New guidelines on Twitter use for election

Newly published purdah guidelines have for the first time included details of Twitter usage in the run-up to the election.

Mark Pack: 'sensible balance'
Mark Pack: 'sensible balance'

The news comes as Labour candidate Stuart MacLennan became the first new media casualty of the election campaign last week, after he was sacked for posting offensive comments on Twitter.

The Cabinet Office published General Election Guidance 2010 last week for government departments, which includes details about comms activities during the general election.

For the first time, the guidance outlines that 'use of Twitter may continue for publishing factual information only'.

Elsewhere, the guidance states that official websites such as Directgov will be 'scrutinised closely' by the news media and the political parties.

In addition, ministerial blogs, video blogs and social network profiles should not be updated for the duration of the election period.

Mandate head of digital Mark Pack said: 'The length and detail of the guidelines show how diverse and sophisticated government communications now are. The advice strikes a sensible balance between continuing flows of information which people expect, such as factual information on Twitter, and steering clear of political controversy.'

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