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 recent announcement that she was running to become New York State’s next governor.
The first tweet — in English — was followed two minutes later with the same message, this time in Korean.
Both posts tagged Nixon’s account and included screenshots of her original announcement tweet, which included an easy-to-remember website url.
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 promote political candidates.
The identity of the person in charge of the embassy’s social-media account has piqued the interest of many followers. One would assume that a career Foreign Service Officer would be handling the task; however, the person’s unfamiliarity with what’s appropriate for an official government account has given rise to speculation that the person in charge may not even be someone who grew up in the United States.
A commenter also pointed out at the present time 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 issued by an official representative of the country.
The tweets were deleted less than 20 minutes later. Archived tweets:
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.