As those who follow us on Twitter (@welovelocalgov by the way) will know, recently we came across what we think is some pretty bad news. A fellow tweeter, @NakedCServant, has apparently been digitally hunted down over the course of seven months by a specialist security expert brought in by the DCLG, and has now been suspended pending an internal investigation and disciplinary hearing. You can read more about it at the LocalGov website.
None of us at WLLG know or knew @NakedCServant, but we obviously feel a certain kinship with them. They were writing as an anonymous voice from within government, saying many of the things others were thinking and offering an insiders perspective of what was going on. Yes, he may have occasionally wandered over the line a little and said a couple of things that they wouldn’t say in a public meeting, but no state secrets were revealed, no one was hurt and no money was made. What’s more, he did all of this from his own i-phone, so can’t even be accused of using government IT resources for personal use. They did however break their code of conduct, and now face at best an uncertain future and at worst an unmasking and a brief fifteen minutes of notoriety.
This raises some serious questions regarding the way all of us who comment on government – central or local – might potentially make use of social media and share our opinions. (more…)