Analyst Slams UK Government's Facebook Plans

Plans announced by the UK's coalition government to work with Facebook to promote policy ideas have been criticised by a leading analyst.

According to an article in Web User magazine, the UK government intends to promote the Treasury's Spending Challenge initiative and other policy ideas on the platform.

The Spending Challenge, launched last week, is designed to encourage the UK public to suggest areas of public spending that can be cut as part of government plans to reduce the budget deficit.

In a statement, Gartner analyst and e-governance specialist Andrea Di Maio, said: “Whoever believes that the sheer presence on Facebook will broaden and rebalance participation of UK citizens in this contest is wrong.”

Maio said that popular ideas can be exploited by political lobbyists and activists to promote certain causes, leading to skewed results.

He also questioned the government's aim to use Facebook as its primary means of communicating with the public.

"Does this mean that the next move is for the UK government to ditch its iconic portal Direct.gov and let Facebook do the trick?" he asked.

"At the end of the day, Facebook will be no more than a channel to point to the Chancellor's Spending Challenge site."