloomberg News Twitter CEO Dick Costolo speaks to reporters in Tokyo on April 16, 2012. A Twitter spokeswoman said that Mr. Costolo explained to Mr. Abe, who was a prolific Facebook FB -2.29% user in the months leading up to the official campaign period, the colorfully diverse ways U.S. candidates utilized the micro-blogging site during election season. In contrast, a literal interpretation of outdated Japanese election laws prohibits the use of nearly all digital electioneering in the Internet age.

That means blog updates, Twitter chirps and Facebook refreshes are out of bounds. As Japan’s anachronistic law received criticism during the latest election — a resounding victory for Mr. Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party in December — Mr. Costolo’s visit is one of many efforts aimed at moving the needle for amending how the law is interpreted. Indeed, Japan’s digital backwater stance during elections is in stark contrast to its usual use of digital media, which Mr. Costolo on Monday said to Mr. Abe is unique in the global social networking sphere. In its most pressing hour of need, during the immediate and long-term wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Japan used Twitter as a vital communication channel, not just casual interaction.

 The national government as well as local municipalities and emergency outlets like the fire and police departments used Twitter to relay information about the hundreds of aftershocks that followed and information about evacuation procedures. Otherwise, this was information that could have been lost amid spotty cellular and TV reception. Working with Twitter, Japan has since refined such messages and organized them according to predetermined hashtags to help the important Tweets stand out. Japan’s use of Twitter in emergency situations has garnered interest from other countries and prompted a case study of its effectiveness. Mr. Costolo also plans to meet Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose on Tuesday before departing.

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