Scottish councillors get tips on twittering

By : |June 7, 2010 0

LONDON, UK: With Twittergate becoming the Waterloo of many a politician across the world, former Indian minister Shashi Tharoor for instance, Scotland has taken a tentative step to avoid the pitfall by advising its councillors on how to use social networking sites.

An 11-page brief, published by the local government body Improvement Service, has been issued to every councillor in the country on how to use these sites and more importantly, how not to.

"Think before you write and don’t post anything you wouldn’t say at a public meeting as this is crucial," the brief tells the impulsive.

"While a blog can seem like your own, cocooned space away from prying eyes, the exact opposite is true," the reckless ones are advised.

And here’s the caution for the Internetaratti: "Word spreads fast on the Internet and what you post will be stored forever, so don’t post a rant you will regret. Use good sense at all times. Remember to take legal issues into consideration."

The brief follows recent clashes in Scotland over comments made by politicians and activists on the internet, the country’s national newspaper, The Herald, has reported.

The Scottish National Party faced calls to deal with "cybernats" following a row about a constituency officer manager Mark MacLachlan’s comments about voters on a social networking site.

Similarly, the Labour general election candidate from Moray, Stuart MacLennan, was dropped after posting insults about people in the constituency on Twitter.

In India, Tharoor’s controversial tweets had often landed him in trouble. But the tweet that cost him his job as junior external affairs minister was not the one from him but from Indian Premier League (IPL)chairman Lalit Modi. He accused Tharoor of stopping him from revealing the names of those involved in the Kochi IPL franchise.

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