Wednesday, July 09, 2008

US government debating whether congressmen can speak with their constituents via online social networks

I've posted previously about the initiatives begun by John Culberson and several other congressmen to use new media technologies, such as social networks, to more directly connect with and engage their constituencies in the democratic process.

It appears that sections of the US government are finding it difficult to come to terms with the changing communications landscape.

An article in Technosailor discusses how the Democrats are trying to ban twitter and other social media use by congressmen.

It contains a letter that, in effect, would amount to a gag on congessional participation in many social media services.

The article follows with a second letter which reflects how the US government is considering how to change regulations in order to enable use of these services.

The model that evolves will influence how other governments approach social media. I am watching the process with interest.

What's your view on the use of social media by parliamentarians?

Should they, shouldn't they or should it be delegated to staff?


  1. I would like to see some Australian parliamentarians making use of social media to give some openness and transparency to the polictical process.

    With Andrew Bartlett (former Australian Democrats senator from Queensland) losing his seat at the last election. There does not appear to be any Australian parliamentarian (state or federal) making good use of social media to communicate with their constituents. At least nobody on John Culberson's or Andrew Bartlett's level.

  2. Malcolm Turnbull has a pretty good go of it.