The Election on Twitter

The informative nature of Twitter is great.

The speed with which information is shared is fantastic.

The ability to draw many peopled into an otherwise underrepresented debate is commendable.

So why do people choose to throw all that is good about Twitter into imbalance by posting information which at best is offensive and at worst is downright vile?

The election campaign is a prime example of the good, the bad and the ugly rearing their heads on Twitter.

The vast majority of tweets are informative, timely and engaging however they are tarred by the rogue mavericks who think they are above the need to conform to common decency.

These are not the tweets that are sent quickly, off the cuff without too much consideration.

These are well thought out, with some going so far as to post under a pseudonym, which means they have clearly considered the tone of the messages they are likely to send.

They already know that their antagonistic 140 characters will cause angst so they deliberately hide behind their new alias to say things that quite frankly they would never have the audacity to say to their face.

What makes them think that ethics, respect and polite manners, the very cornerstone of effective communications, are no longer valued across this ever growing communication channel?

The negative ones cross channels into the press and broadcast media so elevating the story, however the big question is whether these posts actually work for the parties or against them to secure votes.

The lesson is that smart political campaigners embrace social media as part of an effective communications strategy, harnessing the energy into a coherent force, which contributes positively to their overall election campaign.

Elaine McKean