On Wednesday I blogged about Christopher Dempsey and his tweets to Dick Quax. Since then, he has apologised and Dick Quax has accepted this apology. But Christopher has since locked his account down. He sent this tweet around that time:
This raised a question for me, should elected officials have a locked account? This is not a question of should elected officials be able to have private opinions or not. But if they choose to have a social media account, does the public not have a right to be able to see what they put on it? One element voters base their decision on is the views of the candidate, and social media is one way to see that. Surely if you don’t wish voters to see certain views of yours, the best way to do that is to simply not be on social media? If you are an elected official and you have a protected account, the message you are sending is that you have something to hide.
As well, Twitter isn’t like Facebook where you can lock your account down so that people can’t post to you with out permission. If you have a locked account on Twitter, people are still able to tweet to you, and you will still get a notification. So all that is going to be achieved is raising questions about what the elected official has to hide.
If you are an elected official, there is a heightened level of scrutiny on you. If you feel that your social media activity is not going to live up to the scrutiny, then the best course of action would be to adjust your social media activity, as opposed to trying to hide it from voters.