The OTHER thing we should never accept by ANY political leader
Besides fomenting riots, of course.
It’s something that may seem totally trivial and irrelevant. In reality, it is way, way more important than you think. Please demand it from your government, wherever you live.
What is wrong and must stop, as soon as possible
This post just starts from Joe Biden, but only because he may be the “first responder” for the problem, and solution, that I am about to present. But it applies to every other President, King, Prime Minister or country leader, everywhere they are. Including my own prime minister, Giuseppe Conte.
Here is the problem: government leaders, or ministers, who make any combination of these two mistakes:
- make institutional announcements, comments or any other statement… first, or only, on any social media, instead of the institutional website of their office
- during their office, use their own, personal accounts on social media to share anything more relevant than what their kitten ate for dinner
This is an unacceptable, dumb practice
This is something that should end as soon as possible, and not just because someone may exploit to foment assaults to Capitols, some day. It would be unacceptable and dumb even if President Trump had used his personal Twitter account to concede to Biden, make peace with Mexico and promote renewable energies, all in the same tweet.
Again, this applies to every country. During the first lockdown in Italy, one of the things that upset me was Prime Minister Conte doing the same thing as Trump here: announcing or explaining COVID-19 measures live on Facebook, instead of streaming or publishing the same video on the official website of the italian government.
First, Such practices are unacceptable, because every human being in any such office carries huge responsibilities, but not as, or for, him or herself.
A wall on the US-Mexican border may be wrong or right. That is another issue. But who decides or explains such a wall is the President, or more exactly the Presidency, of the United States. Not Trump, Biden, or anybody else. Therefore, the only proper first way, place and channel for such communication, is the official online seat of that institution.
Second, such practices are dumb, because no government leader (again: the institution, not whatever human being is temporarily playing that part) should ever tolerate that the first, original version of what they say is a Post-It on the billboard of any private company, that could take it down any second.
This does not mean that Twitter and similar platforms should not have the right to cancel whoever they want, presidents included. That is a totally, totally different story for another day.
What a Chief of State or Government says in public is an historical document. It is international relationships between sovereign states, that can save or ruin lives. It cannot be as fragile, and volatile, as my own sharing on Twitter the wonderful home-made Tortellini I had for Christmas, for heaven’s sake. It just can’t. It is totally dumb that it is.
What all government leaders should do: learn from certain pop singers and, probably, sex workers
Government leaders should copy what a pop stars like Zendaya did, and many sex workers may do soon. I have read somewhere that Pornhub could never be “canceled” or silenced as easily as Parler, because it has its own data center, instead of squatting on Amazon’s premises. This is the same thing.
Government leaders should go the POSSE way, and should do it by law: “Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere”. And, still by law, they should be forbidden for using personal accounts for political matters, while in office.
Of course, the Presidency (not the President) of the United States and its equivalent in other countries should have their official accounts on Twitter, Facebook and so on. But those accounts should only syndicate what is first published on the institutional website. Oh, and that website should heavily promote RSS, not social media (also here), as the best, first and most direct way to know what it publishes.
Ask Joe Biden to lead the way!
A practice like this, especially together with the “two minutes of hate” I proposed this week, would do wonders to make public discourse more polite and inclusive, diminish online hate speech, preserve national sovereignty and, last but surely not least, return some prestige, trust, impartiality.. to political institutions. Heavens know if they need it, these days.
Therefore, I dare suggest US President-elect Joe Biden to lead the way, that is to officially pledge, as soon as possible, to use social media as suggested here. If you agree, make this proposal go viral. Please share it as much as you see fit (once more: whatever country you live in, Biden would and should only be the first!). On Twitter, please use the hashtag #WebFirstPledge (possibly with @mfioretti_en in CC. On Facebook, like and share the WebFirstPledge page.