MPs and social media

An interesting story from Kate Chapman at Stuff:

The oversharers

Oversharing on is nothing new. Everyone has friends who insist on posting endless Facebook updates about what they ate for breakfast or daily selfies on Instagram.

MPs are no less immune. No one really wanted to know that Gilmore’s new girlfriend thought he was “96kgs of fit hot Kiwi beef”. Nor were we concerned about what National’s Tau Henare benchpressed that day or that United Future leader Peter Dunne had computer problems.

NZ First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor’s Twitter account reveals she has an opinion on everything but has failed to grasp some basic realities, particularly the background of her parliamentary colleagues after she said “few businessmen are capable of being in politics”.

Asked whether she got a tweeting lesson from leader Winston Peters, Lole-Taylor lashed out: “that is the kind of racism and discrimination that people like you wld use when you run out of anything intelligent to say”.

My highlight with Asenati is when she abuses and then blocks journalists. A great way to get good publicity.

Labour MP Clare Curran must be Parliament’s queen of tedium with more than 16,000 tweets, many of which were snipes or arguments with other politicians or media. “On #WorldPressFreedom Day in NZ there r no killings of journalists to mourn, instead insidious strangulation of the craft,” she griped recently.

Not so much a glass half empty, but more a glass never ever full.

There are of course a few MPS who’ve hit the nail on the head. Justice Minister Judith Collins joined Twitter recently and was off with a good mix of humour and scorn.

Labour MP Trevor Mallard has sent more than 10,400 tweets on just about every topic and his colleague Chris Hipkins also balances partisan politics with snippets from everyday life.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has adapted his snide remarks for social media well: “according to Treasury advice the economic return from The Hobbit tourism is, just like JRR Tolkien’s book itself, a complete work of fantasy”.

There are certainly a lot of twits on Twitter, there are several in Parliament too. The problem with sending out immediate 140-character dispatches is that there isn’t enough time for self-editing.

It has been the downfall of many a public figure and it’s only a matter of time before one of our MPs reveals themselves as a complete twit.

My favourite Twitter episode was the war between Trevor Mallard and Russel Norman. They will be such a stable Government one day.

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