Wednesday, August 15, 2018

U.S. Embassy in Seoul Tweets Cynthia Nixon’s Candidacy to Run for NY Governor

Is it a violation of the Hatch Act?

US Embassy on Twitter

The official Twitter account of the United States embassy in South Korea shocked its Twitter followers Monday night (Tuesday morning in Seoul) by tweeting about actress Cynthia Nixon’s announcement that she is running to become New York State’s next governor.

U.S. Embassy in Korea

The first tweet — in English — was followed less than five minutes later with the same message, this time in Korean.

https://twitter.com/USEmbassySeoul/status/975921069402947585

U.S. Embassy's Korean tweet

Both posts tagged Nixon’s account and included screenshots of her original announcement tweet, which included an easy-to-remember url linking to her website.

Replies to the tweet quickly mentioned the Hatch Act, which prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government, from engaging in certain forms of political activity. This is often taken to mean that such officials are prohibited from using their position in government to participate in partisan activity.

A commenter also pointed out that currently there is no ambassador overseeing the embassy staff, who seem to have let go of any sense of discipline when it comes to posting what are taken to be messages by an official representative of the country.

The tweets were deleted about fifteen minutes later. Archived tweets:

English https://archive.is/LVm1X

Korean https://archive.is/Rro9M

미국에서 선풍적인 인기를 끌었던 드라마 “섹스 앤 더 시티” 여러분도 좋아하셨나요? 드라마에서 “미란다”역을 맡았던 신시아 닉슨 @CynthiaNixon 이 뉴욕 주지사 선거에 공식 출마했습니다!

Cynthia Nixon, best known for her work in the television series “Sex and the City,” which did enjoy great popularity in Northeast Asia, announced her candidacy for governor on Twitter on Monday (stateside time). She is challenging Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in this year’s Democratic primary.

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