Didn't think it was possible for NYC Mayor to become a bigger hypocrite? Guess again. Despite having a Twitter accounts of his own (personal & professional), a Facebook page, and multiple other channels, Mayor McFascist can't help but bash social media.
Yes, despite the massive growth of New York Cities tech scene, doesn't dig the social media scene. (Is anyone really surprised a tool that expands an individual's ability to make their voice heard and impact change isn't on the mayor's admiration list?) He disdain centers around many of things to be expected of someone who likes to restrict individual liberty: It makes governing harder.
Despite Twitter and Facebook's ability to allow Bloomberg in engage with the citizens of New York City on an individual level, he somehow believes social media creates new challenges for the government. Have any governments that protect the freedoms of their people been negatively impacted by the social media revolution? The United States seems to have more citizens engaging with their representatives due to the tools — they're sharing more news about what's going on inside of Washington and can get real time feedback from their elected officials.
The fact is, the only governments to experience real challenges and threats to power are the oppressive ones like Iran, Egypt, Syria, etc. The same governments that are doing everything they can to restrict and block open, unregulated access to the internet and social media.
Mr. Collective, is of course worried about "the greater good," not the individual liberties of American citizens. Bloomberg, who has an active twitter account managed by his staff, just things there needs to be some rules around social media. Yesterday he said,
"Number one, I don't understand why people don't understand that anything you write, anything you send out, is gonna be retweeted, re-Facebooked, re-this, re-that," he said, at a Williamsburg press conference about helping the unemployed get jobs. "You should write down, number one, only things you believe, and number two, then think about how it would look if somebody else sees it. There are just a lot of young kids who are doing things on their Twitter account, their Facebook account, that later on is gonna come back and bite them."
He later added, "You can't talk about a complex subject, or a controversial subject, in a soundbite…The bottom line is it's very addictive, it's easy, you hit a button and nobody thinks that the rest of the world is looking at it."
"Now he's going after the First Amendment," Glenn reacted after hearing Bloomberg's comments. "Now, why would you want — why would you want people not to be able to tweet? Why would you want people not to be able to use Facebook?"
On the surface, it sounds like he doesn't want dissenters given a voice. And, in typical Bloomberg fashion, he thinks Americans are too stupid to not believe everything that they see and read online.
Ultimately, it's all about control.
"Think of Cyprus. How did the people find out about Cyprus?" Glenn asked.
The media wasn't doing their job and the story wasn't being reported on, so the word got out on Twitter that Cypus was taxing its citizens personal bank accounts.
Glenn explained that last week in England, they passed the equivalent of an executive order to put in a new Minister of Media to make sure that the media's all on the up-and-up when reporting about the government. The Parliament had nothing to do with the law, the Queen put it through, so no one can go back and change it at all.
What Bloomberg is describing is very similar. He wants to remove the obstacles to govern.
In a NYT article March of last year, Michael Grynbaum wrote about the NYC Mayor's disparagement of social media. In a speech the Mayor delivered in Singapore, he spoke about the difficulties of leading a city into the future amid a political cultures that is often focused on the short term.
The mayor noted that technology, despite its benefits, can add new pitfalls to an already grueling process. “Social media is going to make it even more difficult to make long-term investments” in cities, Mr. Bloomberg said.
“We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day,” he said. “And it’s very hard for people to stand up to that and say, ‘No, no, this is what we’re going to do,’ when there’s constant criticism, and an election process that you have to look forward to and face periodically.”
Later, Mr. Bloomberg noted that long-term urban planning “requires leadership, and standing up, and saying, ‘You know, you elected me, this is what we’re going to do,’ and not take a referendum on every single thing.”
The thing is, Bloomberg's words are just another example of his "do as I say, not as I do" leadership. His office has not been hesitant to use social media a political tool to push through his agenda. He's using social media right now to promote his nationwide anti-gun ad campaign. You can bet that mayors who support the Constitutional right of Americans to own guns don't find his campaign being pushed through their cities particularly helpful or within the boundaries of his power as NYC Mayor. But, it's okay when Michael Bloomberg does something, he just doesn't want anyone getting in his way.
"It's not going to happen overnight but they are controlling now absolutely everything," Glenn said. "They want control of your information, they want control of the media, they want control of your guns, they want control of the food. They want control of your money and the banks and how you spend it. They want control of your movement here and there and everywhere, through the TSA. Does anybody notice they are building a little trap, a little box that you're not getting out? I'm sorry. I'm sorry. That would only be an out‑of‑control government that would do that. And we know the Western world doesn't have a problem with that."
In other words, instead of listening to what the people are saying, if he had his way he would shut it down to get his agenda through without any public criticism or challenges.