Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) on Twitter: constituency champions or party animals?
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BAXTER, G., MARCELLA, R. and O'SHEA, M. 2015. Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) on Twitter: constituency champions or party animals? Presented at the 5th information: interactions and impact conference (i3 2015), 23-26 June 2015, Aberdeen, UK.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of Twitter by Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) for the provision of constituency-related information, or in support of their constituency service work. While there was some evidence of MSPs on Twitter acting as a promoter of local community interests and as a conduit for information on local policy issues and events, their tweets were dominated by the wider, national, political agenda and by the Scottish independence debate. Compared with their online behaviour as parliamentary candidates three years earlier, MSPs placed an even greater emphasis on the one-way broadcast of information to their followers. They were reluctant to respond to contentious local policy questions, or to enter into any visible, meaningful, political debate with their constituents.