When it comes to shaky approaches to using social media to communicate with clients, employees, friends or another valuable audience, even presumably tech-savvy governmental agencies aren't immune to embarrassing gaffes. An unsanctioned and inappropriate remark on the Secret Service's primary Twitter account got a government worker in some hot water, and it may have potentially opened up a political can of worms.
As reported by NPR, a Secret Service employee with access to the agency's official account accidentally posted candid musings there, rather than to the employee's own personal account. Those musings, which indicated that the employee had to reluctantly monitor Fox News "blathering," are sure to have caused the agency some embarrassment due to an obvious lack of professionalism. The inappropriate tweet may also appear to indicate that Fox gets more or special attention that other news outlets don't get. The agency quickly apologized for the incident and denied that Fox has been singled out.
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While I have no inside knowledge when it comes to how the Secret Service handles social media engagement, I wonder if a lack of clear, explicit social media policy might have contributed to the employee's oversight. Were there rules in place for using Twitter for personal reasons during work time? Did the agency provide guidance on who was ultimately responsible for using Twitter or other social tools in an official capacity? Given that the reprimand for the employee at this point consists of having official account access revoked, it may be that the absence of rules governing engagement is the only thing that saved that employee from earning walking papers.
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