Social media and open debate

One of the things we all seem to love about social media is the ability to actively engage with people. This is even more the case when it comes to politicians and parties. For many, social media is the only time and method they have for engaging directly with politicians or parties. Yet some of them are potentially sending the message that they don’t want to engage with people.


Lets look at Twitter firstly. There is somewhere in the region of 104 to 107 MPs on Twitter. (Depends on if you use Philip Lyth’s list or NZ Parliament’s list) Of those, all but two have public accounts. Now I don’t see the point of being an MP and being on Twitter if you are going to have a protected account? Sadly the only MPs that have protected accounts are National MPs.


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If you do not trust yourself enough to use Twitter, which as a public office holder a protected account indicates, then don’t have an account. It also indicates an unwillingness to engage and listen. Which as a public office holder, you would think, would be the last thing you want to suggest.


It isn’t just National Party MPs shutting themselves off from engagement. The Green Party and the Internet Party both disallow people to post directly onto their Facebook page walls. National and Labour allow people to post directly to their wall, while the Greens and the Internet Party both have the ability for people to post to their walls disabled.



You can clearly see the “write something on this page” box. Now compare this with the Greens and the Internet Party.

internet party


Since they have both upgraded to the new Facebook Page lay out, I checked out a friends Facebook page who had also upgraded to check that Facebook hadn’t hidden the box in some odd place. But they haven’t.

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What do the Internet Party and the Greens to worry about that is stopping them from allowing people to post directly to their pages? It isn’t like they don’t allow comments on their posts. I am surprised the Greens have gone down this route, since they are normally so open and willing to engage with people.