Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jo Swinson experiences the dangers of SNS

Social networking is becoming a part of the political communication process for many MPs, and linking up Twitter and Facebook is a way of getting messages out to a range of audiences. A couple of studies undertaken by myself and Nigel Jackson have shown party politics to be the least popular usage of such sites and perhaps this is one bit of clear evidence why not.
Liberal Democrats have the greatest number of MPs using social networking, and there is a logic for them to do things like this by Jo Swinson: advertise what party leader Nick Clegg contributed to PMQs. The mainstream media focus on the battle between prime minister and prime minister in waiting, not the actions of the minor parties to the same extent. So they try to alter this imbalance. However, once they are party political, and if they amass an array of friends or followers from outside of the party circle, they can gain comments such as this. If removed it suggests censorship, if not they have a highly negative, and yes pretty crude, comment about the current party leader on their profile. This can be embarrassing either way. Therefore, there are dangers with using SNS to promote the party in this way as such comments can also be mediated by other members of these communities and the result can be the antithesis of what was intended.


Matt Hurst said...

But don't you kinda agree, Personally I've seen it alot. Most of it's ill informed ranting the kind J Vine loves to have on but some of it can enhance the political debate, hell some of it's much better than "call an election you unelected scum" which is basically what opposition politics seems at the moment.

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