Application of Twitter by the UK Government
It is with no doubt that application of social media is presently a significant public sector and governance agenda aspect. Twitter’s ability to engage regular updates concisely and efficiently has motivated many states to use it in their functions. The distinctive user communication features offered by Twitter has also made it more popular compared to other social media platforms. The paper below deliberates on the application of Twitter by UK government.
The government of the UK heavily depends on Twitter as a space for conversation and cooperation. The UK government according to Panagiotopoulos and Sams (2012) is in the process of creating an extensive Twitter platform that offers ardent access to various stakeholders groups and other citizens who are not networked at the ground level. This is not indicated by a large number of followers in different accounts and by the high number of new account holders over time.
Besides sharing news and personal updates, UK government is also applying Twitter for email alerts. According to Mundy and Umer (2013), the twitter message with ‘’alert’’ hashtag is often accompanied by visual add on and orange bell designed to stress on the message’s urgency.
Twitter is also used in education in UK government. According to a study carried out by Junco, Heiberger and Loken, (2011), it was established that Twitter is used in education in different ways such as class discussions held outside class therefore, enhancing engagement of students. UK police also utilize Twitter to provide security details and when trying to increase the number of targeted audience.
The judiciary also utilizes Twitter to update and post people in criminal prosecution legal proceedings. The platform can also be used in emergencies. Panagiotopoulos and Sams (2012) also realized that photosites, blogs, maps and instant text systems including Twitter can be utilized in passing of urgent information in the event of emergencies much faster than the government emergency services or traditional models.
The study also found out that Twitter is used by fire fighters to update family members on the progress of rescue operations and their safety status. Social media is also widely used by government structures especially Twitter to monitor public opinion. For instance, citizen’s opinions on polling results and different regulations is monitored or assessed via social media platforms such as Twitter.
Twitter has also been widely used in campaigns where different candidates use it for publicity purposes (Crampton, 2011). It is a highly instrumental tool in political protests because politicians use it to influence followers and to persuade the opposition. Additionally, structures for public relations in the country have successfully used Twitter in business department, skills and innovations released an article containing the platforms strategy for other sectors.
The strategy described to the departments the reasons why the government used social media platform, Twitter as well as ways in which they can use it to enhance communication (Williams, 2009). Other Twitter applications in the UK according to Crampton include driving business, news reporting, fundraising, arts and entertainment news reporting.
Some of the guiding principles for Twitter in the country include respecting individual statements, being clear and avoid spamming of the channel, avoiding malicious or offensive comments, respecting user privacy, use of English language for communication, respecting user’s privacy and desisting from posting irrelevant messages or impersonation.
Even though Twitter offers access to a large number of users, UK government has not developed ideal mechanisms to monitor the trends systematically as well as updates from other account users (Mundy & Umer, 2013).
Twitter application by the government structures is barely a groundbreaking idea. Apart from Facebook and You Tube, Twitter is the most popular micro blogging platform. Some of Twitter applications by the government of UK include driving business, fundraising, communication, news reporting, entertainment news reporting and in arts, assessing of public opinion and education as well as reporting of emergencies and political protests.
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Panagiotopoulos, P, & Sams, S. (2012). An overview study of twitter in the UK local
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Williams, N. (2009). Template Twitter strategy for Government Departments. Cabinet
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