Speaking to young people with the #SansFiltre on social media may not have recorded the best result as Gabriel Attal strategy to communicate with 13-35-year-olds through a program launched on Youtube and the Twitch platform is struggling to meet its aim.
The hashtag #etudiantspasinfluenceurs showed at the top of the trends on Twitter this Saturday. Appearing more than 49,400 times, it denounces a communication disconnected from the reality lived by students and then put in difficulty by the crisis that comes with COVID-19.
The monthly program which was launched by government spokesperson Gabriel Attal is tagged #SansFiltre and is aimed to bring together six young people every month to discuss government policy.
The show debuted on Wednesday, February 24 at 7 p.m. Gabriel Attal reacted to questions that border on health issues from influencers Enjoy Phoenix, Élise Goldfarb, Julia Layani, Fabian and Malek Délégué. However, the choice of influencers, mostly those who aren’t students triggered so many reactions on Twitter.
“I present to you 2 #etudiantspasinfluenceurs from Paris and Évry. During the day they are behind their zoom course. In the evening in their 9m2 room. And on weekends, they do collections so that they and all their comrades can fill the fridge a little,” tweeted the national speaker of La France Insoumise Julie Garnier.
Je vous présente 2 #etudiantspasinfluenceurs de Paris et Evry.
Le jour ils sont derrière leur cours zoom. Le soir dans leur chambre de 9m2. Et le week-end, ils font des collectes pour qu’eux et tous leurs camarades puissent remplir un peu le frigo.#CeuxQuOnVoitJamaisAlaTV pic.twitter.com/4Jlf5ZLKDP
— Julie Garnier 🐝 (@JulieGarnierFI) February 27, 2021
Bravo aux étudiants qui ont lancé le hashtag #etudiantspasinfluenceurs parce que franchement, pour qu’un porte-parole du gouvernement puisse penser qu’inviter 3 influenceurs sur twitch suffisent à endormir la jeunesse, c’est vraiment qu’il vous prend pour des idiots. https://t.co/k8ENIwlt4M
— Thomas Porcher (@PorcherThomas) February 26, 2021
Another internet user twitted, “We work 12 hours a day on a screen and we have to take our face-to-face exams to enjoy phoenix, who has been out of school since 2012, to speak on our behalf.” the tweet was shared more than 10,500 times on Saturday.
Invited on Wednesday by the government spokesperson, YouTuber Enjoy Phoenix was very critical of the government policy and called Gabriel Attal to account.
“France, when you have to talk about the veil, you invite unveiled people, when you have to talk about police violence against blacks, you invite whites, and now, to talk about the health situation of students, you invite YouTubers,” Another Twitter account tweeted.
La France quand il faut parler du voile vous invitez des non voilées quand il faut parler des violences policières faites aux noirs vous invitez des blancs et maintenant pour parler de la situation des étudiants vous invitez des youtubeurs #etudiantspasinfluenceurs pic.twitter.com/lOaK6hQgLE
— . (@miss__gabon) February 26, 2021
As for the Solidaires Student Union of Montpellier, it too has seized the hashtag to criticize the government’s communication strategy.
“Whether it is EnjoyPhoenix or McFly and Carlito, the government’s choice to communicate through influencers is not trivial, it is a way to depoliticize our demands while reaching their audience, often very young,” a user said.
Que ce soit EnjoyPhoenix ou McFly et Carlito, le choix du gouvernement de communiquer au travers d’influenceurs n’est pas anodin : c’est un moyen de dépolitiser nos revendications tout en touchant leur public, souvent très jeunes.#etudiantspasinfluenceurs
— Solidaires étudiant-e-s 34 (@SolidairesEtu34) February 26, 2021
Responding to a question from a media house, Gabriel Attal’s reps said, “there was never any question that the young guests represent anyone and that the show is not intended to bring together only influencers.”
“The theme of the first edition was the health crisis, without further details to guarantee the spontaneity of the discussions. After discussions on the vaccine or the curfew, a large part of the debate focused on the situation of young people and students in the crisis, precisely because the guests raised questions on the subject coming from their subscribers or from people following the live broadcast through the chat. We still defend while indicating that it is not at all excluded that an edition is devoted to students and in this case, students will obviously participate.”
New criticisms are part of a general movement of fed up with students against the government. Meanwhile, on January 20, they demonstrated the need to defend their living and studying conditions, alongside several left-wing political and trade union organizations.
This had prompted the French President Emmanuel Macron to make a remark towards them by announcing a return of the face-to-face program for students who wish, at the rate of one day out of five, as well as the establishment on February 1 of a “psy check” to consult a psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist.