Sarkozy’s new Timeline contains roughly 700 pictures, dating back to his birth, and many describe milestones he’d achieved while in office, including reconciliation with Rwanda and aiding earthquake-ravaged Haiti. France 24 goes on to state that “it is perfectly normal that a presidential candidate would only want the electorate to only see his “best bits”, although the new Sarkozy image is still a far cry from his 2007 campaign, in which his private life was placed centre stage.” Sarkozy’s team also put together an album revealing pictures of Sarkozy at a nuclear power plant, a classroom, a diplomatic meeting and various public events.
Still, France 24 goes on to say “Facebook itself is facing accusations that it sent a dedicated team to meet with the president’s men in order to perfect his online image. Soon after Sarkozy’s Timeline went live on February 10, Facebook’s content director for France Julien Codorniou tweeted that the presidential Timeline was quite impressive.”
French news magazine L’Express suggests that Facebook was hoping to draw attention to the new Timeline functionality by advising Sarkozy’s team. As it is being rolled out, Facebook’s Timeline has not been universally popular.
However, Tech Europe speculates that all of this sounds like a slighly flimsy conspiracy theory, and notes that since Sarkozy himself, much like Facebook’s Timeline, is not universally popular, it would not be such a wise marketing ploy to blatantly associate the two. In an email to Tech Eurpose, a Facebook spokesperson finally stated, “we are regularly in contact with numerous public figures, including politicians, for information and advice on how to use our products and services. We give them that help but we remain completely impartial.” Andrew Noyes, manager of Facebook’s public policy communications, goes on to say that “anyone can create a presence on Facebook and we are always pleased to see prominent figures including politicians use our platform to connect with people.”