Handbook

Twitter has a 136-page manual for politicians who want to tweet – Quartz

This article was updated with a comment from Twitter.

Twitter is about to become the place for politicians to connect with voters. The social network added tools to make it easier to accept donations via tweet and poll the public on issues ahead of the 2016 US presidential election. But the craziest resource for elected officials is Twitter’s ridicule 136-page manual (pdf) about what and what not to tweet.

Twitter

Be yourself.

The guide, released last year, covers Twitter basics like creating a profile, creating a 140-character tweet, and using hashtags, and he frequently advises politicians to be them- same and to demonstrate “authenticity” and personality. He also supports elected officials through live tweets during interviews, events and gatherings.

Gems include a graphic on the anatomy of a tweet and examples of how to tweet on TV shows such as House of Cards, and talk to professional athletes.

Do government officials really need that much help speaking to the public? The answer is yes, yes they do.

Recall for a moment “Weinergate”: the 2011 scandal in which former US Congressman Anthony Weiner used his public Twitter account to send a fairly accurate picture of his clothed anatomy to a student. And Weiner has not yet figured out how to use the platform, Politico reported.

Unfortunately, Twitter’s manual will not protect the public from future sext scandals. Nowhere in the shiny pages of the manual does it say not to share nude or sexually suggestive photos or comments, so let’s hope politicians have already gotten this message out.

However, he does instruct elected officials how to delete a tweet when they inevitably fail, something that happens so often that sites devoted to saving politicians’ deleted tweets have sprouted – and been shut down – around the world.

The guide has been “very popular” since its release last year, Bridget Coyne, head of Twitter’s government and election partnership team, says NPR. It was not designed to censor elected officials or to prevent them from making a fool of themselves, she said; it was written to help them get the most out of the platform.

Update 1:20 p.m .: It’s also aimed specifically at U.S. governments, but Twitter is open to creating guides for other countries. “Globally, there is interest in using Twitter in a truly effective way, as elected officials, governments and campaigns all understand that they need to leverage Twitter to reach voters,” said Nicholas Pacilio, Porte – talk from Twitter.

The current edition was written about a year and a half ago, Pacilio said, before Twitter acquired Periscope and partnered with Square on the fundraising platform. Therefore, these features are missing from the manual, but Twitter’s government outreach team is working directly with officials on these tools.

So far, Periscope in particular has proven useful in the US presidential race. Republican hopeful Carly Fiorina, for example, broadcast live a question-and-answer session as part of his White House candidacy, while Donald Trump aired the news that he was joining the presidential race on Periscope.



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