Twitter reaction to political violence

The attack on James Shaw prompted many and varied comments on Twitter. It has been claimed and reported there were some despicable tweets. This one got a lot of attention:

That’s an awful attempt to justify the attack on Shaw. There have probably been others, but I’m not going to go looking for them.

But that tweet raised another string of condemnations. It was pointed out that @MattKingMP followed the above account, and that was questioned and condemned.

Should MPs (or anyone) be criticised for who they follow on Twitter? In some cases that would be justified. But some people go out of there way to find some way of linking political opponents to negative news.

I follow about 400 people on Twitter. Some of those have probably at some time said crappy things. I used to follow @WhaleOil and @laudafinem (until they blocked me), not because I support them but because I wanted to track what they were saying. I still follow @kiwiblog and @thestandard, things have been said at the related blogs that I have condemned.

It’s difficult to monitor everything that is said on Twitter by people you follow. It depends on time (I don’t have Twitter available all the time) and it also depends on what Twitter displays on your feed.

I think that MPs have greater problems with this. The aim of social media is to connect to as many people as possible, some people rate popularity depending on number of follows and followers and tweets. It’s a flawed measurement, but it happens.

And most MPs won’t have the time to carefully check Twitter and especially check or know what every account they follow  is saying and has said.

But MPs leave themselves open to criticism because some people will look for whatever they can to dump on them.

There are no easy answers.

Another angle on Twitter to the Shaw assault was this thread from Neale Jones:

He may make some fair points (and possibly some unfair ones. Important issues are raised but the timing and link to Shaw makes it look like political opportunism to attack those politicians he frequently and strongly criticises.