Dear Gov. Rick Scott: Careful What You Re-Tweet
The new governor of my great Sunshine State, Rick Scott, held a Town Hall meeting through Twitter tonight. I have to give him credit for using a new medium to interact with Florida citizens.
This is how it worked: Folks who had questions were asked to tweet them to @FLGovScott and use the hashtag #flgov. The Governor then re-tweeted (re-posted) the Twitterer’s question and responded accordingly.
However, for a governor who requested some manners from the Capitol press corps during his first press conference as governor (by having his PR guy Brian Burgess request the media to stay seated after the governor left the room), following the Twitter feed on TweetChat and search.twitter.com was a little bit chaotic.
Okay, it was a LOT chaotic and I’m not sure how he selected which tweets to respond to. It was interesting seeing tweets by others I follow and members of the media. [Note: I didn’t get a response regarding my question about state tourism marketing dollars and how the industry can help get it implemented.]
Prankster Twitterer Tried to Steal Gov. Rick Scott’s Twitter Show
Making it more confusing, there was a prankster Twitterer who set up the account @FLGovRickScott with a profile description of
Florida’s 45th Governor and current record holder for largest fraud settlement in U.S. history! $2 billion? Pocket change! I spent $78 million to represent you.
This fake Gov. Rick Scott account was replying to tweets with responses as:
FLGovRickScott: Depends on how good it is. Got any? RT @TheRealJosephLi: are you willing to reconsider Florida’s position on marajuana…? #flgov
[Twitter interpretation: Twitterer @TheRealJosephLi asked “are you willing to reconsider Florida’s position on marajuana…?” and the fake Rick Scott account replied “Depends on how good it is.”]
FLGovRickScott: Only you. RT @hollyc63: #flgov Will u start requiring welfare recipients to pass drug testing each month to receive aide of any kind?
[Twitter interpretation: @hollyc63 asked “Will u start requiring welfare recipients to pass drug testing each month to receive aide of any kind?” and the fake Rick Scott replied, “Only you.”]
Sure. The real Gov. Rick Scott had good intentions then someone thinks they’re being funny by setting up a bogus account. I guess in the fake Gov. Rick Scott Twitterer’s defense, his name is “Not the Real Rick Scott” but when reading the streaming Twitter feed, who’s paying attention to that?
Apparently the real Gov. Rick Scott wasn’t paying attention because he re-tweeted (posted someone else’s tweet) another Twitter’s tweet who re-tweeted a response by the fake Gov. Rick Scott account which read
Tweeted by @The_Q_is: RT @FLGovRickScott: Move to Canada. RT @schotbredeweg: How can we get creative healthcare solutions w/o gov’t mandate? #flgov
[Twitter interpretation: Twitterer @chotbredeweg asked: “How can we get creative healthcare solutions w/o gov’t mandate?” The fake Rick Scott replied “Move to Canada.” This tweet was then re-posted by Twitterer @The_Q_is]
Take a look below or check out the re-tweet here:
I’m quite sure the real Gov. Rick Scott doesn’t think moving to Canada is the solution to health care. I mean, what Floridian can handle a winter in Canada?
Government, Social Media and Public Records Laws
Now, if this was my Twitter account, I could just delete this embarrassing tweet, however, Rick Scott is the Governor of Florida and Florida has a broad public records law when it comes to government which means that particular tweet, or any other tweet, cannot be deleted, at least without archiving.
That’s the lovely quandary social media has created when it enters government. Blog comments, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets and any other social media content generated by a employee is public record. When it comes to government and social media, if you make a mistake there are no do-overs, just address it accordingly.
I truly appreciate Gov. Scott holding this town hall. I’m interested in hearing the Governor’s perspective on the Twitter Town Hall and would like to learn what worked, what didn’t (other than the oops re-tweet) and what changes he and his team would make to future Twitter Town Halls.
My advice to Gov. Scott right now: please get your account verified with Twitter. Then we know it’s you. I’d also be happy to offer some Twitter tips, too.