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So, #savetheintern is now trending on twitter. Which side is the mob going to fall on?
It was a silly thing for the intern to say. But let’s not pretend that phrase isn’t commonplace in social media land. However, it is crude to use, and for me, inappropriate from this particular micro-blogger.
My problem here is that in the Twittersphere I find it strange having other individuals being the ‘voice’ of another individual, and especially when you’re an elected member of parliament. CIPR’s social media guidance encourages openness and transparency online, “it is important they are upfront about who they are”, if not “it is best to be open and clearly state which ‘@person’ typically ‘manages’ the channel”. To me, this afternoon’s episode has cast doubt over the authenticity of what I believed to be one person’s opinion.
Tom is probably the MP who most interacts with his audience through social networking. For those who don’t follow Tom, he offers great insight into a life we know little of, it’s fun, but let’s not also forget that it’s been part of Tom building his own brand online. Will this be tarnished because of what was said? I doubt it. Will it be tarnished over the authenticity of his tweets? Perhaps.
As it is, the mob has been generally appeased by an open, transparent and swift apology. But still, some important lessons here in a quick 10 minute timeline.