Thursday, 2 August 2012

Twitter and the stupidity gene

It seems that tory Independent councillor John Jenkins is another in a long line of Welsh politicians to end up face down in the Twitter trap. Martin Shipton helpfully provides the details.

Does Twitter make for better politicians
or just create media victims?
The former Conservative has previous form of mouthing off in social forums about sexual orientation. His rants have cost him the Assembly candidatures for Llanelli and later for Carmarthen West and Pembs. Clearly he has learned nothing from the experiences.

Whatever we may think of politicians, we can all accept that it takes a certain combination of ambition and resilience to first enter and then go on to survive in elected office. A level of arrogance is to be expected but there also seems to be a unique stupidity gene embedded in some of them for thinking public office and private comment via social media can somehow be kept separate.

Councillor Jenkins’ constituents will probably be bemused by the episode although most are likely be unmoved. Few will have considered whether his use of Twitter makes him better equipped to determine planning applications or vote on the social services budget. We suspect that this is may be a telling point that is often missed.

For ourselves, we have no idea if there is any research out there which identifies whether politicians who Tweet or maintain Facebook pages are any more effective – or productive – than their less networked colleagues. Our instincts tell us they are not but we wait to be told otherwise.

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