|Toppled by social media|
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Leaders that don’t listen and social media
The mayor’s last stand…
Neilsen: The Council was split.
Gallup: Did he have the numbers?
Neilsen: He was in a corner. Most council members against him. Dredging up the darkest crisis management strategies, he used fake news press releases, commissioned fake surveys to support his position and hired business reps to speak at council, to say that the his plan would bring more jobs and lower taxes.
Gallup: Did it work?
Neilsen: It was close. But the opposition marshaled its speakers, arguing that the surveys were flawed, that the mayor’s plan was not moral nor legal. They spoke persuasively. But in the end the mayor was defeated, 7 to 5, claiming that he’d been defeated by a vocal minority on social media.
Gallup: Did he know that Estrada in the Philippines, Ben Ali in Tunisia, Gaddafi in Libya and Mubarak in Egypt were all overthrown by outrage expressed first on social media?
Neilsen: He’d said he never listens to social media. But when leaders stop listening, that is the beginning of their undoing.
When a mayor does something morally questionable, or ignores historical agreements, citizens should speak up. Research, write letters to the newspaper, text on FaceBook or Twitter, write articles, email, start a group, put up a website, hold meetings, attend council meetings, heckle.
Although the mayor mainly used traditional print media for his propaganda, digital media won the day. He had used Facebook, but when he started receiving criticism, he took himself off it.