Government Officials Behaving Badly in Social Media

The past couple weeks has seen a rash of news stories about elected officials and public employees posting inappropriate or otherwise embarrassing comments in social media.  For example:

On December 8, 2011, three staffers for Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) were fired after their inappropriate tweets dating back to July came to light.  Among other things, the staffers referred to their boss, Congressman Larsen, as “a selfish a**hole” and flaunted to taxpayers that they were drinking and goofing off on the job.

 

On December 7, 2011, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev apparently lost his composure in response to allegations of corruption being leveled at his political party.  The post on Medvedev’s Twitter feed called the people making those claims “stupid sheep getting f****d in the mouth :)”–a particularly colorful Russian phrase.  Much like Rep. Anthony Weiner did, the Kremlin blamed yet-to-be-identified hackers for the post.

 

All of which reinforces the maxim that “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” for government corruption and misbehavior–especially the light that officials shine on themselves.