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Should the government be on Twitter?

New government guidance has been published urging civil servants to use Twitter. Are you on Twitter?

Launched on the Cabinet Office website, a 20-page document is calling on departments to "tweet" on "issues of relevance or upcoming events".

Downing Street, the Foreign Office and many individual MPs already use Twitter.

The guidelines say that tweets should be limited to issues of relevance rather than just campaign messages, and insights from ministers should be encouraged.

Are you on Twitter? Would you follow the government on Twitter? Is Twitter a good way for official information to be disseminated? What are the benefits of Twitter?

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Published: Tuesday, 28 July, 2009, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK

It's all the fault of Saint Stephen Fry for making Twitter respectable. Seems to me that if a civil servant can find time for tweeting then maybe they are under-employed to begin with. Leave tweeting to those best suited for it...self-obsessed luvvies and media 'celebrities'.

[atticana], Nottingham, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK

Yet another excuse for this ineffectual and incompetent government to waste time and taxpayers money faffing about instead of getting on with the job at hand.

What might be better is to have CCTV webcams in every governmental office so we can see how much work these people actually do.

Rob Neal, Walthamstow, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK

Does the government read this comments section, on any of the subjects raised? If it does it would soon see that the vast majority of subscribers hold them them in utter contempt for everything that has been in "Have your say". If not it should read them before embarking on yet another mad scheme.
I would imagine that if they get the civil servants to post items on twitter they will be open to abuse by the general public as there is such a large build up of frustration over the twits in power

[Kneegood]

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK

Twitter is for Twits

[Jobrite], Worthing

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK

"Should the government be on Twitter?"

Well, you could say they're a bird-brained, bunch of twits feathering their own nests and "managing" the economy on a wing and a prayer, so I guess so!

[dudeiancan]

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK

If the government went on twitter - can I have a job pls -
"social network surfer" would be my title and being a Government Civil servant I am bound to paid more than a nurse

Dave watson, Eastleigh, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK

Absolutely NO. Such a suggestion is ridiculous and yet another stupid gimmick devoid of any substance. I suppose the latter phrase describes the government pretty well anyway, so in the round I suppose it does not really matter as they are getting on with the job. Politeness restrains me from saying any more really.

Brontus Horace

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK

This is just another Brain-dead headline from a bunch of losers lead by Brown the arch-loser

[boldnotold], United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK

No. Using social networking is a very lazy way of trying to communicate. It also relies on people actually beig interested in what these greedy self promoting idiots have to say.

If they really wanted to court the attention of the public, they should be going into their constituencies and meeting people, raising their profiles and being seen. Face to face is the best way to assess a character.

Unless that's what they're scared of; being found out...

Clifton Maybank, Dreaming of a busier work., United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK

Twits on Twitter... nice.

Middleaged Grumbler, Free Tibet for 2012

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK

Are you on Twitter? NO
Would you follow the government on Twitter? NO
Is Twitter a good way for official information to be disseminated? NO
What are the benefits of Twitter? NONE

But hey, they are already twits so why not.

[pjajennings], Abingdon, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 08:56 GMT 09:56 UK

They definitely should! Micro-blogging is the ideal tool to communicate with a quick changing world. More and more people/organisations are using it, as messages can be distributed quicker then ever before, worldwide! Also, we should be working as a global community, to learn from each other's creativity and "wisdom" and to suggest better ways of working if necessary. I was happily surprised to see this new recommendation; well done UK government!

Katelijne Rothschild, West Malling

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK

If anyone ever comes up with a use for Twitter that has some point, maybe.

Having RSS feeds on websites is a far better way to have information rapidly disseminated.

The Old Goat, watching from the woods

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 08:49 GMT 09:49 UK

No but it should be on the scrap heap

Peter Wilkins

The government or Twitter?

The Old Goat, watching from the woods

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Added: Wednesday, 29 July, 2009, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK

I am not on Twitter and have no intention of going on Twitter. I do not subscribe to anything that has my personal details for the whole world and his dog to view. It is the current "thing of the moment" and politics should be above "pandering to the masses"

I also have had personal experience of it being used by school children to spread malicious gossip and innuendo about fellow pupils. School governors are very concerned about its inappropriate use. "Twitter" for me spells "Idle gossip"

John DAKIN, Bristol, United Kingdom

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DEBATE STATUS

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Published comments:
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Rejected comments:
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