Takeo, a city located on the island of Kyushu, Japan, has totally replaced its city government website with a Facebook page, and is the first to do so in that country.
The move gains novelty when you consider that Facebook isn’t very popular in Japan because its residents prefer anonymity which is offered via local social networks like Mixi.
However, when Takeo city officials attempted to utilize Mixi for a municipal page, they discovered that users tended to make contribute comments or suggestions that were devoid of any substance.
At a press conference on Monday, Takeo Mayor Keisuke Hiwatashi stressed how using actual names when making a comment on a social networking site gives it more credence.
“When people give their opinions or ask questions, they should take responsibility for this as adults, and this should be done using their real names,” he said, according to PC World.
The city government Facebook page has been set up so that anyone can view the contents but comments can only be left by those who register to do so
It cost $8,200 to transition onto Facebook, and although the move was resisted by many locals in the town of 51,000, due to their unfamiliarity Facebook, so far, the comments have been thought-provoking.
“We have received a lot of complaints online, but these have had a reasonable basis and are not just meaningless criticism as before, so we can address them,” Naoyuki Miyaguchi, a member of city hall’s eight-member Facebook team, told PC World.
Although the Japan’s prime minister, navy and many of its government officials have established Facebook accounts, there are still those stragglers that are hesitant to make the leap and are dragging their feet about giving up their anonymity.
The switch sparked an online discussion that was hosted on Takeo’s Facebook page, and a few members voiced their hesitation about the move. “I think there are some residents that won’t like having their identity known on the site,” wrote a user who registered using a pseudonym.
Readers, do you think Takeo’s move to Facebook signals that others in Japan might make a similar transition?