At his press conference this afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked about his thoughts on the “Twitter universe” in light of a recent scandal involving an EMS lieutenant who was suspended after the New York Post revealed a series of racist statements he made on the social media site. Mayor Bloomberg described it as evidence people need to be far more careful about what they post online and suggested he’d even warned one of his fellow media moguls, Rupert Murdoch, to stay away from Twitter.
“Everything you send out is going to be retweeted, re-Facebooked, re this, re that and … if you write it down, some day somebody’s going to FOIL it or get it based on a judge’s order,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “You should write down, number one, only things you believe and, number two, then think about how it would look if somebody else sees it.”
Prior to launching his mayoral bid, Republican former MTA chairman Joe Lhota was an extremely prolific Twitter user. Since hitting the campaign trail, Mr. Lhota has made far fewer posts on the social media site and stopped tweeting the witticisms he was previously known for. When Politicker saw Mr. Lhota at lunch yesterday, we asked him why he reduced his Twitter presence. Mr. Lhota attributed his lower Twitter profile to instructions from his campaign press team, specifically, his spokeswoman Susan Del Percio.
“I eventually will get back. You know I get handled by my press people,” said Mr. Lhota. “Susan, she threatened me, so I have to be careful.”
If their administrations could be summed by Instagram alone, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo would be a fascinating study in contrasts. And one of the two top Empire State politicians is clearly much more at home on the popular photo sharing site.
This morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg journeyed into the belly of the meme-making beast when he visited Buzzfeed’s headquarters on 21st Street to announce a new “Made in NY” initiative involving a website and ad campaign designed to attract more tech startups to New York City. To mark the occasion, his staffers created a Buzzfeed-style listicle entitled, “5 Animals Who are Not Disappointed in Mayor Bloomberg,” on official city tumblr and his personal site.
“Since BuzzFeed is famous for lists, such as the ’33 Animals that are Extremely Disappointed in You,’ we came up with our own list,” the introduction to the post says. “Here are the 5 animals who are not disappointed in Mayor Bloomberg.”
In his State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama announced a new initiative to protect American citizens and businesses from hack attacks. Cybersecurity, of course, has recently made the news as complex attacks–allegedly linked to the Chinese military–have been waged against both government institutions and the media. President Obama’s executive order, which he announced in his speech after the White House sent reporters a preview, aims to curb this activity as well as more pedestrian hacking threats.
“America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks,” Mr. Obama declared. “We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mail. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.
Assemblyman Vito Lopez has a new problem on his hands to go along with the ethics committee that is investigating him for sexual harassment complaints filed by four female former staffers. Some time this afternoon a hacker gained control of Mr. Lopez’s Twitter account and began posting a series of messages insulting the embattled politician and praising one of his rivals.
“We’re trying to figure this out,” a staffer in Mr. Lopez’s district office said when Politicker called them to ask about the hacker a few moments ago.
Document Drop Duds
This week, a mysterious website counting down to an “October Surprise” document drop that would change the election sparked frenzied speculation. Yesterday, the site was taken down after Politicker and others identified some of the developers who were behind it and connected them to past internet activity including a massive 2007 hoax prank involving a site that promised the release of a new Radiohead album and instead “Rickrolled” visitors by giving them a link to the video for Rick Astley’s 1987 song “Never Gonna Give You Up.” In a note posted on “October Surprise” last night, the site’s creators admitted that, rather than releasing explosive documents, they were planning to Rickroll people yet again.
Siri, the voice-operated assistant on newer models of Apple’s iPhone, can help you make gazpacho, take a taxi and figure out if it is raining outside, but Siri also has some thoughts on the upcoming presidential election. If you ask Siri who it is voting for, generally it responds by saying, “I’m not allowed to vote.” However, sometimes, Siri gives a more detailed answer.
“I can’t vote. But if I did, I’d vote for Eliza. She has the answer to everything,” Siri says.
Don’t worry though, your phone won’t be leading a gadget revolution after becoming aware of its lack of power in our human political system. Siri’s support for “Eliza” is an Apple inside joke.
Two months ago, the world witnessed a presidential rendition of “Call Me Maybe.” Now, President Barack Obama is telling his supporters, “Text Me Money.” This morning, Obama for America announced “that it will be the first political campaign in history to accept small-dollar donations via text message.”
“Grass-roots giving is powering this campaign,” campaign manager Jim Messina said. “Since April 2011, more than 2.7 million people have pitched in to own a piece of the president’s campaign, and last month 98 percent of donors gave less than $250. Accepting small donations by text message will help us engage even more grassroots supporters who want to play a role by donating whatever they can afford to the campaign—and get the President re-elected in November.”
Photoshop 'Til You Drop
Then do a Google search for Mr. Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades.
While writing our post about the testy exchange between Mr. Rhoades and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina that occurred this morning, we couldn’t help but notice that Googling Mr. Rhoades yields a photoshopped picture of Mitt Romney planting a kiss on conservative blogger Matt Drudge’s cheek in a profile of Mr. Rhoades that appears alongside the other search results.
So, what the heck is going on here?