While the debate on damage of Facebook to democracy continues to hold the bench, one cannot fail to observe that the winners, but also the challengers of the recent elections have been away from Facebook and Twitter or have used them little, belatedly or clumsily.
It doesn’t have to be a coincidence that the defeated parties, in the lead the Lega and M5S, are those who in the past had bet everything on social networks. Even now, if we take the last 3 days, the posts with the most interactions (Pierluca tells me Santoro, who has a very popular Observatory on the subject) are respectively by Giuseppe Conte, Virginia Raggi and Alessandro Di Battista: 3 posts for a blow. But it is as if that lever no longer works.
Let’s take the candidates who have already become mayors: Sala, Lepore and Manfredi are not social characters. They don’t remember their memorable tweets. They did not post incendiary or improbable direct. Nor have they covered themselves with ridicule with selfies next to typical local products. Of course, Beppe Sala had a proven digital team alongside (but to date on Twitter he has not yet updated his profile with a tweet about the victory) and Matteo Lepore knows digital and innovation well. In short, they are not at all dinosaurs of political communication. But it is as if they had chose to step sideways. Interpreting the spirit of the times, it makes you think.
We live the time of Mario Draghi and, widening the gaze, also of Joe Biden. The first has been governing Italy for almost 8 months with virtually no social media: he talks with political interlocutors, answers questions from journalists and doesn’t care about social media, he uses them to post the press releases of the Prime Minister. Joe Biden is just more active, but it should be noted that in the US they came from Trump’s turbo tweets and the turning point was no less clear. With this we do not want to affirm the sunset, the end or the irrelevance of social media in politics, but only to highlight a precise historical phase, probably a reaction to the previous one in which followers were pitted against opponents to grind consensus. This phase is perhaps over. Or at least, that’s not how elections are won anymore.