If the politicians are going to do some
electioneering in the social domain, it’s only fair that we cast judgment on their strategies (or lack thereof).
The potential for awkwardness, hilarity and/or humiliation is very high. And that’s just within this blog.
Channel 7 reporter Alex Hart uncovered a certain level of awkwardness in political videos previously reserved for Rudd’s off-the-record rants or Tony Abbott’s minutes of silence.
I'm not quite sure what to make of this apparent Lib candidate video. Is it legit!? whoisbernadetteblack.com/#teens/cmh1 #ausvotes—
Alex Hart (@alexhart7) August 05, 2013
Enjoy it – or, at least, watch it.
What’s wrong with it?
Bernadette wants to be cool. Her first barrier to having us believe this is her first name. She’s your aunty who wants to be your best friend despite forgetting all your birthdays and re-gifting you some crap from CopperArt. She then describes your particularly non-rockstar lifestyle in ho-hum suburbia, punctuated only by realisation your dreams are unattainable (cue Liberal three-word slogans).
Also, she says ‘LOLCATS’ out loud.
Bernadette is big L Liberal with tragically small production values, broadcasting from a world of macro-suede, friends called Suzie and dreams of making a difference beyond her weekly bookstall down the arcade.
Despite the fact it was posted on his party’s Facebook page one week ago, Fred Nile’s Australian Christian Democratic Party gained considerably more attention today when it was spread more widely on twitter.
Whoa. Look what Fred Nile's Christian Democratic Party posted on Facebook. #ausvotes http://t.co/Ce0TiSwXlK—
Ryan (@genericleftist) August 05, 2013
Before long, Fred’s post – nothing new for a group who likes to target the homosexual lobby’s ‘Equality’ slogan – was being compared to racist discrimination
Fred Nile and his supporters are some of Australia's biggest villains. #teamnile #teamvile http://t.co/xawEMxyAeU—
Dylan Smith (@dsblue55) August 05, 2013
What’s wrong with it?
Nile’s team pushes a very conservative Christianity agenda using techniques as old and tired as I imagine his average supporter is. The decision to focus on divisive issues and approach them with bitterness means that his efforts online will never resonate widely. Indeed, In the context of social media context where messages need to be truncated, Fred’s approach replaces any complexity or nuance with cheap, often offensive one-liners.
I think that the result of his approach will be to narrow his appeal – even while his posts may get enormous reach within social networks.
This is an example of a post everyone feels safe to retweet without fear of people thinking you endorse the views.
Let me know of you see any good or sensationally bad examples of social media campaigning in the next five weeks. Such a shame it’s not eighteen months like in the US.