Texas Congressman John Culberson has posted a link to a letter by Michael E. Capuano, the Chair of the Congressional Franking Comission and Congressman from Massachusetts, which Culberson claims will require prior approval for posts to non-governmental websites resulting in
No more live [Qik] videos - no more live Tweets from the House floor or anywhere in the Capitol - no more www communication w/o prior approval
Here is a link to the document. I’ve posted the relevant recommendations below:
I like Culberson, and I wish more of our governmental officials would embrace web communication technologies in the way that he has. However, I wonder if he is overreacting to this document. Unless he is referring to some other as yet unpublished communication, it’s difficult to find the rules he is complaining about in the actual document. The document itself refers explicitly to online video, advocating the establishment of a dedicated congressional channel on a web video site (YouTube, I presume, although the letter isn’t specific) for House members to publish video content. The first and third recommendations would require the videos to be compatible with existing House communication rules, while the second encourages (it doesn’t require) the channel to not show ads, and the fourth suggests the establishment of some kind of rules for posting on non-governmental sites. Those rules all seem sane to me, but here’s Culberson’s take:
Dem "Supreme Soviet" leadership of House would have to approve every Twitter before I could post it!!
I just don’t see that in this document (although more documents might be forthcoming). And, frankly, I find the name-calling and the implication that there is some sort of conspiracy of silence being put in place by the “Dems” a little hard to take from a member of Dick Cheney’s party.
Update: Culberson says:
Look at page two - note each Twitter etc must meet "existing content rules and regulations" that means prior approval/rewrite
However, Culberson notes that this rule applies to almost anything he says, acknowledging that his phone conversations should be censored. Of course, they aren’t censored, making it difficult for me to see how this new ruling about video posts will lead to censored Twitter streams.