Handle social media with care: Tharoor to Congress media managers

Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday told Congress spokespersons that social media needed to be handled with care.

New Delhi: Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, who has found himself in controversy over his tweets, on Tuesday told Congress spokespersons that social media needed to be handled with care.

A media workshop for Congress spokespersons saw speakers including Tharoor and Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari underlining the importance of social media, party leaders said.

Tharoor, who has over 18 lakh followers on Twitter, told the workshop that social media could influence as many as 160 Lok Sabha constituencies and therefore a party like Congress could ill afford to ignore it.

"You cannot ignore the social media", he said while addressing the workshop through video conferencing. He noted at the same time that due care needed to be taken while using the micro blogging site.

In his dos and don`ts prescription, Tharoor, who was earlier Under Secretary General of UN for Communication and Public Information, carried forward with Rahul Gandhi`s line of "positive politics" and "decent language".

Tharoor had in the past got into trouble with his party for his "cattle class" remarks on Twitter which he used to describe economy class passengers after Congress asked all its ministers to travel economy as part of austerity drive.

He was also snubbed by the party for his tweet favouring making public the identity of the Delhi gang-rape victim and naming the proposed anti-rape legislation after her.

Tewari said that one needed to be extra careful while tweeting as a statement is interpreted in various ways by various people.

Tewari, who was addressing a session on preparedness for electronic media, also reminded the participants of the five Cs of Courage, Conviction, Candour, Content and Convenience (comfort with language or medium) before they disseminate party`s viewpoint before the press or at social media.

Sanjay Jha, one of 36 television panelists of Congress, gave the participants tips on TV debates. He wanted them to reach the studio at least five minutes early and face the camera with confidence.

The tips on how to handle the social media including tweeter have come at a time when several party leaders including Shakeel Ahmed and Digvijay Singh have come under controversy due to their tweets.


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