Political Promise

To Tweet Or Not To Tweet, That Is The Question

In David Brownsey-Joyce on March 7, 2011 at 9:49 am

A little fun this week from David Brownsey-Joyce who has mapped out all those councillors who have been caught out on Twitter.

Click here to go straight to the councillor cock-up map

Transparency is all the rage at the moment, the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, and local government minister, Bob Neil are all in favour of bloggers and internet broadcasters being allowed into council meetings; councillors and councils are releasing news on Twitter and have their own Facebook pages, there are even cases of people being hired by local authorities to handle their social media workload – for how much longer is a debatable question – all in all social media at a tool to deliver transparency is the in thing.

Firstly social media is virtually instant, we can see updates from councils and councillors who run these programs updating before our very eyes. The question then becomes do we want to?

Do we want social media to replace the traditional media team at councils working with local and national news services to inform the public?

It is certainly an interesting question, in that contrary to popular opinion delivering news in an online area still takes a considerable amount of time, the main difference is the medium through which people experience it; and there are many out there who feel much more comfortable with a physical product to read rather than something on their mobile phone or computer screen, this is why people still buy products like the Guardian even though you can get it online for free.

Do we really want to see instant news and response to issues from our local councils and councillors? And more importantly can they be trusted to do this without getting into trouble.

There have been a number of cases in the media of councillors and councils getting in trouble through Twitter. I have mapped the ones that have been caught out in the media on a Google Map, click here to see it.

Of course these are just the ones who have been caught, I am sure there are many cases of councils and councillors not being caught out by the media. Of course the media have now cottoned on and have specific accounts under constant surveillance. There are also websites, setup to show streams of councillor tweets.

So beware the silent assassins, the twitter bloodhounds, smelling controversy and revealing muck. Transparency is a good thing but perhaps it might be an idea to show councillors how to deliver it in a modern world.

Note: all of the cases illustrated on the Cllr Twitter Map are freely available in the media, their source links have been included in each case and the map will be updated as and when more councillors and councils are caught out by the Media.

  1. […] To Tweet Or Not To Tweet, That Is The Question (politicalpromise.co.uk) […]

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