Mayor Keisuke Hiwatashi of Takeo, Japan, a city located in Saga Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, frowns when people leave comments on municipal websites (especially those with blogs or other interactive content) with anonymous names and handles.
“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,” said the mayor at a press conference announcing his city’s migration from their traditional website to Facebook.
It’s not your typical Facebook page, though; it’s an official municipal website. If you try visiting city.takeo.lg.jp you will get redirected to Facebook. Try it.
Naoyuki Miyaguchi, a city spokesman, said, “There were some doubts at first when we were thinking of changing to Facebook because it could only be accessed by those who had an account. For this reason, there was some opposition as it would limit access to city information for some citizens. But since we were considering the shift, Facebook changed its rules to make pages viewable to anybody, and from that point on it was a go.”
Over 6,500 people (a respectable 13% of Takeo’s 50,000 residents) like the page today and the number is likely to explode.
Will other cities follow? Should they? Should yours?