Vic Parliament to investigate Twitter use

Summary:The Victorian Parliament is set to consider the appropriate use of handheld devices and social-media sites like Twitter during parliamentary proceedings, after one MP used the service to criticise the speaker during a parliamentary sitting.

The Victorian Parliament is set to consider the appropriate use of handheld devices and social-media sites like Twitter during parliamentary proceedings, after one MP used the service to criticise the speaker during a parliamentary sitting.

The Victorian Legislative Assembly Standing Orders Committee will investigate whether it is appropriate that MPs comment on proceedings via social media, whether guidelines should apply for the use of such services during proceedings and whether the house rules need modernisation as a result of the new technology.

The media is also set to be scrutinised during the inquiry, with press-gallery journalists also targeted by the committee's terms of reference.

The investigation comes as politicians continue to be caught out behaving badly on social-networking sites.

One such occurrence came when the speaker of the Legislative Assembly in Victoria, Ken Smith, demanded an apology from Labor MP Martin Foley over an offensive tweet fired off during question time last month.

Victorian Minister for Water Peter Walsh also came under fire from a barrage of Twitter abuse, threatening to take legal action against the Labor perpetrators.

The New South Wales parliament has also had its fair share of Twitter controversy recently.

Peter Phelps, government whip in the NSW Legislative Council, recently launched into a profane tirade against another user who said that Phelps needed a "good punch in the head".

"Go f*** yourself, commie!", Phelps replied.

Ex-NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has also had her share of drama on Twitter in recent days, with the New South Wales parliament investigating her tweets during a joint select committee hearing over whether they breached the rules on revealing deliberations in committee.

The Victorian inquiry is open to submissions until 17 February 2012.

Topics: Government, Government : AU, Social Enterprise

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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