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The pros and cons of a Twitter election

David Gregory | 17:54 UK time, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

So we're looking at the story of the Telford MP and the "scum sucking pig" tweet today. Covered in plenty of depth here, here and here.

Guido is even wondering if we might see Twitter claim the "first major political scalp".

By coincidence we had a quick lunch meeting today to talk about the upcoming general election. Which left me pondering over the sarnies if this would finally be the year the internet has a big impact on an election campaign.

It's not that I haven't been asked this question on and off for more than a decade now. But this year the technology is sufficiently advanced that is can simply drench the election process. Smart phones in every breast pocket behind every rosette.

Combine that with talk of a hung parliament and you have a campaign where everyone will be looking for the slightest edge and one careless slip in a Twitter update could be it.

The irony is of course we want our MPs to be accessible, human and just like us. To get elected though they'll have to think twice and then think again before pressing "send". They can take advantage of all the technology to appear human, they just can't use it like we do.


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