Can Losing A Facebook Page Mean Losing An Election?

I came across an interesting piece this morning by Colleen McCain Nelson, who writes for The Dallas Morning News. She comments on the story of Majed Moughni, a political candidate who tried to unseat the incumbent – John D Dingell Jr – as the US Representative for Michigan’s 15th congressional district. You might be wondering what the relevance of that is to this particular blog, but as we look further into this story, it will become clear.

Moughni is suing Facebook, after claiming that his campaign was derailed by the social network deleting his candidate page. I haven’t gone to the trouble of reading the case notes, but I think the general gist of it is that Mr Moughni was blindly sending friend requests at an alarming rate, deemed to be spamming, and as such had access to his account revoked. His claim that by not having a Facebook account he was wiped “off the face of the earth” is somewhat laughable, and perhaps a little concerning.

If I can echo the sentiments of Colleen McCain Nelson’s observations, the fact that Majed Moughni is looking to blame Facebook for what I can only assume are ultimately his failings in terms of policy and political nous, then you really have to ask if he is someone you would actually want to vote for in the first place – regardless of whether or not they have a page on a social network. Obviously it’s a little disproportionate to compare this electoral contest with our General Election here in the UK last May, but there was a lot more showmanship and real life interaction between the candidates and electorate – who can forget Gordon Brown’s infamous ‘Bigot-Gate’ gaff?

Rightly or wrongly, people put a lot of stock in their online presence. Whether it be your company website, LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers, Facebook profiles or any other cloud based medium, and there comes a point where you believe that you simply cannot function without it. Let’s just hope that you have a contingency plan should it all be taken away from you without prior warning.