From ‘PM Lee starts Facebook page and it already has thousands of ‘likes’, 21 April 2012, article in Today online.
Some eight hours after launching his official Facebook page and Twitter account yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s site… attracted over 17,000 “likes” as of 11.45pm yesterday.
…The Prime Minister said “many” of his colleagues have been using social media, including Facebook, and had encouraged him to start his own Facebook page. “Having watched them, I have decided to join the fun,” said Mr Lee.
…Mr Lee’s staff will help him maintain his page but the Prime Minister said he will try to post as often as he can and sign off his own posts with his initials. “As a Facebook newbie, I would appreciate your advice, suggestions and, most of all, your patience,” said Mr Lee. “I hope you like (and Like) what you read.”
It’s probably a wise move by our PM to delay entry to Facebook/Twitter, judging by the number of politicians learning the hard way after being flamed online, who would beg to differ that social media is any ‘FUN’ at all. As much as social media can be a politician’s best friend, it can also destroy your entire career. Some uvuncular levity and ice-breaking emoticons are always good for a start as a FB newbie, but here’s a few lessons for PM Lee to ponder upon whenever he decides to share insights other than what he ‘just had for dinner’.
1. Don’t Facebook or Tweet while the National Anthem is playing
2. Don’t make jokes at Tin Pei Ling’s expense.
3. Make disclaimers and references upfront when posting ideas that are not entirely yours.
4. Don’t ask Singaporeans to ‘reflect on their actions’.
It’s unlikely that trolls would try anything funny on PM’s page, judging by how netizens are being lynch-mobbed, sued or reported to the police for clicking ‘Post’ or typing ‘LOL’ a bit too hastily. Somewhat of an about-turn by the man, who not so long ago referred to social media as a ‘cowboy town’, and this cautious debut is like a stranger in the ‘Wild West’ stepping into the salon and asking politely for the beverages menu. But as someone who cites ‘tinkering with computers’ as a hobby, Facebook/Twitter was only a matter of time since he last whipped out a handphone to stream video live using a program called Qik during the 2008 National Day Rally.
Savvy. Here’s what people from the Twitterverse think of PM Lee on Facebook/Twitter. Not even Kumar got this kind of wild adulation.
CUTE..with exclamation marks
To me, PM Lee’s bringing online intimacy to the next level is neither surprising, cool or cute, though it smacks of an goofy earnestness which may endear to most people (In last year’s GE Facebook chat, he signed off with a TTFN) . Starting a tumblr blog like Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a different matter altogether.