Does Twitter Promote Democracy?

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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 (

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”.



  1. Connie, Karen Sawatzky pointed out a year ago that Congress was using Twitter: Twitter, Mr. Speaker

  2. Thanks for the link! Yes, I was aware of it.

    Wired has an update today of the story.