Yesterday’s @WashingtonPost article “Fans pen Facebook wall posts to lawmakers on debt ceiling” outlines a relatively new online advocacy strategy called “social advocacy.” Because the point of contact between constituents (local AND national) is on Facebook (or Twitter), lawmakers are forced to deal with them in real-time, instead of when it is convenient.
Remember when Rep. Boehner claimed he had never met a citizen who favored the public option? After AFSCME ran a Twitter petition on Act.ly mobilizing thousands of citizens to tell him they supported the public option, Boehner had to publicly admit he had now met citizens who favored the public option.
Targeting lawmakers on their social media pages is like a protesting outside their virtual offices. And since, in most cases, there are far more citizens interacting with lawmakers on Facebook and Twitter than will ever go to their offices, lawmakers should take these comments very seriously.
Note: I tried to post this comment directly on the Washington Post site, but no matter how many times I tried, it wouldn’t allow it. It kept prompting me for a MyPost ID, but wouldn’t accept any I tried. Extremely frustrating.