Do Congressional Rules Run Afoul of Twitter?

I just read at Fox News this morning that Texas Rep.  John Culberson has been using Twitter to post updates and as a means of communicatoin with his constituents.  However, some members of Congress feel that “Twittering” violates house rules regarding communications outside of “official” websites.

However, Culberson has several counterarguments.  In the article, Culberson states:

By communicating on Twitter, Culberson said he can tell his constituents to watch a live video he’s about to broadcast on a site called Qik.com. By blasting an announcement that he’s going to hold a town hall meeting, Culberson said anyone with a mobile e-mail device, an Internet connection or a phone can tap into the discussion. Or if a vote on a confusing or quickly-moving bill is coming up he can shoot out marching orders as needed to his supporters.

“It’s a great way to instantaneously communicate with a large number of people,” Culberson said. 

We have already seen something similar to this happen in some school districts.    District leaders want official school content to stay on official school websites so that content will appear professional; I am also surmising that there may also be legal/liability issues behind those policies as well.  However, sometimes these policies inhibit educators from harnessing the power of these web 2.0 tools.

What do you think about this?  Should Culberson be allowed to Twitter from Capitol Hill?  Personally, I think it is great that an elected leader is trying to find other means to dialogue with his voters and to alert them to his official activities.  However, I’d love to hear your ideas!  What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Do Congressional Rules Run Afoul of Twitter?

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