Living in glass houses?

Glass Houses

A statement by the most inspiring Charlie Beckett during a lecture organised by the Strickland Foundation really made me think. Beckett stated that as a result of Social Media we are now living in glass houses. I don’t personally agree with this statement as I am of the opinion that on the internet we are free to share what we want to share, so it might seem like we are living in glass houses, but the glass is very heavily tinted.

However, while browsing Facebook, there are a few profiles which feel fabricated. Of course I am not one to point fingers and judge since the more time goes by the more I find myself self-censoring, choosing which picture to upload, and untagging more and more drunk pictures of myself.

Is this a symptom of getting closer to 30? It is but 6 months away now.

But I think I can trace this fear of sharing and self-censorship to the election campaign. I am very liberal, pro-choice and believe in the live and let live mantra, I have lived by this since I was able to form an opinion. My family is of mixed political colours and I have cross voted ever since I can remember.

During the last election I found myself on the side of the Partit Nazzjonalista. My belief was that they were the party which were most fit to govern in the 5 years coming and I was reasonably happy with the direction Malta had taken, especially during the economic crisis. As any party in government, the PN weren’t perfect and I was furious after issues such as the Divorce vote and the position on ACTA, but in today’s financial climate I believed the PN were a better choice.

I understand that a liberal such as myself is not aligned with a party such as the Partit Nazzjonalista but I wasn’t convinced by the alternative, even though I am more than happy for the Partit Laburista to prove me wrong.

During the campaign, I found myself blogging, posting, updating content which was more pro-PN and I found myself being called all sorts of things and being accused of being a Nazzjonalista with blinkers. I loathed such a stamp; I couldn’t even understand how people can simply put you in a neat little box because of an opinion. I never had anything to gain by the PN winning the election and neither did my family, yet I was accused of coming from a long line of Nazzjonalisti and that I had no idea about what was going on in Malta.

The worst thing is that I found myself not having the energy to rebut such statements, and found it much easier to not post anything. Why should I share my thoughts if some people out there are pricks who cannot accept that different people have different opinions, and there is always more sides to one story.

So now, here I am once again, wondering if I should hit the PUBLISH button on the top right corner. I once read that the older you get the more conservative you become, could that be happening to me? I shudder at the thought! But for now I am posting this and I will try to go back to being more of a ‘sharer’.

And in the meantime, a song which kind of relates;

Hot or Bot? 44% of Joseph Muscat’s Twitter followers are fake or inactive

image via @JosephMuscat_JM

According to Fake Follower Checker the Leader of the Opposition’s Twitter account is riddled with fake, inactive users. It is true he might have more than 2000 followers but 44% of these are just fake or inactive.

This doesn’t come as a shock, I have noticed this kind of ‘cheating’ for some time now. Joseph Muscat’s Twitter account follows 199 people but in turn is followed by 2140. If you’ve been around Twitter you will know this simply doesn’t happen unless you are an online superstar or a social media guru. Joseph Muscat doesn’t yet fall into that category and when seeing such ratio of following:followers it was clear something wasn’t adding up.

Yesterday, an article on Mashable exposed the fact that President Obama’s Twitter account also has 70% fake followers.

The guys over at StatusPeople, responsible for building the software explained how their system works “Fake accounts tend to follow a lot of people but have few followers… We then combine that with a few other metrics to confirm the account is fake.”

This is not the first occurance of politicians inflating their Twitter numbers to demonstrate their power; “They are part of the arsenal of modern-day communications – if you can flaunt a high level of support, you will attract further support.” says Marco Camisani Calzolari, an Italian Professor who also came up with an algorithim to determine fake followers and earlier this year exposed Beppe Grillo’s allegiance of fake followers.

Of course, it has to be said that everyone has fake Twitter followers, the trick is to see how the percentages tally up. Below are my Twitter scores compared to those of Joseph Muscat. For the sake of correctness I am also including the Faker scores for @PNMalta and @PL_Malta. However note that both these two accounts, when they started out, mass followed a lot of people.

So I guess we managed to find yet another similarity between Joseph Muscat and President Obama.

Scoop! Joseph Muscat’s new job in PR

It is no secret that I am an avid social media harlot, and these past few months I have been keeping an eye out on how politics are being played out in the social media sphere locally. You might want to read my take on how the three main parties are using Twitter and who is winning the election in 142 characters, or maybe you would like to take a look at twitter comments which were posted after the resignation of Richard Cachia Caruana as Permanent Representative.

Social media is my passion and after so many years of dabbling within it I do have some tips and tricks. So here is one for whoever is taking care of Joseph Muscat’s Twitter page; DO NOT RETWEET ADVERTS.

There you go, it’s been announced here first; Joseph Muscat is doing MANGANO’s PR. What is your take on this? And most importantly, what would Kurt Calleja have looked like without Mangano?