Politician Addresses the ‘Facebook Generation’

Friday 17 September, 2010

The spread of Facebook could have an unforseen impact on politics, according to the Liberal Member for Ginninderra in the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory, Alistair Coe.

Mr Coe, now 26, is the youngest member of the Assembly, having been elected in 2008.

Speaking at the College on Wednesday, September 1, he said he was part of the Facebook generation. But because at present the average age of parliamentarians was around 40 years, most had not recorded their past, complete with photos, online. He said that would change dramatically in future and warned young people who were considering entering public life to be very careful of the information they uploaded to Facebook. By the year 2030, most people standing for election would have recorded their whole adult lives online and those records could be open to public scrutiny. It was even possible that political parties would be hesitant to preselect people with a “history” on Facebook. It was also possible that some politicians would use their Facebook records as a way of underlining the “excellence of their integrity”.

“People are sceptical of CVs and written third-party endorsements,” he said. “Anyone can get a third-party endorsement. The importance of your Facebook record is certainly something worth considering when you look at the way you are using Facebook.

“I am probably one of the last politicians to escape it, but anyone elected from now on will face this kind of challenge.” He encouraged resident to think carefully about where they want to go in life.

Read more news from Warrane College