Labour Conference 2012: how is social media formed?

So, in an effort to make a post not calling for the head of David Shearer, I decided to take a look at the Labour Party’s conference webpages.

And oh boy are they a treat.

I’ve blogged before about Labour’s (or at least, Shearer’s office’s) poor grasp of social media, but whole new levels of “what r u doin” have been reached with this one.

The good:  pre-empt discussion with a hashtag like #Labour2012 so the discussion can be monitored/participated in widely.

The bad:  try to lay down rules about how people get to use their own personal Twitter accounts.

No, I’m deadly (depressedly) serious:

We encourage you to participate in the discussion on social media, and share your thoughts, photos and experiences online.

COMMENT PARTICIPATION
Labour looks forward to robust conversations on social media, but respectfully draws attention to the Comment Participation Policy that guides our engagement online.

- Stick to the topic. This will help the online discussion to flow and be more interesting, allowing ideas to develop in a useful way.
– Be Respectful. Profanities, name calling, personal attacks on fellow supporters, politicians or public figures are prohibited.
– No junk mail. No advertising or promoting products or repeatedly posting the same point.
– Have fun! Share your photos, experiences and the exciting ideas that are being discussed.

My urge to jump on Twitter right now and just tweet “FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK #Labour2012″ is strong, friends.

Um, Labour?  Your social media team … they do know how social media works, right?  They’re not just jumping on some “Barack Obama totes used social media so that makes it cool!” bandwagon, please God?

Sure, you aren’t going to respond to random abuse (unless Cameron Slater asks Clare Curran to guest-post again).  You aren’t going to retweet vicious personal attacks.  You reserve the right to block trolls.

But you don’t actually get to fucking tell other people what they may or may not tweet on “your” hashtag.  You don’t get to act like you have some kind of authority over other people’s participation in social media.

You do get to lay down the law on some sites, i.e. what people can and can’t say on your own Facebook page, but … that’s a bit different from “social media” as a whole.

Gods, what am I doing?  I’m trying to educate people who refer to tweets as

‘Live Tweets’

and expect conference attendees to charge the venue’s WiFi to their credit cards for fuck’s sake.

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