Bloomberg on ‘twittering’: Why?

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When New York Post City Hall bureau chief David Seifman asked the mayor today if he had any thoughts about Twitter, following yet another emergency medical technician's use of the forum for racist rants, Michael Bloomberg said (among many other things), "I've told your boss, I think he should stop twittering."

A few minutes later I asked Bloomberg if, by "your boss," he meant Rupert Murdoch.

"I don't know who that would be," he said, smiling.

As it turns out, Bloomberg, the highest-profile cheerleader for New York City's burgeoning tech scene, doesn't really like the social media revolution upon which much of it is premised.

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Last year in Singapore, he said social media makes governing harder, an argument he reiterated during a press conference at BuzzFeed in February.

And today, the mayor, who has a Twitter account managed by his staff, focused his criticism on Twitter and Facebook.

"Number one, I don't understand why people don't understand that anything you write, anything you send out, is gonna be retweeted, re-Facebooked, re-this, re-that," he said, at a Williamsburg press conference about helping the unemployed get jobs. "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. There are just a lot of young kids who are doing things on their Twitter account, their Facebook account, that later on is gonna come back and bite them."

Part of the problem, Bloomberg argued, is that the brevity of the form allows readers to take things out of context.

"You can't talk about a complex subject, or a controversial subject, in a soundbite," he added. 

"The bottom line is it's very addictive, it's easy, you hit a button and nobody thinks that the rest of the world is looking at it," he said.

A spokesman for Murdoch had no immediate comment.