Croatia's new president faces Facebook issues

Ivo Josipovic, newly elected president of Croatia, has a problem. He already has 5,000 Facebook friends. And 7,000 more wait to be on his status update list.

When you become president of your country, you walk into crises from the very first day.

Threats to your country's security may abound. Some of your cabinet ministers may be enjoying risky extramarital relations. But perhaps no newly elected president has ever had to confront as difficult a situation as Ivo Josipovic, Croatia's new head of state.

For, according to Reuters, he is tearing his rather impressive hair out at the thought of having too many Facebook friends.

"I have 5,000 friends, which is the maximum allowed on Facebook. I also have another 7,000 waiting so I don't know how we'll work that out," he told state radio.

My cyberspies in Croatia--and I just want to make it clear they have no known relationship with the Chinese government--tell me Josipovic is rather modern of thought and cool of demeanor, characteristics not all Croatian presidents have shared.

Indeed, I have embedded a video, inspired, perhaps, by Quincy Jones and created by many of Croatia's finest rock stars. They all hoped Josipovic would be elected over an opponent who declared Josipovic a red stooge and enjoyed the enthusiastic support of men who sometimes wear purple robes to work.

Perhaps these rock stars are among those desperately trying to become closer to Josipovic on Facebook. A classical composer, he intends to finish writing an opera based on John Lennon. Perhaps some of them would like to have a role in it.

Which is why I wonder if Facebook might alter its rules to accommodate such an enthusiastic member. I know Facebook changes rules according to its judgment of social norms and it seems as if in Croatia, the social norm is to friend your president.

 

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