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03.10.2011 08:29

There's a lot more to do in FACEBOOK too

David Mchedlidze
Media Discusions

More and more Georgian politicians register at the social network facebook.  Opposition politicians, for whom the traditional media sources are less available, were more active at one time.  Social network is the most available and democratic possibility for spreading information, communicating with the society and expressing own ideas, which is well understood and used by journalists, civil society representatives and just active citizens.  Lately the government authorities have significantly activated also.  Central TV channels even dedicated reports to virtual life of the Chairman of Parliament.  It appeared that there are over 30 thousand members in David Bakradze's open group.

We visited David Bakradze's page at facebook too.  October 1 the Chairman of Parliament made the following post:

"Friends!  Thank you all again for being active and for support. As you can see there over 30 thousand of us, which means that we will again be able to meet each other J I have several business trips inside the country next several days, so I propose to organize the meetings a little later.  I will let you know about the precise date in several days.  Do you agree? J "

17 "friends"  shared David Bakradze's status, 470 of them liked it and there have been 150 comments to it.

Majority of the "friends"  of the Chairman of Parliament were very happy with the given post.  Irma G. writes:  "I hope I will be in that list Mr. David.  I have great expectations.  You are a great person.  I really did not think there would be another meeting."  

Still there are some "friends" about whom you cannot say they are friends.  There's one like that, Vitaly, but you will not be able to read his comment, because it has been erased.  Still, on Bakradze's wall there are comments to Vitaly's "comment." "Who are you writing that to?" - David D. asks.  Shotiko D.'s comment is harsher:  "Why are you swearing? Why are you people so cruel?"

Tako P. Tells David Bakradze about the incident in Melaani (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7JKe0KBbgs&feature=player_embedded) and asks "Do you know things like this happen in Georgia?"  Tako P.'s question remains without an answer.

Of course David Bakradze is not the only one in facebook.  Members of executive branch are also active in the social network, including the head of one of the most confidential ministry - of correction, probation and legal assistance.  Khatuna Kalmakhelidze's page in facebook is liked by over 10 thousand people.  Not a single question about the correction system, condition of prisoners...  Comments to wall photos are all positive, warm and happy.

"I always monitor your work by facebook all the time.  I like everything you do very much.  May God bless you and make you stronger.  You are a successful and strong minister and a beautiful, smart and educated woman." This is a comment made one of Kalmakhelidze's "friends", but even such a positive comment is left without a reply and "like".

Almost all of the members of government have their pages in facebook like Khatuna Kalmakhelidze and David Bakradze.  You can even see Zurab Adeishvili in the facebook virtual world, although the Minister of Justice is just as laconic in writing, as in talking.  "Georgia 81 - Belgium 59 at Eurobasket 2011..." this is one of his last posts.

Thankful citizens are most active at Zurab Adeishvili's "wall".  For example Vakhtang K. thanks the minister of justice very much for rehabilitating the Gremi complex.  Still it is noteworthy that the minister of justice has only 1500 "likers".  That's probably because people haven't even seen him on TV and just do not believe he really exists...

Of course Bakradze, Kalmakhelidze and Adeishvili are not an exception.  The powerful politicians usually create open groups which are free for anyone to join.  Still, becoming a member of a group does not necessarily mean backfeed and good communication.  Group administrator of a minister, or another authority expects from you only positive comments.  It is kind of a fan-club were the question-answer regime is not accepted.  It would be interested to know who these liker-friends are.  Of course they cannot all be members of the governing party, state employed, or their family members.  Still it is not very important, as the main capital in the virtual world is the number of likers!  It appears that the pre-election mobilization of the governing party and the government in facebook is for gaining the given capital.  In the country were there is a rich experience in winning elections by "dead souls", the politicians will manage something with virtual support too.  So, there's still a lot more to do in FACEBOOK too!

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