In the U.S., some Members of Congress have started reporting about their activities on the floor using social networking tool Twitter. In a blog comment, Texas-based Christopher Glenn explains the meaning of this to him as a U.S. citizen:
So in June, I was made aware that the House of Representitves Congressman for my district, John Culberson just started using Twitter. Just because it seemed interesting, I added him (www.twitter.com/johnculberson).
Shortly thereafter, he tweeted “I am on the House floor. I am voting yes for Community Health Centers which provide medical care to uninsured Americans.”
This completely blew me away as I started thinking of the ramifications of this.. not just what he voted on, but the fact that this one thing, a congressman starting to use Twitter, just made our representative democracy real for me, something that’s happening right now and being made by real people that I can communicate with and share my opinions with.
A controversy is now arising as to whether the use of Twitter by Members of Congress contravenes existing Internet use policies, and if so whether those policies need to be “redesigned”.
- Let Our Congress Tweet – website by Sunlight Foundation
- Member Web Use Restricted – Sunlight Foundation Blog by John Wonderlich (July 8, 2008)
- Internet Freedom Alert memo by House Minority Leader Boehner (July 8, 2008)
- letter [pdf] – by Rep. Capuano to the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration (June 24, 2008)