How to be a civil servant AND a social networker

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Because walking is far too difficult

Civil servants now have a new code of conduct for social networks, thanks to MP Tom Watson, a long-time blogger and savvy MP who just announced (on the floor of Parliament) that he’s got it down to five points and a few paragraphs of government health warning stuff at the end. A little bird emailed it over to me, so if you’re a civil servant, listen up:

Principles for participation online
1. Be credible

Be accurate, fair, thorough and transparent.

2. Be consistent

Encourage constructive criticism and deliberation. Be cordial, honest and professional at all times.

3. Be responsive

When you gain insight, share it where appropriate.

4. Be integrated

Wherever possible, align online participation with other offline communications.

5. Be a civil servant

Remember that you are an ambassador for your organisation. Wherever possible, disclose your position as a representative of your department or agency.

In the small print it says “You should participate in the same way as you would with other media or public forums such as speaking at conferences.”

  • Guide Fawkes

    “1. Be credible

    Be accurate, fair, thorough and transparent”

    Ha! This from the man who was ‘just taking a b’day present up to Gordon Brown’ prior to getting Tony Blair to name a resignation date.


  • OldLabour

    How about some Principles for Participating in Government:

    1. Don’t be a career politician. Watson’s never had a real job outside of politics.

    T Watson: Failed.

    2. Don’t participate in that age-old politician’s sport of bandwagon jumping. Being the first blogging MP is merely that.

    T Watson: Failed.

    3. Be a good MP and err on the side of liberty. His voting record in Parliament is about as illiberal as it gets.

    T Watson: Failed.

    4. Politicians blogging is a good idea but his is mostly fluff and ignores the real issues.

    T Watson: Failed.

    By the way, who was the little bird that sent the info to you? It’d be nice to know in the spirit of openness and all that good stuff.

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