Administrators & Social Media

When I read Knox’s (2016) article I was terribly confused. And to be quite honest I still am. Too many complex words. I feel like there was too many complex and vague concepts being used, which were out of my grasp, to be quite honest. However, I still want to contribute to the conversation, so I’ll try to keep it relatively simple, just to make sure I don’t make a fool out of myself.

The article talks about the Legitimacy Dilemma administrator’s are faced with in terms of communicating with the public when designing policy. If the stick too close to the law they’re overly bureaucratic but if they’re too flexible they become arbitrary and capricious. How can social media help bridge that gap?

The article argues that while social media isn’t the perfect way to solve this problem, it definitely is a step in the right direction. Social media has its flaws, legitimacy is a very difficult concept to define and there are many other factors to take into account. There’s not a single interpretation of this concept. Where should the line be drawn? The article concludes that there isn’t a single answer, but that social media is definitely a positive step for progress in the administrator’s legitimacy dilemma.

I find social media to be a perfect place for citizen’s to have discussions amongst themselves, with each other; however I find it a completely inappropriate platform for administrator-citizen interaction to take place. This belief of mine is for one sole reason: All social media platforms are owned by private companies with profit as it’s number one interest.

Imagine there’s a discussion taking place between citizens and administrators on Facebook about something that the Zuckerberg’s company doesn’t want to gain any relevance because it’s against the his company’s interest; there’s nothing stopping Facebook from breaking the discussion because they own the platform the discussion is being held on.

Privately owned censorship could be a massive problem if discussion is held on privately owned platforms. Publicly regulated platforms should be the official form of communication between administrators and citizens, in my opinion.


  • Knox, C. (2016). Public administrators’ use of social media platforms: Overcoming the legitimacy dilemma? Administration & Society, 48(4), 477-496.


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