Kremlin Aide Seeks Limits on Officials' Twitter Use

Nov. 08 2012 — 00:00

A Kremlin aide said Wednesday that government officials' use of Twitter and other social networks should be regulated.

"When a government official uses Twitter, he cannot consider it his personal channel of communication," said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin.

"Any information from a government official that appears on Twitter takes on a more or less formal tone," he said, according to Interfax.

He said the policy should apply to all social networks.

Peskov did not confirm or deny a report published in Izvestia on Wednesday that the Kremlin plans to restrict governors' use of Twitter.

The newspaper, citing unidentified Kremlin officials, said governors would soon be told to only write "proper" messages on Twitter in order to avoid scandals and misunderstandings.

If that doesn't work, the Kremlin could ban governors from using Twitter altogether, the officials said.

"They should be showing results not on Twitter but through their actions," one official was quoted as saying.

The move to control regional heads' online habits comes on the back of a number of Twitter scandals involving senior government politicians.

Among the most prominent gaffes, Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachyov in February responded to a highly qualified hospital employee's complaints about his meager salary by telling him "not to whine and go look for a more highly paid job."

Thirty-three governors have Twitter accounts, Izvestia said, adding that Kirov Governor Nikita Belykh, St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko and Tkachyov have the greatest number of Twitter followers.

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