NATIONAL

Millennials dominate Blue House petition board

By Kim Arin
  • Published : Nov 7, 2019 - 16:14
  • Updated : Nov 7, 2019 - 18:12

Millennials are the most active participants on Cheong Wa Dae’s online petition site.

Figures released by Cheong Wa Dae on Wednesday showed 689,273 petitions were submitted to its webpage in the first two years of Moon Jae-in’s presidency. This translates to 851 petitions filed per day. Average daily visitor count was 245,586.

According to the data, collected between Aug. 18, 2017 and Oct. 20, 2019, the younger generation had a petition engagement rate far exceeding that of their older counterparts. 


Screenshot of Cheong Wa Dae’s petition webpage, https://www1.president.go.kr/petitions.

People aged 18 to 24 frequented the webpage the most, accounting for 29.3 percent of all visitors, followed by those aged 25 to 34 at 26.1 percent and those aged 35 to 44 at 20.4 percent.

Twenty-to 30-somethings comprised over half of the petition page’s visitors, while only 5 percent of the visitors were above the age of 65. Those aged 55 to 64 made up 6.7 percent.

By gender, 54.5 percent of the online petitioners were men and 45.5 percent women.

Interests diverged among age groups. Political petitions saw higher participation from the older generation, while human rights and sociocultural issues attracted more attention from younger people.

A petition demanding justice for the October 2018 murder of a 20-year-old at an internet cafe in Seoul collected the most number of signatures among the 18-24 age group.

For all other age groups, a petition calling for the main conservative Liberty Korea Party’s disbandment was most highly participated, signed by about 1.83 million people. On the other hand, a petition seeking disbandment of the ruling Democratic Party was signed by about 330,000.

Petitions concerning ex-Justice Minister Cho Kuk ranked among the top 10 most signed by all age groups, except for the 18-24 age cohort.

The highest number of petitions concerned government and regulatory reform, comprising 18 percent of all petitions, followed by others, 12 percent, and rights issues, 10 percent.

Refuting criticism that the page has become a platform for political disputes, Cheong Wa Dae pointed out that petitions on human rights and gender equality drew the most number of signatures.

The petitions are signed using a social media account, and each person can sign a single petition multiple times. Some 69.6 million accounts were used to take part in a petition at least once, a number surpassing the current population of South Korea, 51.70 million.

Cheong Wa Dae’s petition page was launched Aug. 17, 2017 as a platform for people to raise issues directly with Cheong Wa Dae and solicit government action.

Then-presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok said the petition board was intended to enable “open dialogue between the presidential office and the people.”

The government is required to respond to a petition that collects 200,000 signatures or more within 30 days. So far, the government has responded to 124 petitions.

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)