The Swiss government on Insta: A good idea?
The federal government in Bern is planning to set up its own Instagram account and has created ten new posts to run it. This has sparked a debate in the country's press, not only about whether it is even necessary, but also about potential negative consequences of this attempt to reach out to young people.
Propaganda at the taxpayers' expense
The St. Galler Tagblatt considers the plans at least superfluous, if not even inappropriate:
“In the digital age, it may be state of the art that the Swiss government too is now setting about disseminating nice stories on Instagram, just like pop starlets and influencers. But this is not necessary. The state should limit itself to managing the country efficiently and using tax revenues economically. That does not include putting government activities in the limelight. In a country like Switzerland, the project makes even less sense since the government does not have to guard against intractable parliamentary opposition. The opposition is the people. And there is no need for the people to be smothered with government propaganda on all channels.”
Taking politics where young people are
The Tages-Anzeiger believes that a new way to communicate government activities might be worth the effort:
“The fact that the federal government is thinking big and creating no less than ten new posts may seem astounding. Yet producing audiovisual content is costly. Not least because these staff members are also supposed to communicate the work of the departments. And also communicate with the followers, a process where posting an image or a video is just the beginning. ... Perhaps Bern can combat political apathy among young people in this way. However, there is the danger that the government's Instagram might degenerate into an advertising channel for its own policies.”