Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Vote for me, I joined Facebook

Incredible to know but, what do Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf, Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, George W. Bush and every major US presidential hopeful all have in common? Well like Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao they have a Facebook profile. Wen has 13,000 supporters, small considerign the size of the Chinese populace but significant when Internet penetration is considered. OK it is impossible to say how many have to be his friend, given the Communist Party's style of government, but there may well be a love for the 66 year old who earlier this week reportedly called by bullhorn to one child trapped in the aftermath of the earthquake 'This is Grandpa Wen Jiabao, hang on child, we will rescue you!'. Whatever the case, it seems that even in China being on Facebook is a must have political accessory and must be seen as a way of enhancing ones reputation for being real, authentic, in touch etc etc; all those things that are supposed to engender trust. Will it have the desired effect one wonders or will it become another tool that effectively cancels itself out but will be seen as necessary as to not have one would be too great a risk?

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