Boy oh boy.

When will politicians learn?

Twitter has an amazing capacity to help an elected official or a campaign spread messages and allow for online dialogue. But it is a double-sided spear. Twitter can bite back just as strongly as it can help you.

This of course is easily avoided, with a very simple free tool: common-sense.

Canadians have been much better at it since a number of incidents where MPs/staff/elusive hackers sent out Tweets (Tweet: a message sent over Twitter consisting of no more than 140 characters), but it seems our British counter-parts are still learning.

The story can be found here on BBC.co.uk but here is the run-down:

Labour MP David Wright

UK Labour MP David Wright,who’s most recent Tweet states, “What a commotion today. Looks like my tweets have been tinkered with. I will keep you posted – about 18 hours ago”. It seems his ‘Twitter-feed’ sent a message saying something along the lines of Conservatives being “scum-sucking”.

The real juice of this pickle for the Hon. Wright, is Tory chairman Eric Pickles. He is demanding answers from the pickle-ridden Wright.

Tory Chairman Eric Pickles

We must not deny the possibility the Mr. Wright is right and not in quite the pickle Mr. Pickles claims he is, after all it is possible a past (or current, for that matter) staffer or ‘hacker’ gained access to the account and only ‘edited’ the extent harshness of Mr. Wright’s Tweet, but I doubt we will ever really find out.

Again, this really is a matter of common sense. Twitter amplifies everything ‘nasty’ you say. The media is new to what is acceptable and what isn’t and they love stories about Twittermisspeak, or Twoops.

For a great example of effective Twittering, check out @JimWatsonOttawa, Ottawa’s mayoral candidate Jim Watson. As clients of ours, Pondstone coaches campaigns on what to say, when to say it, and how to properly say things. As simple as Twitter may seem to be a little coaching goes a long way.

Remember: Tweets, not Twoops.

Until next time,

-Adam M.

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