Can Congress tweet?

“A political spat erupted in Washington, D.C., earlier this month over rules governing how members of Congress may use the Internet. House Republicans argued that proposed changes to the rules amounted to “new government censorship of the Internet,” while Democrats said the charges were exaggerated. Whichever side is right or wrong, the fact remains that current rules governing official communications prohibit members of Congress from using video-sharing or social networking sites like YouTube, Flickr, or Facebook. As a result, many House members, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), are currently in violation of the rules.

Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), a pioneer in using new media to communicate with constituents, sounded the alarm over the new rules via Twitter. Culberson has made a name for himself twittering from the House floor, broadcasting live video from the White House using Qik, and hosting regular “town hall” meetings using live video-streaming and chat on Ustream.

In a later statement, Culberson argued that new media should not be treated any differently than old. “When I am interviewed for a newspaper article or a television story, or have a conversation on a radio show, my interview/conversation is going to appear in the same publication/broadcast as a campaign or commercial ad,” he said.Ars Technica

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