Twitter in Parliament

27 Mar

Ian Kearney

@iankearney

Earlier this year Twitter users were given permission to Tweet from inside the courts and now, as of yesterday, MP’s have been given the go-ahead to Tweet from inside the Chamber.

Yes I am aware that MP’s have been doing this for quite some time but the Procedure Committee have just given it the official go ahead so its safe to see we will be seeing a lot more of it now as MP’s battle it out in the obligatory popularity contest that will ensue.

Despite what the critics had to say the report dismissed them by saying:

“Banning [mobile devices] from the Chamber might make the House appear out of touch with modern life and would mean that those in the Chamber would be the last to know of breaking news widely available on the internet.”

“MPs should be allowed to use handheld electronic devices, such as iPads and smartphones, in the Chamber of the House of Commons provided that they do so with decorum and regard for others.”

All this raises a few issues. Will we see Tweet-happy MP’s spending more time hashtagging then paying attention in Commons? Will the house of Parliament look more like a classroom full of texting teens than a government? Will the public be able to sway parliamentary business by Tweeting their MP’s?

There are both positive and negative consequences of this decision and I am sure it wont be long before we start to see the results whatever they may be.

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