As we’ve discussed in previous posts, President Obama has called for a new age of openness in American politics by saying, “we will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” You can read more about the Open Government Partnership and the Open Government Initiative here.
But new initiatives that encourage openness come with a need for new and substantial accountability. Because the government continues to create and monitor several new social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and social sites as time goes on, the General Services Administration has created a social media registry where federal agencies can list their accounts on 22 social media accounts (one of which, of course, is IdeaScale).
How does it work? Well, anyone wanting to verify that they’re actually speaking to an actual government agency simply
- visits this site (it should be up and running in two weeks)
- types in the web address of the government site that they are engaging with
- presses “look up”
- receives a result that tells them what branch that account is associated with and who it is monitored by
If, for some reason, that page has not been added to the registry, then the federal employee who manages the site simply adds in their email address so that the GSA can then verify it. You can read more about it on the blog announcing the registry here.
But this leads to a larger question of accountability for anyone who is creating and managing a social media interaction with the public. It means that it behooves you not only to be available and responsive to your network, but also to know who else might be speaking to them with your authority.
How do you think users should verify their social media interaction? What other things does the new open government initiative need to consider?