About me
Bookshop

Get new posts by email.

About me

Banning politicians from social media

Over recent months, I’ve become more certain in my position that the BBC shouldn’t be creating and sharing material on closed social networks. I’m defining ‘closed’ as anything that isn’t available to the public without a login. For example, BBC journalists shouldn’t—as part of their job—be posting threads on ‘X’.

Universal access is a core part of what the BBC stands for. Indeed, they’ve always aimed (with variable success) to give equal access to their television services regardless of the platform rather than giving preferential treatment to, say, Sky subscribers. I shouldn’t have to give my data to a third party to receive BBC content.


I used to think the same of government bodies, but then I changed my mind: it’s the responsibility of the government to reach people where they are, no matter how unpalatable that location.


A couple of weeks ago, Ryan Broderick gave me a whole new suggestion to ponder when he suggested that all politicians should be banned from private social networks. It is coming up to a month since he wrote that, and it’s been swimming around my mind ever since.

On one hand: clearly, there’s a risk of politicians being duplicitous by posting different things on different closed social media networks.

But on the other: ‘twas ever thus. I’m sure politicians have always said things in closed fora that they might not say elsewhere. The bit they write for a church newsletter is probably quite different in tone and content to the speech they give at the local social club. That’s clearly not wrong nor necessarily bad. If they end up saying contradictory things to different audiences, then they risk exposure.

It’s fair to say that the internet is not a church newsletter: for one thing, social media content has the potential to travel further faster than anything handed out in hard copy. But that’s actually protective of the underlying principle: the further content spreads, the greater the probability of inconsistencies coming to light.

So, despite my misgivings about social media, I don’t think I’m with Broderick on this one.


The image at the top of this post was generated by Midjourney.

This post was filed under: Media, Post-a-day 2023, Technology, , .

Recently published posts

Miniature bonsai / 20 May 2024

You put your whole self in, your whole self out / 18 May 2024

Penrith / 17 May 2024

Sunset / 16 May 2024

‘Racing Ahead’ / 15 May 2024

‘User-friendly front door’ / 14 May 2024




Random posts from the archive





The content of this site is copyright protected by a Creative Commons License, with some rights reserved. All trademarks, images and logos remain the property of their respective owners. The accuracy of information on this site is in no way guaranteed. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided by this site. Information about cookies and the handling of emails submitted for the 'new posts by email' service can be found in the privacy policy. This site uses affiliate links: if you buy something via a link on this site, I might get a small percentage in commission. Here's hoping.