The Mast-Head: Face Time on Facebook

Get your face before potential voters however you can, and as often

I popped Facebook open this morning and was surprised to see a video advertisement featuring Jeff Bragman, who is running for a place on the East Hampton Town Board. With the sound off, it did not make all that much of an impression, but it registered, which is probably the point. Jeff looked relaxed and confident in his blue button-down shirt as he walked in a wooded setting, presumably somewhere in town.

Scrolling down, I saw a photo of Rick Drew, an East Hampton Town trustee seeking re-election, holding a huge striped bass he had just caught from a paddleboard off Ditch Plain. In the text accompanying the image, Rick made a pitch for why he wanted to stay on as trustee. Definitely no Russian hackers involved here.

The tech may have changed, but the concept is the same: Get your face before potential voters however you can, and as often.

I was reminded of an election season long ago when Russell Drumm and I sat down in The Star’s upstairs production room with the Republican trustee candidates and one of them, damned if I can remember his name, produced three fresh hard clams, placed them on the table between us, and declared he had just dug them that day.

Facebook is different. Working on a story about campaign donations and spending, I learned that Manny Vilar, who hopes to be the next East Hampton Town supervisor, had been dropping a few bucks there, though I had not seen any of his posts. This may be because Facebook perceives me as more of a Democratic voter, based on the activities of my close online “friends,” which is odd, since I pretty much accept every friend request as long as the requester seems to be a real person and not one of those scammers using stolen images of women with impossible cleavage.

On the other hand, maybe why one sees something from one local candidate and not the other has more to do with their industriousness than anything else. Gary Cobb, taking a first shot for town trustee, is a case in point; his posts pop up in my feed now and then and get his point across effectively. On the other, other hand, Gary’s posts often have to do with boats and fish and the like, and Facebook probably knows that I find such things irresistible.

Scrolling farther down this morning, I see that Susan McGraw Keber, another trustee candidate, was at the Tyler Valcich car show in Amagansett on Saturday.

There was no sign of the Russians.