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How Governments Are Using Social Media for Better & for Worse

How Governments Are Using Social Media for Better & for Worse

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Jul 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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1 day ago by Zachary Sniderman 
Social media has become acrucial part of how we interactwith our friends, community andeven run our cities. Governmentsare starting to take serious noticeand incorporate social media intotheir own day-to-day actions.Governments may not be earlyadopters but the proliferation of social in national media has ramped up its importance for governments around theworld. While this initial stance kept politicians on the defensive, enough time haspassed that individual politicians and even entire governments are starting to usesocial media to connect with their communities in new, open ways.
We‟ve chosen a few examples to illustrate some of the many ways government is
embracing social media. Have a read through some of these initiatives and let usknow in the comments how your own government or political representative isputting social media to good use. The list is neither exhaustive nor does it try to
summarize the entirety of a government‟s social outreach. It
is instead meant tostart a conversation.
 America Gets Social
Social media has a strange role in America as both kingmaker and career wrecker.
For every social media success story like President Barack Obama‟s 2008
grassroots campaign there is another of a career-crippling gaffe, likeWeinergate,  when New York Rep. Anthony Weiner accidentally tweeted a picture of his crotch.Social media, and particularly Twitter,have become a type of soapbox in America, on which many
 politicians are able to speak directly to their constituents. “I know
the overall importance of reaching out through the social media, because I have 31
grandchildren and they are on all of these things,” said U.S. Rep. Buck McKeon,
Calif. “This is mostly a young person‟s game and I‟m an old person, but I‟m
young at heart … the only advice I‟d give is „get involved‟ and then use it in theright way.”
 In fact, Republicans have been encouraging their members to get on social mediawith a friendly NCAA-style knock-out contest called theNew Media Challenge,  run by the House Republican Conference. Republicans are also using social mediato reach out through initiatives likeYoucut,a crowdsourced platform where the
 public can debate and vote on how to lower the national debt. “If you ignore
[social media] and you just keep doing things the way you did when I first came to
congress, you do so at your own peril,” McKeon said.
 Of course the White House itself has taken to social media to help push some of itsinitiatives. Obama recently held aTwitter town hall where he received and answered questions through Twitter and pledged to start tweeting from his ownofficial account. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook  have also been used in presidential debates and forums. The White House has even set up several verifiedTwitter accounts for state entities such as the secret service (@SecretService), the Open Government Initiative (@OpenGov), a Spanish White House account (@lacasablanca)and an official account for White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (@presssec). Social media has become a place where politicians large and small can register their support in a public way, for example, when Hilary Clinton,Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., called for the release of Chineseartist Ai Weiwei from police custody.Social media has also been used in national campaigns such asChooseMyPlate.gov,for healthier eating,Serve.gov,for organizing and coordinating national volunteer efforts and for the White House blog. 

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