Politicians Run Away From Twitter in Hordes After Weinergate

Kim Conte

anthony winerEver since Anthony Weiner's lewd messages on Twitter went public almost two weeks ago, there's been a noticeable drop in Twitter usage by other members of Congress. Coincidence? Or has Weinergate scared them away from the social media site? At this point, it's difficult to tell ...

Here's what we do know: According to a study by TweetCongress -- a site which monitors active feeds from members of Congress -- there's been an estimated 21 percent drop in 140-character messaging by Congress members in the eight weekdays since the sexting scandal first broke. Democratic and Republican members averaged about 700 tweets each weekday before; now, they're only sending an average of about 550 each day.

Curious, eh?

Of course, there absolutely no proof that the drop in tweets is in any way related to Weiner's Twitter scandal. But you can't help but wonder if perhaps other Congress members have been so traumatized by what's happened to him, they're steering clear of their Twitter account just to be safe.

After all, Weiner certainly isn't the only politician who's been involved in an embarrassing gaffe on Twitter. It's not a far stretch to interpret Congress' recent silence on Twitter as tacit admission that, when you boil it down, what happened to Weiner could happen to any of us -- i.e., sending out something ridiculous over the Internet by mistake and then lying about it when confronted because it's so very embarrassing.

Of course, Weiner's flub has certain moral implications that put him in a whole different category. But maybe the drop in Twitter usage is Congress members' way of acknowledging that none of us are above making mistakes on social media (and otherwise) and maybe, if nothing illegal is occurring, we should all just give it a rest.

Or, maybe Congress members are just really busy and haven't had time to tweet.


Image via David Boyle/Flickr

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