Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mass. State House Bans Tweeting

Some pols say Twitter ban for the birds

M.West/Boston Herald photo
The social media phenom Twitter may be sweeping America, but it’s banned in the Massachusetts Legislature, which has blocked lawmakers and staffers from tweeting from their office computers, according to a coumn by Joe Battenfeld at bostonherald.com.

The Twitter ban is frustrating some Web-savvy legislators, who say they use the popular Web site to communicate with constituents.

“I think it’s silly,” said Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) , who goes by the Twitter handle @JamieEldridgeMA and has 375 followers. “Social media is a great way to let people know what you’re doing.”

But not all pols are suffering Twitter withdrawal.

“This place has enough distractions already,” said Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), who admitted to being a Facebook user but said Twitter is just another time-waster. “There should be more sites that are blocked. We should also ban solitaire, Bejeweled and Farmville.”

A spokesman for Senate President Therese Murray said the Legislative Information Services department made the decision to block Twitter, claiming the site is vulnerable to viruses. When staffers and lawmakers try to go on Twitter, they instead get a huge, red “Warning!” message that blocks them from using the Web site.

But Facebook is not blocked, leading some to question whether legislative leaders just don’t want staffers and lawmakers using taxpayer time to tweet what they just had for lunch.

Read more here.

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