Wednesday, July 9, 2008

They're using twitter and Qik in the house, oh wait, no they're not!

Since this issue broke on Wednesday, there has been alot more momentum and news on the issue, even in main stream media.  The Sunday NY Times has a great story about  Rep. Culberson and his quest to tweet from the house floor.  O'reilly News has an ongoing story which identifies the role of The Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan entity that is dedicated to the idea of bringing digital transparency to the United States Federal Government. The Sunlight Foundation has launched a great website where you can sign up to support the use of twitter on the house floor, see who's tweeting about it and track the story in the press.  I highly recommend joining them.

There is a very interesting story coming out of the US House of Representatives that I learned about from Brian David Eisenberg in his blog. Progressive Congressmen John Culberson (R-TX) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) were using Twitter and Qik to communicate with their constituents right from the house floor. Unfortunately, the house has restricted the congressmen from using these tools as "official communications".  How Web 1.0/ command and control.  The leader of the complaint, my former congressman, Michael Capuano (D-MA). Congressman, you're not the mayor of Somerville anymore, but maybe you should be.  You can read more from the links from political bloggers, Andrew Wright, Aaron Brazell, and  Erin Kotecki Vest below.

Congress trying to restrict Twitter, Qik, and other social media sites’ usage by Representatives?

Ok. I saw a little bit of this break earlier today, but I’m just now catching up. I guess the word got out that John Culberson and Tim Ryan are using Twitter, Qik, and other socnets to interact in near real time with their constituents. Now apparently, there is a growing uproar of objection to using Twitter, Qik, and other social media outlets by representatives in Congress

clipped from

No more live Qk videos - no more live Tweets from the House floor or anywhere in the Capitol - no more www communication w/o prior approval

about 19 hours ago
from web



Rep. Culberson just sent a series of messages on Twitter indicating that the Democratic House Leadership is requiring that he submit each message for approval prior to posting. This move apparently invokes a little-known broader regulation that all Member communications posted on any public social networking site receive prior approval.

House Leadership Moves to Silence Twittering Members


Anonymous said...

Heh. I was blogging about it at the exact same time.

Important issue this.

I really hate the thought that my congresscritter might be censored... either s/he has the discretion not to put out sensitive information - or s/he shouldn't be in that position.

It's not the technology that's the issue - it's trust.

And in the end - they're citizens too.