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Fake social education: don't do to others what you don't want to be done to you

The case of the viral video created by the director of the Intesa Sanpaolo branch of Castiglione delle Stiviere (Mantova) as an example of social education

In the fall of 2017, a large part of the web discovered business contests and did so because of – or thanks to – a video created by the director of the Intesa Sanpaolo branch in Castiglione delle Stiviere, in the province of Mantua. The case of video that has become viral is an example of fake social education

By Emanuela Zaccone **

The simple story: the video of the Intesa Sanpaolo branch of Castiglione delle Stiviere, born with the aim of being spread exclusively within the company, first circulated via Whatsapp and then finished on Facebook, where it became viral. At that point it gave rise to the usual phenomena that form the background and at the same time increase the narrative around such events: memes have been created, irony has been made about the characters (even in the absent), rivers of words and judgments have flowed over the video. Of course there have been the usual polarizations: those who are indignant about how the branch manager and her colleagues have been mocked and those who have played down with a laugh instead. I am not interested in understanding whether the video is well done or not, nor laugh about it n indignant. I am rather interested in reasoning about what we can call fake social education. Because social media spreads this attitude as a teacher with the red pen (even blue, in the most serious cases) that must explain to everyone how they should behave, when instead it would be desirable that the awareness of the responsibility of what we share online starts before all of us.

From teachers to bullies, social reactions

The principle that usually moves people to comment, share and publish online content that which I like / involves / disturbs what I share. Sacrosanct, practically a right, considering that we spend most of our time online, that we do it on social media and that we are driven by the desire to communicate with others to have fun, support our ideas or dialogue (in a more or less animated way, but this is a separate story.) The problem arises when we are not willing to accept the rules of the game and take over arguments like this: but yes, if everyone laughs about it, the people directly involved don't take it. In reality for the thing also out of hand of many, who went to look for the profiles of the protagonists of the video, in many cases they contacted them and bothered them. Bullying, it is said by several parties.

Social Education: Lessons on the Intesa Sanpaolo video

Then there are those who have ventured into dispensing lessons to Intesa Sanpaolo on the bank's social channels, explaining to them how they should handle internal communication, while from many sides they were shouting for the need for a clear position on the part of the company (which meanwhile had expressed solidarity with the workers). History of history: everyone had something to comment on, teach or explain to someone else. From social media and corporate communication experts to video, to the top motivators ready to bestow the secrets of a good business contest. very few have stopped to think what it would mean if one's content ended up on a channel like Facebook and hundreds of thousands of strangers felt entitled to express their opinion.

3 rules of social education

Not a problem to put yourself in their shoes but a basic principle that we should all adopt on social media. Before commenting, sharing, spreading something we are sure that:1) do not hurt the sensitivity of the people involved2) we all know the background (applied in another context the verification principle that plays so much on the fake news theme)3) do you create value for the people you share it with?

While we continue to say that at the base of social education there is a limitation in their use (with digital detox sold as a remedy for all ills), what is lacking an education in respect. Laccanimento – driven by the desire to laugh or to protest – seems to impose itself as the only language in a context that should instead stand on the communities and on dialogue.

So instead of pretending to be educated using social media by giving behavioral lessons to companies and their employees, we begin to set a good example as users. Create value for the people with whom we share the spaces. To generate constructive dialogues, a distance between us and the keyboard in front of us, a time – even a very short one – between the decision to press the key share and action in itself. Always a distance between our responsibility and the knowledge of it all share it.

zac fake social education

** Emanuela Zaccone: Digital Entrepreneur, co-founder and Marketing & Product Manager of He has over 10 years of experience as a consultant and lecturer in social media analysis and strategy for large companies, startups and universities. author of Digital Entrepreneur: principles, practices and skills for her own startup (Franco Angeli, 2016) and Social Media Monitoring: from conversations to strategy (Flaccovio, 2015).