Tuesday, 1 January 2013 (Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God). Waking up in the morning of the first day of the new year, Silvio Berlusconi finds out his Twitter account has gained 60,000 followers in one night.
|@Berlusconi2013 Twitter account, before the miracle|
It took some time for Silvio Berlusconi to get involved in the fast growing social media Twitter, being overtook by a generally traditionalist fellow politician, Pope Benedict XVI, with his @Pontifex, and competitor #1, member of the Senate of Italy and prime minister candidate Mario Monti, with his @SenatoreMonti.
But when he went into it, he did it with his usual vigour.
Starting in the beginning of December 2012, the account @berlusconi2013 had been attracting around seven thousand followers, until the new year's eve miracle: in one magic night Silvio's fan on Twitter grew to over 70,000. It's not a scandal, just a remarkable event.
According to some sources, 70 per cent of the... 73,504 fans (update: 4 January, 10:54 GMT) is a fake, and 80 per cent are South American and Arab accounts – perhaps not very interest in the political events of Italy. How many of them are women? Couldn't find any data about it, but we bet it's more than a few...
|Pato and Barbara Berlusconi smile on Twitter|
The former prime minister of Italy's Twitter account launched also a kind of “I don't vote for the Left” campaign, by introducing a @iononvotolasx user and ionovotolasx.com internet site (currently not available). These links seemed to have disappeared in the most recent hours, replaced by the ForzaSilvio.it link (“Go Silvio!”).
But The Kight is not the only member of the Berlusconi family to have discovered the tweets: in the meanwhile, also Silvio's daughter – Barbara Berlusconi – appeared on Twitter, publishing a photo just to prove that her relationship with former AC Milan's footballer Alexandre Pato is still on (even though her father sold the player to Brazil's Corinthians).
Some think that Silvio might be totally unaware of what's going on, and the initiation to the twitterati could really be a gift from the founder of the “Silvio ci manchi” (“Silvio we miss you”) club, the tycoon official fiancée Francesca Pascale.
What would be of the President (he has always been president of something) without his women?
(Update: On 4 June 2013, at 13:52 GMT, the Twitter account @berlusconi2013 has 59,290 followers. At the same time @Pontifex has been occupied by a Francis, apparently a migrant from South America. Where has Joseph Aloisius - aka Benedict XVI - gone? Anyhow, the account has now 2.5m followers... Finally, Barbara Berlusconi's last tweet dates back to 11 August 2012.).