MPs have been warned not to tweet while drunk and to always wait 60 seconds before posting messages online in order to avoid political gaffes.
A 5,500-word report submitted to the Speaker of the House of Commons gave representatives a series of tips on how to avoid gaffes on Twitter.
“Because it is so quick and easy to tweet people make mistakes and there have been several high profile examples of political gaffes,” the report warned.
“Twitter can be safer if you apply the 60 second rule and wait one minute before pressing the tweet button.
“As well as following the 60 second rule it’s sensible to never tweet while drunk!”
Other tips include etiquette on when to follow someone back, and a warning not to claim one’s Twitter account has been hacked because “it simply isn’t believed”.
Ed Balls— Ed Balls (@edballs) April 28, 2011
Other advice given to MPs includes:
• Don’t constantly retweet praise because it makes you look self-absorbed
• Some things might be too “risqué” for an MP to retweet
• People can tell when you’re just tweeting the party line
• Don’t favourite things to remind you to look at them in case they’re actually embarrassing
• Don’t schedule tweets pretending you’re at an event in case you don’t bother going
• It’s best to ignore parody accounts to avoid giving them publicity
Took time 2 reaccess @twitter following security changes.Followers know I tweet or retweet & don't use fav button.Thx to all who notified me— Karl McCartney (@karlmccartney) November 27, 2014
The tips follow a steady stream of political screw-ups on social media, some of which have provoked popular outrage.
Labour MP Emily Thornberry was sacked from the Shadow Cabinet after she tweeted a photo of a house with an England flag and a white van, even though she produced the photo with no comment.
Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls has also become the subject of regular and playful derision after sending a tweet including only his own name.
The report was released in January and reported by the Sun on Sunday this weekend.
It was produced by The Chartered Institute and was submitted to the Public Relations for the Speaker’s Digital Democracy Commission. Officials say it was produced at no cost to the taxpayer.
Parliamentary officials said: “The report ‘Recommended guidance for the use of Twitter by politicians’ was not commissioned by the Speaker of the House of Commons; it was written evidence submitted to the Digital Democracy Commission on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). The report was not distributed to MPs or peers.”
In pictures: politicians do the silliest things
In pictures: politicians do the silliest things
1/21 Puzzled Clegg
Nick Clegg shows us how difficult it is to rub your head and pat your tummy and be a Lib Dem leader
2/21 David Cameron
One Brentford worker shows how we all feel when David Cameron starts talking about the 'global race'
When the Conservatives launched the hashtag #SameOldLabour little did they realise how similar Labour politicians really were
4/21 Back to school
George Osborne didn't think much of the new sex app for Google Glass
Ed Balls with his 'cash cow'
6/21 Boris being Boris
The Mayor of London shows why there's hope for us all
7/21 Halo effect
Ed Balls has *another* bright idea
8/21 Oh Osborne
George Osborne does an impression of a man without a brain.
9/21 Miliband, Clegg and Cameron
Three men make a tiger?
10/21 Nick Clegg in the smallest chair in the world
11/21 Boris really does get around
This picture tweeted by Oxfam's campaigns and policy director appears to show a Boris Bike turning up in The Gambia, proving that Boris really does get around.
12/21 Miliband on the unions?
Ed Miliband reveals who he'd like to get his hands on
13/21 Not everybody finds Boris funny
This information board at Clapham South tube station quoted London Mayor Boris Johnson promising to safeguard ticket offices in 2010
Jack Leather/Channel 5/Twitter
14/21 Ghoulish Osborne
15/21 Gove may have finally resorted to prayer.
16/21 No comment.
Herr Farage: The Ukip leader Nigel Farage was on the BBC busy defending himself against all sorts of allegations about off-colour goings-on as a young man, when, alas!, a transmission glitch appeared to endow Farage with a moustache last seen on a political leader who liked Europe so much he decided to invade most of it 70 years ago
17/21 Boris Johnson supporting.. squatting?
A protest sign is held up as London Mayor Boris Johnson launches The Year of the Bus from a Routemaster bus outside City Hall in London
18/21 Theresa May
Theresa May shows us she knows all about terror (*inspiring it that is)
19/21 Ukipissshhhh (hiccough)
What Nigel Farage thinks of drinking
20/21 Clegg's actual Christmas card
Nick Clegg's Christmas card.. those bootees are fabulous.
21/21 Diane Abbott
This 2004 painting of MP Diane Abbott cost £11,750. But the real question.. why was she naked?