President Saakashvili has joined growing number of Georgian senior officials and politicians embracing actively social networking sites with his administration setting up Mikheil Saakashvili’s official Facebook page, as well as launching his YouTube, Twitter and Flickr accounts.
There have been several pages and profiles on Facebook under Mikheil Saakashvili’s name, although none of them have been confirmed as his official ones. But in his recent televised interview last month, Saakashvili said he was an avid follower of discussions on Facebook and various websites.
On his official Facebook page Saakashvili’s political views are described as “very liberal” and his religious views as “Orthodox Christian”.
A brief post on Saakashvili’s official Facebook page on Tuesday evening claimed that the page had suffered “a hacker attack” without providing details.
Many other senior officials, including PM Nika Gilauri, are also running Facebook page and Twitter account with Parliament Chairman Davit Bakradze seems to be the most avid Facebook users among them.
Bakradze, whom one blogger described as “the most Facebook-friendly members of the ruling party”, has met twice with the most active members of his Facebook page, launched in June, which now counts over 35,300 ‘likes’, gradually catching up with Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava’s 43,000 ‘likes’, who launched his Facebook page last August. Facebook pages of some officials, including the one of Bakradze and Saakashvili, have also been advertised under sponsored links.
According to the social media and digital analytics company, Socialbakers, the total number of Facebook users in Georgia is over 638,700 and grew by more than 92,900 in the last six months.