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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Who Tweets on the Hill?

Alicia M. Cohn writes at The Hill:
Most lawmakers do not disclose whether they write their own tweets, according to a review of lawmaker Twitter bios by The Hill, which also finds that most members likely use a ghostwriter.
While 84 percent of House lawmakers and 93 percent of senators are on Twitter, few follow President Obama’s example in personally signing or tagging their tweets, an indication that would highlight the tweet’s authenticity.
Only 14 members of the House and 12 senators include a line in their bios that indicate whether a tweet is written by the lawmaker or a member of his or her staff. Those numbers include two accounts that put “press” in their Twitter account name and five that credit the account to “the office of” the lawmaker.

Only two members of Congress follow Obama’s lead in pledging to sign their tweets with their initials when they send them personally: Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
The majority of lawmakers are following in the footsteps of celebrity movie stars and athletes, who often hire assistants to tweet under a high-profile name as a means of handling their social-media brand.