Take Twitter seriously - Idasa

2010-11-04 22:09
Cape Town - Politicians would do well to start taking social media more seriously and deal with the issues raised by users, rather than worry about their image, the Institute for Democracy in Africa has said.

"All political parties are starting to understand the value of social media and some politicians are more active than others," Idasa online communications manager Samantha Fleming told News24.

Recently, the ANC Youth League has blasted the micro-blogging service Twitter over fraudulent accounts in the name of firebrand youth leader Julius Malema. The ANCYL vowed to shut down the service and caused an angry reaction from Twitter users.

"In the (United) States there's lots more people who use social media, and in terms of African countries, we're getting on the bandwagon," said Fleming.

'Just chatting'

She said that most of the bigger parties had social media accounts, but that individual politicians were slowly migrating to use social media as a way of engaging with the public.

"The DA has the advantage so far but the landscape is changing. You don't need millions on Twitter, you need those with influence to spread your message further. Facebook is becoming more and more popular, but don't forget MXit."

Fleming said that the Barack Obama presidential campaign had generated enormous traction, and some South African politicians were starting to take the site (Facebook) more seriously, particularly as more people joined.

It also serves the majority of the population who do not have computers.

"Mobile is really huge - it's not like you need to have an iPhone. Even people with a basic phone can access social media. They aren't organising and mobilising on Facebook; it's just chatting to friends, but it's a small step to get there," she said.

Relationships

The ANCYL in particular seems to have had a change of view on social networks. The organisation rejected a blog in a March campaign on media freedom begun by Sipho Hlongwane.

"I'm never worried about that, why should I be worried about these fake people?" Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu told News24 at the time.

Shivambu had earlier said that the ANCYL was of the opinion that the internet doesn't "speak to our people" and would not follow up on stories about the organisation on the internet.

However, this week the ANCYL vowed that it would close Twitter and report the site for allowing fraudulent accounts in Malema's name.

Fleming said that politicians could use Twitter to establish relationships with the public.

"Politicians are using them (social networks) to establish relationships with people and the right way, I guess, is to make people feel like they're in a relationship. Don't worry about your image, speak to the issue."

She had some advice for Malema and the ANCYL: "Roll with the punches."


- Follow Duncan on Twitter
 
- News24
Read more on:    idasa  |  twitter  |  ancyl  |  social networks
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
20 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Be open, network and share your intentions and ideas as these may be the vital seeds to the imminent change that can be starting...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.