South Korean tech startup OXOpolitics is taking a new approach to bridging the gap between politicians and citizens by promoting civil discourse on political issues.
Founded by Will Hohyon Ryu, a former software engineer at Airbnb and Twitter, the platform creates a community and forum service for discussing politics.
Since its launch in July 2020, OXOpolitics has attracted 11,498 users and secured seed-stage investments from Futureplay and Hashed.
OXOpolitics conducts polls on current political issues and, based on the results, categorizes users into liberal, moderate, and conservative tendencies.
These groups, represented as animal tribes, serve as organized communities for users to interact with others who share their political leanings.
As a result, users' political affiliations can change over time based on their activity within the community and forum.
According to founder and CEO Will Hohyon Ryu, the goal is to take political forums online and use analyzed data and opinions to contribute to decision-making processes.
The company plans to match users with similar political views with the press, congressmen, and opinion leaders, allowing politicians to use the collected data to make informed decisions.
The startup comes amid a history of extreme community sites and misinformation spreading through mobile platforms such as KakaoTalk and YouTube in South Korea.
In addition, some politicians have taken advantage of these extreme views and drastic actions. OXOpolitics aims to provide a balanced and civil platform for users to discuss politics without fear of retribution.
While startups in the UK have attempted to address political issues, South Korea's recent history of intelligence agencies manipulating comments to interfere in elections raises questions about the potential impact of OXOpolitics.
As a result, observers will be watching closely to see if the platform can successfully change and improve political discourse in the country.