Macedonia: Flirting online with the politicians

The profiles of Macedonian politicians are private and their contents can only be seen if they allow it. If you want to find the politicians with whom you would like to be friends on Facebook, you should create your own profile and send them a friend request.

If you are not able to find the Macedonian politicians in their offices, ministries or party headquarters, you will certainly find them on the social networking websites. Many of them have their own profiles on Facebook – the world’s most famous social networking website. It is one of the most addictive social networking websites in the world and most of its users are young people, but there are also many other users of various profiles and ages.

Macedonian politicians, too, are not immune to the “Facebook virus”. The Vice Prime Minister for European Affairs Ivica Bocevski is also a member of this global social network, as well as the Minister of Interior Gordana Jankulovska, the Minister of Information Society Ivo Ivanovski, the former SDSM leader Radmila Shekerinska, the Minister of Foreign Investments Vele Samak and his former colleague Gligor Tashkovik. The negotiator in the name dispute – Nikola Dimitrov is also a Facebook user, the leader of DPA – Menduh Thaçi, the former Minister of Interior Ljube Boshkoski, Macedonian ambassador to Hague Shpresa Jusufi, the former Minister of Environment and Physical Planning – Imer Aliu from DPA, the former Prime Minister Ljubcho Georgievski, the head of NSDP Tito Petkovski and the former MP Filip Petrovski who is one of the most inventive Facebook users.

Political parties, such as VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM, DPA also have their own Facebook profiles. The profiles of the politicians are private and you can only access them if they add you as a friend. In order to do this, you have to be a registered user of Facebook, have your own profile, search for the politicians and send them a friend request. If they add you as a friend, you can talk with them while they are online, comment on their private photographs or send them virtual gifts, or even virtually flirt with them, provided that you have such an application added to your profile.

There are also false Facebook profiles, like the one of the Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. You can figure out which are real after being added as a friend and being able to see the photographs, posts, comments. Personal photographs and videos from parties and birthdays can be uploaded on the profiles, users can specify their favourite movies and music bands, chat with their friends, exchange photographs, flirt, discuss about politics…

Facebook members who are friends with these politicians do not disclose details about the private contents of the politicians’ profiles, but say that out of all the politicians, Minister Ivica Bocevski is the most active user. They say that he is active almost everyday, uploading new photographs, commenting on various topics, even chatting online. Minister Ivo Ivanovski is also a Facebook user, and people say that he is getting many friend requests from female members of the network. The Minister of Interior Gordana Jankulovska also has a private Facebook profile.

Facebook users say that Radmila Shekerinska has the greatest number of online friends in her profile. She allegedly has more than 2.000 friends. One of the most popular Facebook users in Macedonia is the former Minister Ljube Boshkovski. His profile was active even when he was in The Hague and this is where his friends were sending him messages of support.

The ones that do not have their own profiles, often have Facebook fan groups or groups of supporters, groups created by opponents and unlike private profiles, these groups are open and public. Here you can come across long discussions about why certain politicians are good and why they are not, spiced up with offensive language and curses. The Prime Minister, President Branko Crvenkovski, VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM, they all have Facebook support groups. Aside from the supporters’ groups, there are also opponent groups such as “Trifun Kostovski sucks” or “Say no to communism”.

Author: E. Zlatkov

Source: Vest „Флертувајте со политичарите на интернет“ Number 2509, October 28, 2008

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