Thomas Bridge 06 July 2015

Don’t Tweet when boozing or grumpy, councillors to be advised

New advice for councillors set to be launched in a South West borough could urge members not to use Twitter when feeling upset or drinking alcohol.

Draft social media protocol to be discussed by Cheltenham BC’s standards committee this morning calls on councillors to ‘treat others with respect’ and avoid posting ‘personal attacks or offensive comments’.

A lengthy list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ urges councillors not to upload comments ‘in haste’ particularly ‘when feeling angry, tired or having consumed alcohol’.

If adopted, the document would ban members from ‘bullying any person’ or using their position ‘improperly’ on social media.

It also warns that while tweeting during a public meeting may be a ‘useful’ way to provide updates on progress, it might give the impression ‘that a councillor is not concentrating on the business being conducted or is relying on guidance from outside the meeting’.

The draft guidance calls on councillors not to publish false statements or confidential information on service users, contractors, fellow staff or town hall data.

However it does acknowledge that social media can support members to perform their local leadership roles, keep in touch with communities or campaign on regional issues.

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