Social Media Perils
Local elected officials feel obligated to comment on things on social media. Often with disastrous results
If there is one frustration that I have with the social media era of politics, it’s the fact that every politician and every organization feels compelled to create content about it. It’s Halloween? Let’s post about Halloween Safety. It’s Veterans Day? Let’s send out a self-serving email about our Veterans, but with a fundraising link.
Some of these posts accidentally spill the beans on the madness of it all.
Earlier today, Delegate Robin Grammar made a Facebook post about the landfalling Hurricane Ida in Louisiana. Ida is in the process of decimating Southeastern Louisiana and is going to create billions of dollars in damage and cost a lof of people their lives.
Unfortunately, if you were to read Grammar’s post, you would think the Baltimore area was in the line of fire.
To say that this was incendiary and fear-mongering would be an understatement. While the remnants of Ida will likely track over Maryland, and while there will likely be thunderstorms and heavy rain when it does, it is not the apocalyptic nightmare scenario that Grammer’s post would want you to think. This isn’t going to be Isabel, Irene, or Gloria.
To Grammer’s credit, he cleaned it up later by memory-holing the original post and putting a much less aggressive (though still meteorologically questionable) safety warning later in the day.
My point here is not to pick on Grammer, but to question the entire line of thinking itself. Why do politicians find it necessary to post material about current events all of the time? Why do politicians find it important to post information like this? How does this post make it this far without some basic fact-checking on the situation? Why do we, as an electorate, expect politicians to comment on these types of things and share information like this.
It’s all food for thought, really. But we must expect our politicians to do better by us and by their constituents.