Using Social Media


The Guardian website has a column entitled “The Secret Council Officer” where a council officer writes anonymously about life in local government. (It’s similar to their “Secret Footballer” series).

TSCO has written on a number of subjects, including stress, and sexism. But TSCO started off by writing about how councils are often too cautious about using social media like facebook and twitter:

Today many of us carry the internet in our jacket pocket. We expect to be able to contact friends, send a text, or passively scan Facebook or Twitter updates or post our own – actions which take only fractions of seconds but can have a huge impact. It is frustrating and depressing to see these new opportunities to interact with residents on their terms hampered or barred by repressive, defensive and retentive social media policies drawn up by those who do not see the damage their cautious approach causes.

There are dangers in using facebook, twitter, and indeed newsblogs like onlineFOCUS. If you say something you shouldn’t, it often can’t be erased. Also, discussions on social media can change from thoughtful debate into slanging matches or witch-hunts.

But if councils used social media a bit more, even joining in discussions on facebook, then the public would be better informed and sometimes less angry. And that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

1 Comment

  1. Chris Black

    Can you post, please, a copy of the Social Media Policy for Members so that residents can see what we have to comply with?

    It is going back to the RDC Cabinet in Feb so it should be available. Thanks.


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