Earlier this April, I’ve observed how the power of YouTube videos overlapped with the career of two politicians from two different countries … in two different ways!
In the first occasion, we watched Hillary Clinton officially launching her second bid for the presidency via a YouTube video shared on her campaign’s website and social media channels. Obviously, Clinton and her campaign team wanted to leverage the power of social media to reach out to as many voters as possible.
Here’s the video if you haven’t watched it yet:
Just around the same time Hillary Clinton was enjoying launching her campaign on YouTube, another politician in one of the closest allies of the USA was strongly hit by a YouTube storm.
In Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz sacked Health Minister Ahmed Khatib following the wide spread of short video filmed by a citizen and published on YouTube. In this short video, the citizen has filmed the Health minister (former minister indeed!) Ahmed Khatib while having a heated argument with another citizen, the minister wasn’t happy at all with the citizen complaints and he was shouting and making angry gestures.
Here’s the video from Saudi Arabia:
A short video, filmed by a citizen’s mobile, posted on YouTube leads to the dismiss of a minister by an order from the King in one of the most conservatives countries!
Though the stories have two different contexts, they show examples of the power of social media and its possible influence in today’s politics. Therefore, government agencies need to always educate their leaders and staff on how to use social media effectively in a way that help them better communicate with the public (as in the first story) while avoiding it’s possible risks … as in the Saudi video.
In addition, having a comprehensive and well designed social media policy can help a lot in enlightening those leaders and staff on how to and not to use social media. The new guidance from the Office of Government Ethics and the Social Media and e-Participation (in Arabic) from the eGovernment Program in Saudi Arabia are two examples of that.