Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the Pitfalls of Social Media!

Dear Commons Community,

The New York Times is reporting that in a speech on Wednesday in Singapore, where he received a prize for urban sustainability, Mayor Bloomberg spoke about the difficulties of leading a city into the future amid a political culture 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.”

Andrew Rasiej, the founder of Personal Democracy Media, a group that studies how technology is changing politics, said he admired the mayor’s engagement with social media. But he said he could also empathize with Mr. Bloomberg’s concerns.

“He is expressing the difficulties and the challenges of using social media in an effective way in governing,” Mr. Rasiej said in an interview. “But I also want to encourage him to say the technology also offers an opportunity to build a better and more robust democracy.”



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