The new platform looks to bridge the gap between elected officials and the public
We have greater access to our politicians than ever before thanks to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but there's a new social media site in town, looking to connect Irish politicians with the public.
Poleeto is a newly launched Irish ‘civic and political social network’ that lets the public vote and have their say on trending issues in politics and current affairs, and connect with their fellow constituents and elected representatives.
“By providing a single, consolidated platform for civic and political engagement, Poleeto filters out the noise of other social networks and concentrates on what matters to the user, like local issues and getting in touch with influencers and representatives,” said Declan Burrowes, Cofounder of Poleeto.
“For politicians on Facebook and Twitter, as followers aren’t sorted by constituency, it’s difficult to shape and broadcast a message that's relevant to everyone. On top of that, fast-moving newsfeeds, character restrictions and audience-limiting algorithms really limit the depth of interaction. On Poleeto, politicians connect through their constituencies, so it’s much easier to enter a thoughtful and constructive dialogue with the people who they actually represent," he continued
How does it work?
Once signed up, Poleeto users are sorted into three "communities": their local county or city council, their Dáil constituency, and their EU Parliament constituency. In these communities, users can link up with their fellow constituents and elected representatives to discuss and vote on issues, highlight local problems and organise meetings. Users, including politicians, may only post in the communities they belong to, though a general ‘Ireland’ community is open to all.
Public and elected users can also vote in daily featured polls on news and issues like the Repeal the Eighth movement, homelessness and Brexit. Representatives can schedule constituency events, like live Q&As, clinics, townhalls and fundraisers. Users can follow and ‘support’ politicians and parties, and receive updates from them in their newsfeed.
In addition, Poleeto’s Government section provides an easy-to-understand and visually intuitive guide to Irish systems of government, including the Dáil, EU Parliament and local councils.
“There are many people who simply don’t feel connected to the people who represent them—if they know who they are at all—and don’t know how to access them or what they can do to help,” said Burrowes.
“With Poleeto, we’ve found that once we show people who their representatives are and how they can help them, and then provide a direct platform to reach them, they immediately feel more involved, empowered and much more willing to ask questions and share opinions.”
Previously, Poleeto has hosted live Q&A sessions with prominent Irish representatives, Eamon Ryan, leader of the Green Party, and Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin MEP. For the general election, candidates were invited to share their election manifestos with voters, and these included Minister Katherine Zappone and Kate O’Connell TD.
Poleeto was also recently shortlisted for a Dot IE Net Visionary Award for “Best Use of Technology to Make the World a Better Place”.