Politicians walking around on social networks: here’s what doesn’t work


TIKTOKMANIA also infects Carlo Calenda, who landed on the most popular social network for young people a few days ago. The goal is the usual one: to intercept the vote of the new generations through direct, informal videos, a very horizontal communication, albeit far from the stylistic standard (and from the same spirit) of the Chinese platform. The leader of Action seems, however, to belong to that category of politicians who try to relate to young people without denying their status as a boomer, even knowing how to play with it. In short, we will be able to see Calenda address the TikTok audience with casual clothes or with videos made to look improvised, but he will hardly overflow into ridicule by choosing a trap base for his clips of him. And, in fact, he immediately made it clear in his first post: “Not just dancing, I look like a drunk bear – he began – I can’t give make-up advice because I have a belly and I’m ugly”. Result so far: almost 10 thousand followers.

But let’s go back to the belly, or rather the bacon. He did discuss the tweet of Enrico Letta who resumed a parody of the communication campaign in red and black of the Democratic Party created by “Pasta & Revolution”. For the uninitiated, the dem electoral commercials show, for each topic, on the black field the proposals of the center-right (with a clearly negative meaning) and on a red background those of the center-left, accompanied by the motto “choose”. “Pasta & Revolution” has re-proposed it in an edible sauce, inviting you to decide between pancetta (in black) and bacon (in red) as a condiment. Letta, who retweeted the satirical post, didn’t think twice about it: «Pillow all life» he wrote with a smile on his face.

Found it nice but not fully promoted by the network. Apart from the responses of some opponents (from Calenda to Salvini) there were criticisms from users, who invited the former prime minister to be more serious. There was, however, no lack of appreciation for the attempt. This shows that social media are material to always be handled with care. Matteo Salvini knows something about it, present on all platforms (including TikTok) for which, often, the web has been a double-edged sword. The feast of Papeete and the questionable episode (in 2020) of the cherries eaten by the leader of the League while the governor of Veneto, Luca Zaia, spoke of the yellow about the death of some newborns in regional hospitals, bombs exploded through social media. On the other hand, Salvini’s direct communication methods, the display of intimate aspects of his “average Italian” life and the choice of themes that are immediately understandable to users (such as immigration) continue to arouse the interest of his followers. The choice of the slogan “I believe” is certainly effective, even if its vaguely confessional connotations have not been exempt from criticism.

Curiosity: “Credo” is also a song by Giorgia, a singer who recently attacked Giorgia Meloni on Instagram. A chance or a veiled attack on the ally in a premiership perspective? The first, certainly.

But the theme introduces another: the role played, in this election campaign, by influencers. In addition to Giorgia, the leader of Fdi was fiercely criticized (again on Instagram) by another singer: the former judge of X-Factor Levante. Among the accusations she also made that of having defined “deviant eating disorders that afflict thousands of young people and not”. An exit, that of Meloni, which caused a real storm. The answer, everyone, was not long in coming. Meloni has, in fact, published a photo as a girl with her mother who, for years, has been suffering from obesity due to a problem linked to metabolism. She herself, she said, had to deal with the scales throughout her youth, doing sports. Good feedback with thousands of supportive comments, interspersed with some controversial posts.

Silvio Berlusconi is less imaginative than with his “pills” published on Fb continues to replicate the scheme of the 1993 descent into the field complete with a bookcase behind him. Sometimes he allows himself some out-of-the-line play like when, speaking of security, he faked a gaffe by inviting the Communist Party to vote, then adding “oops, I’m wrong, vote Forza Italia”.

And then there is Conte who, on multiple platforms (including TikTok), continues with the “Kids Eye” format in which he addresses young people directly by analyzing the center-right proposals that concern them, from the algorithm called upon to select job proposals to possible reintroduction of compulsory military conscription. Another way to try to find a precious electoral basin in the new generations. If the strategy has worked, only the polls will tell.


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Politicians walking around on social networks: here’s what doesn’t work – Il Quotidiano del Sud