It shouldn’t be a revelation that encouraging leadership engagement on social media can turbo-boost a company’s social media impact. The starting point for many businesses is often LinkedIn – it’s (likely) where a key audience is and it’s ordinarily a less hostile environment than other channels. As such we’re often asked by clients for examples of high-profile individuals using the channel actively and successfully. Although there are an increasing number of leaders active on the platform (39 FTSE 100 CEOs of which 7 post actively), it’s worth looking at politicians to really make your point. As G20 leaders gather in Hamburg it’s interesting to see a few among their number are also using the channel to get their message across: stand-up, Mauricio Macri, Malcolm Turnbull, Justin Trudeau, Narenda Modi, Emmanuel Macron and Shinzo Abe. Common across all these leaders is an up to date profile and frequent posting. If you’re going to do it – do it properly.
If you were going to guess which politician would spark a grassroots social media movement, you probably wouldn’t land on Jacob Rees-Mogg, an eccentric Conservative backbencher, well known for his unique oratory and sardonic put downs – but then you wouldn’t have guessed a 68-year-old anti-war campaigner would be Glastonbury’s biggest draw either.
Rees-Mogg is a walking anachronism (case in point: he recently named his sixth child Sixtus), and somehow he’s charming the nation. Thousands of people have joined Facebook groups which satirise or support him, and his Instagram account, which is filled with quips about life on the campaign trail, is more popular than the personal account of Theresa May. This movement behind Rees-Mogg is highly entertaining; but more than that, it’s engaging the youth. Facebook groups like Ready for Rees-Mogg and the brilliantly named Middle Class Memes for Rees-Moggian Teens helped collect 10,000 signatures for a petition to show support for a leadership challenge.
Rees-Mogg might be an Old Etonian, a former hedge fund manager, a traditional Catholic, a small state Tory and the most visibly posh man in Parliament for a generation. But he doesn’t try to spin it, and that transparency is working in his favour.
In its latest effort to rid the internet of fake news and hate speech, the German parliament approved a plan last Friday to fine social media networks up to €50 million if they fail to remove hateful postings promptly. The law requires networks to find and delete posts containing “evidently unlawful” abusive material within 24 hours to avoid being hit with a penalty.
Theresa May has previously suggested introducing similar measures in the UK, but a number of organisations representing digital companies, consumers and journalists have claimed that the law could damage free speech and turn social media companies into “opinion police”. Clearly, social networks like Facebook and Twitter have a role to play in challenging hate speech and fake news, but it’s unlikely they’ll please everyone. The danger here is that the potential for large fines leads social media networks to be over-cautious and censorious for all but the most dreary content.
REAL LIFE ROBOCOP
By the end of the year, Dubai’s police force will have a new recruit patrolling the streets: a self-driving car that acts a mobile surveillance unit. The miniature vehicles are set to report for duty before the end of the year as part of Dubai’s plan to have robots make up a quarter of its force by 2030.The machines, dubbed “O-R3,” each include a 360-degree camera, built-in surveillance system, and deployable drone.
Earlier last month, Dubai Police inducted its first robotic police officer into its ranks. The officer robot will be deployed to tourist spots and is equipped with a camera that transmits live images to the operations room and can be used to identify suspects. You might be thinking it’s no surprise that Dubai is resurrecting RoboCop, but it’s happening in the US too. A Mountain View startup called Knightscope has developed a fleet of crime-fighting machinery it hopes to keep us safe. The future has arrived.
ALSO THIS WEEK
- DCMS to become the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – GOV.UK
- Trump escalates bitter Twitter feud with CNN with violent tweet – THE DRUM
- Snapchat’s new update allows everyone to add links to snaps – THE VERGE
- Wetherspoons delete their email database – WIRED