Sunday, 31 July 2011

Social media for socialists

One of the best uses of social media by a government agency in Australia is that of Queensland Police. Their twitter feed (@qpsmedia) and associated Facebook site were invaluable during the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi. They effectively engaged the public and harnessed their network to get information out, harvest information from the ground, squash rumours, provide translations of important media releases and so on. A world class effort that provides a good case study on how to use social media for disaster management. Key to that success is the manner in which they proved to be reliable and trustworthy. Since those crises, they have continued to provide updates relating to traffic, crime, action alerts, and police activities. It may not be exciting to read but that is police business and they focus strictly on core business and remain strictly professional.

Some of the worst run social media sites belong to our federal government. Early on, I personally took on Sandi Logan, National Communications Manager of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for his sloppy twitter feed (@sandihlogan) which, while purporting to be the official DIAC account, carried an ice hockey avatar and was peppered with social banter with his media buddies. He soon corrected that but still persisted in what I would call 'unprofessional banter' from time to time: snitching at wrong media reports or providing his own personal views. I recall criticizing him again some time back, but I only just noticed today that I have been blocked from following his feed. I can only guess that he didn't take too kindly at me telling him to lift his game, hence the block. Don't let any member of the public criticise the work of a public servant, especially one who is a National Communications Manager, an ex-journalist, and likely to be paid well over $100,000 a year, more likely around $150,000. Do not expect a National Communications Manager to have any skill in handling communications either. Communication is not what they are paid for. And far be it for a public servant, paid for by us, to provide easy access to public information, or even properly engage with the public. That may be his job.

One of the more recent misuses of social media came from the public servant behind the @NBNCoLimited twitter account who, on news of Rebekah Brook's resignation from News of the World, tweeted on 14 July 2011:
NBNCoLimited Ding dong the witch has gone!!! Brooks resigns #notw
What that has to do with the NBN is any one's guess and that was quickly pointed out by other twitterati. While the person behind this account subsequently deleted this tweet and apologised to a number of us who had criticised them for it, some of the apologies were equally illuminating and rather self-identifying. From this episode and from the other entries on this feed, I would hazard a guess that the person behind @NBNCoLimited is a junior who is paid as much as what Sandi Logan should be paid. Their communication skills are about the same. As are their political leanings. Although junior at least had some moral sense and apologised. Logan just had a spit.

The most concerning government twitter account I have come across so far however, is the newly created Clean Energy Future (@cefgovau). It describes itself as the 'Official Twitter account for the Clean Energy Future plan, which offers real opportunities for a prosperous and sustainable Australia.' Standard public service gobbledygook. But this is not simply a twitter account with government information or sloganeering for the carbon dioxide tax (for which we can forgive them to some degree). This twitter account is pure propaganda. If @qpsmedia can be a case study for effective use of social media, then @cefgovau belongs in the handbook on social media for socialists.

Have a look at their fifty most recent tweets as at the time I write this. My own comments are in blue:
  1. Want to show someone how a carbon price works? Show them this animation on our YouTube channel http://youtu.be/fQd_DlkdQ1w #cef #auspol

  2. Some great conversations on Aust’s clean energy future taking place on the #CEF Facebook page. Join in! http://on.fb.me/pHLXCD #auspol

  3. Real people, real stories: Thousands across Aus are already working to harness cleaner energy sources. View #CEF ads bit.ly/odktpo

  4. Follow us on Twitter for updates on the Clean Energy Future website http://bit.ly/pc0n35 #CEF is on Facebook too http://on.fb.me/qeYnwM #ff

    Since when were articles on ABC the Drum the basis for public policy?

  5. RT @abcTheDrum Richard Lambert takes a look at some of Australia's climate change myths http://bit.ly/nZbZby #cef #climate #auspol

  6. Aust Govt’s Clean Energy legislation released for public comment: http://bit.ly/nXvcJI #cef #climate #auspol

  7. Clean Energy Future has four parts: #carbonprice, #renewable, energy efficiency and land. Min Combet explains here http://bit.ly/n7WIfa #cef
  8. The #CEF website is constantly being updated with new info. The latest is a fact sheet on China’s actions http://bit.ly/psv9tO #auspol
  9. RT CSIRONews Blog: Aus playing with the big boys in #solar now - cranking it up to 150MW. http://ow.ly/5OagN #energy #cef #auspol
  10. RT @MegClement: The sun may not shine all the time, but we can get baseload power from #renewable #energy. http://bit.ly/rtExaW #cef #auspol

    Why is our public service pushing propaganda from Meg Clement who describes herself as a "j
    ournalist for @ConversationEDU. Contributer to @OurSayAust".

  11. MT @SayYesAustralia Have you seen the Businesses for a Green Economy website? http://bit.ly/rtRCZV #cef Why is the public service pushing propaganda from Say Yes Australia (@SayYesAustralia) a consortium of green-left-union lobby groups, namely: Australian Conservation Foundation, ACTU, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Climate Action Network Australia, The Climate Institute, Environment Victoria, GetUp!, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, and World Wildlife Fund Australia. That's right the very goons who gave us the misleading ads with Carbon Cate. Some of the goons who featured in Chris Kenny's article and in my last post. And Greenpeace is the anti-science group which destroyed public property at the CSIRO recently. Why is our public service promoting criminals again?

  12. RT @GreenfleetAust tip #18 – Did you know that traveling at 110km/h uses up to 25% more fuel than cruising at 90km/h? http://bit.ly/qkUIXa Why is our public service pushing tips from a carbon offset business? What business is it of our public service or our government as to how fast we drive? Do they know you can be booked for travelling TOO SLOWLY in a designated speed zone?

  13. RT @AusConservation Want 2 know how much financial assistance u'll get with a #carbontax in Aus? Calculate now http://acf.to/pDvJp4 #cef

    Why is our public service pushing propaganda from green left socialist lobby group Australian Conservation Foundation (@AusConservation) who are watching this legislation 'like hawks'and who polluted the #qt twitter feed with their inane #priceonpollution 'social media' campaigns when Gillard first announced the carbon tax?

  14. RT @AusConservation ACF CEO Don Henry on how the climate package can help our farmers: acf.to/qBhFDW #AusPol #Landcare #Carbontax #cef
    Why is our public service pushing propaganda from green left socialist lobby group Australian Conservation Foundation (@AusConservation) who are watching this legislation 'like hawks'and who polluted the #qt twitter feed with one of their inane #priceonpollution 'social media' campaigns when Gillard first announced the carbon tax?

  15. MT @camogomez I actively support carbon tax. It'll boost investment in green techs & put caring for the environ on Aussie companies' agenda
    Why is our public service pushing propaganda from a spanish language SBS journo, who thinks the world is ending? Why should we artifically boost investment in green techs? If they can't survive the market now then they are not worth the investment. Perhaps they want us to be like socialist left Spain where green policies have driven Spain to economic ruin? Economy contracting, 21.29 percent unemployment -the highest in European Union - as well as soaring energy prices pushing up inflation? What?

  16. The #CEF website has 45 Q&As covering many topics such as the average increase in cost of living http://bit.ly/oFRQwL #auspol #carbonprice

  17. Some great conversations on Aust’s clean energy future taking place on the #CEF FB page. Join in! http://on.fb.me/pHLXCD #carbon #auspol

  18. New technologies & sources of energy like geothermal are a reality right now. See the video on our FB pg http://on.fb.me/oKbkIe #cef #auspol

  19. RT @ConversationEDU Businesses could benefit from efficiency under #carbontax http://bit.ly/qlty5x #cef #carbonprice #auspol

  20. RT @bencubby The chief of the IPCC urges nations not to delay #climate change action, says "we have enough evidence" bit.ly/qUFUMj #cef

    Why is a public service twitter feed citing SMH environment reporter Ben Cubby, a climate change cultist, who consistently misreports climate science and other environment issues, even resorts to smears
    ? Why is the public service even pushing Rajendra Pachauri, the discredited chief of the IPPC? Or perhaps they agree with him when he said:
    We have been so drunk with this desire to produce and consume more and more whatever the cost to the environment that we’re on a totally unsustainable path. I am not going to rest easy until I have articulated in every possible forum the need to bring about major structural changes in economic growth and development. That’s the real issue. Climate change is just a part of it.
    In other words, this carbon tax has nothing to do with climate change or even clean energy. This about controlling your behaviour, FORCED redistribution of wealth, lowering your standard of living, pure socialism.

    Would the public service or the Gillard government care to put this 'evidence' on the table for public examination and debate? Would they care to explain why the empirical data contradicts climate model predictions, and that these models can therefore not be used to predict the future climate, much less be used for policy making?

  21. Want to explain the benefits of #pricepollution to someone? Show them this animation http://bit.ly/oXNkm7 #cef #carbonprice #auspol

  22. Visit the Clean Energy Future website http://bit.ly/pc0n35 for info on how the Govt plans to price pollution #cef #carbon #auspol

  23. Some great conversations on Aust’s clean energy future taking place on the #CEF FB page. Join in! http://on.fb.me/pHLXCD #carbon #auspol

  24. Real people, real stories: Thousands across Aus are already working to harness cleaner energy sources. View #CEF ads bit.ly/odktpo

  25. RT @guardianeco Reading @businessgreen China to launch carbon trading trial http://bit.ly/qhpVu6 #auspol #cef

  26. RT @cazazz Whether or not you support the carbon tax, starting to think greener makes sound business sense: http://bit.ly/qgkcUG

  27. RT @csodholz Check out this free CSIRO eBook: Climate Change: Science and Solutions for Australia. tinyurl.com/3pr8fg4 #cef #carbon #auspol

  28. Our climate is changing. The evidence is unequivocal. View #CEF video of Prof Will Steffen on science of #climatechange bit.ly/nOigXP
  29. View #cef case study from CSIRO bit.ly/odktpo on solving the energy puzzle and join the discussion on FB on.fb.me/op48ra

  30. Jobs under #CEF? CEF spoke to Chris at Capital Wind Farm about opportunities in renewables bit.ly/odktpo #carbonprice #carbontax

  31. Real people, real stories: Thousands across Aus are already working to harness cleaner energy sources. View #CEF ads bit.ly/odktpo

  32. MT @solargaze http://bit.ly/nTIW10 Farmers will receive $1.9b over 6 years. Agriculture is part of the answer #CEF #carbonprice #auspol
  33. The #CEF website has 45 Q&As covering many topics such as the average increase in cost of living http://bit.ly/oFRQwL #auspol #carbonprice
  34. Join the conversation on our #CEF FB page about the $13 billion to be invested in clean energy projects on.fb.me/ovCu2d #renewable

  35. Join the conversation on our #CEF FB page about the $13 billion to be invested in clean energy projects http://on.fb.me/ovCu2d #renewable

  36. RT @cleannrgcouncil: The Cook Islands plan to be 100% renewable by 2020 reeep.org/index.php?id=4… #CEF #renewable

  37. RT @A_Greenfield: My 10 yr old reduced heater 1degree and put on a jumper so we don't pay more. Change behavior, change the environment #cef

    How infantalising. And if I want to put up my heater one degree, what business is it of the public service or this government or even of Greenfield? But here's a clue. Given how often @A_Greenfield posts #carbontax tips, I am betting Greenfield is not a 'real person with a real story' but part of another orchestrated campaign - like the ACF polluting twitter with #priceonpollution slogans. So the $64 question is, to which little greenie group does Greenfield belong?

  38. RT @amworldtodaypm Forests absorb 1/3 of all fossil fuel CO2 emissions http://bit.ly/pQvqNp #cef #carbonprice #auspol

  39. What action are other countries taking? China? US? India? Europe? NZ? Find the facts on our #CEF interactive map http://bit.ly/nSM90f

  40. MT @SayYesAustralia Awesome development, giving us the opportunity to make renewable energy better and better! http://bit.ly/oTfnMU #cef

  41. #CEF Jobs & Competitiveness Prog will provide $9.2 billion of assistance over first 3 yrs of the carbon price http://on.fb.me/qMEaqB #auspol

  42. The #CEF website has 45 Q&As covering many topics such as the average increase in cost of living http://bit.ly/oFRQwL #auspol #carbonprice

  43. Visit the #CEF website for info on Aust Govt assistance for jobs and business http://bit.ly/pIOK97 #cleanenergy #auspol #carbonprice

  44. Two ways to learn how a #carbonprice works. The animation http://bit.ly/pp4WLX and the detail http://bit.ly/qqLNhI #cef #auspol

  45. Don’t forget, if you want to stay connected on the Aust Govt’s plan for a Clean Energy Future then follow us! #FF #cef #auspol #carbonprice

  46. Have you visited the #CEF YouTube channel yet? Here's our animation on how the carbon price works http://bit.ly/pp4WLX #ClimateForum11

  47. See Prof Will Steffen’s 2min #cef video on impacts of #climatechange in Aus bit.ly/r9QU76 #ClimateForum11

  48. Clean Energy Future is now on Twitter! Follow #cef for Aust Govt’s plan for a prosperous & sustainable future for Aust #ClimateForum11

  49. Prof Will Steffen’s 2min #cef vid on impacts of #climatechange in Aus bit.ly/r9QU76 asks: 'Do we face a 2 or 4 degree world?'#auspol

  50. 500 polluters will pay the #carbontax. Here's the fact sheet on how they’ll measure & report emissions http://bit.ly/oBopeW #cef #npc

    Has anyone actually seen the list of 500 polluters? Why won't the government tell us? The author behind BarnabyisRight tried to reconstruct this list based on other government sources. If he is right, even in part, the list includes water and gas utilities, Woolworths, even universities. But it's not up to him to reconstruct it. It's up to the government to tell us. There is no point chanting the mantra of '500 polluter's if you can't release the list of the 500 companies (most likely to be) liable for carbon tax. If it's 'only 500' then why not tell us? What is the government hiding?

  51. Clean Energy Future is now on Twitter! Follow #cef for Aust Govt’s plan for a prosperous & sustainable future for Aust #npc #pricepollution
I will update this post with further background on some of the sources if I have time, and welcome any further information from you - just leave a comment. But this twitter feed alone suggests our public servants are not interested in evidence-based policy but are purely ideologically driven, and driven by every socialist green left wannabe group out there. And if this reflects the quality of advice given by the public service to our government (and I am not going to let Gillard and her cronies off the hook with that), or worse still, if this reflects the sort of information our government wants public servants to push, then we are really in a very sorry state indeed.

2 comments:

  1. Let's not forget ABCNewsIntern who claims to be a volunteer worker in their news room and is still there months later- that's some unpaid job he has.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Except that's a personal parody account. These are official government accounts.

    ReplyDelete