Sierra Bein, Vice, June 1, 2015


s human beings, we search for our limits, as individuals and jointly as interests’ groups. On that quest, humans commit mistakes of different breadth sometimes without taking into account what these may mean, unaware that those actions may not be vanished in one place at one time. But now, if online, those wrongdoings are kept in the record. A member of the Legislative Assembly in Alberta (Canada) has been lately suspended after she apologized for a picture posted one year ago on Instagram. A newly elected official in Madrid (Spain) has also been suspended after a tweet joke written four years ago*. In the US, Politwoops, a website dedicated to record politician’s deleted tweets, has been killed by Twitter. What would have happened if politicians today had had a profile in the Internet when they were younger? This wicked question poses a debate, as we see today’s consequences for the Internet users. This is especially true for youngsters and their transition into future politicians, CEOs, mothers and fathers.

Being wrong is part of the process and, actually, recognizing it should not be a burden affecting the value of responsibility compulsory for (y)our professional life. But the landscape, with or without acknowledging an online background, depicts a 22% of registered voters in the US who clicked their political preference in past elections on social network sites. Only 1/3 of 18-24 year-olds think social media will influence their vote (poll by Ipsos Mori), while for millennials, sharing anything online is as natural as taking on new responsibilities when adults. Today’s youngsters and potential future politicians, under the rigid laws of morality, will be “social media celibate(s)”, with artificially monotone profiles. In other words, in the near future, “boring people will breed boring politicians who will create boring policies”.

Get in deeper:

Facebook Ends the Careers of an Entire Generation of Future Politicians by Onion News

Debate: Related Articles
Three Different Perspectives on the Same Issue. Click on the title to see more
Capitol Hill Buzz: Twitter Helps Save Congress from ItselfIs Social Media Trivialising Politics?Does a Politician’s Past Matter?
Twitter said it supports the Sunlight Foundation’s “mission of increasing transparency in politics and using civic tech and open data to hold government accountable to constituents, but preserving deleted Tweets violates our developer agreement.Stephen Ohlemacher, AP, June 4
I agree though, that there is a danger of clicktivism – a Facebook like isn’t a vote, and #bbcqt trending isn’t going to change the world. Plus, there isn’t a straight correlation between online engagement and offline polling.Anne McElvoy and Hannah Jane Parkinson, The Guardian, April, 25th 2015
Over the next few decades there will be a growing digital, online, and non-erasable catalog of our leaders’ relationships with former friends, lovers and confidants. What will society make of this?Mark Blackham, Personal Tumblr, May 4th, 2012
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