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Self-promoting politicians? Gasp

September 20, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Researchers who plodded through more than 6,000 Twitter postings by members of Congress have found -- surprise! -- that politicians spend most of their time on Twitter promoting themselves.

The study was designed to determine whether the social networking revolution, and specifically the arrival of Twitter, had opened a new era of dialogue between elected leaders and the public.

But the University of Maryland team found that 80% of the postings fell into two categories: links to news articles and press releases, mostly self-serving and readily available elsewhere, and status updates that chronicle the pol's latest meal, meeting or trip to a supermarket.

By contrast, the researchers found just 7% of Congress members' tweets were interacting with citizens.

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