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To Tweet Or Not To Tweet? That Is The Question

Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011


Is there such a thing as a dangerous tweet?
Apparently there is. The Indiana attorney general thought tweets posted by a deputy in the office were grounds for dismissal.
In an exchange with Mother Jones magazine, Jeffrey Cox tweeted “use live ammunition” when referring of a way to disperse protesters in Wisconsin. Cox also blogged regularly on a site called Pro Cynic, which he has since shut down.
A spokesman for the AG said the office does not condone the statements and “we do not condone any comments that would threaten or imply violence or intimidation toward anyone. Civility and courtesy toward all constituents is very important to this agency.”
Although the tweets were sent over the weekend and on Cox’s personal Twitter account, the office exercised a zero-tolerance approach when confronted with the facts. “As public servants, state employees should strive to conduct themselves with professionalism and appropriate decorum with the public.”
The agency has no formal guidelines for use of social media, but is in the process of developing them. Absent that, the employee handbook admonishes employees to conduct themselves in a professional manner during and after work hours.
Do you think the punishment was appropriate? Cox claims he was the victim of a double standard about who can talk. What do you think?


Tags: Indiana, Twitter

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