Are Latin American Governments ready for Social Media?

Just recently an article was published online, regarding censorship in Social Media and President Calderon from Mexico.

Calderon has a page in Facebook and basically if you become a fan you are allowed to post your comments in there. The article describes how the admins of the page don’t leave aggresive comments from members and can erase them in minutes.

The article followed both negative and positive comments in the President’s page, however the negative ones disappeared later on.

If you have a page in Facebook and you are the admin, you can erase comments or report the user. However due to the lack of freedom of speech that lasted so many years in Mexico and Latin America, it is expected for new Presidents to take all comments, from jokes on TV, Radio and obviously tough stories in the media.

In summary, if you praise President Calderon you get a message from him, saying Thank You for your support. If your comment is negative it is erased.

This was considered Censorship from the Mexican government by the person who wrote the article.

However it is probably a lack of understanding and management of all messages in social media.  Before getting into Social Media is important to see what are the messages out there, do we need to manage our reputation? And most importantly we need to create a clear process on how to handle tough situations, so we won’t give negative messages to our key audiences by handling comments in certain way.

I imagine this could happen as well in other countries but what would be the best way to manage it?

http://www.proceso.com.mx/noticias_articulo.php?articulo=72082

Ana Leckenby

Director of Strategy & Analytics at Webcertain

5 Responses to Are Latin American Governments ready for Social Media?

  1. Ray Ruga says:

    Social media is relatively new in Latin America, especially in political circles. The few leaders who are experimenting with it are doing so on the heels of then-candidate Obama’s great success in building his grass roots organization and fundraising support base. It looked easy, but obviously it’s not. Additionally, most, if not almost all, are not accustomed to the aggressive media give-and-take seen in western democracies, much less from the public at large.

    The irony is that the amateurish effort at censuring negative comments ended up creating a greater reputation hit than if they had left them. This reflects both the cultural proclivities of the President’s communications operation as well as a lack of fundamental understanding of how social media works.

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