Social network website woes for politicians - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Social network website woes for politicians

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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

The numerous social network websites can be a plus or minus for political candidates and sitting legislators.

Social media is changing the way we live our lives. And how we get our information on virtually everything.

The Internet has also changed the way politicians tap into their supporters via social networks.

"They're a lot of goods that come of it for a candidate is they use it correctly. And use it right," said Dr. John Jackson at SIU's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. "There's also potential for great harm."

Dr. Jackson points out that politicians no longer only need to worry about whether a microphone is hot or not while on camera.

"I think the more dangerous situation is the unguarded moment. Most people now have cell phones or smart phones. They have the ability to transmit what is happening right now onto Facebook or You Tube," said Jackson. "Now you have to assume that everything is on camera all the time when you're in the public."

That's one thing that Illinois Representative Mike Bost (R)-115th District knows first hand, after his explosion on the house floor over the budget went viral.

"You're always on. You're always in a situation where you could be on camera at any moment. And that can go out over You Tube, Facebook or Twitter," said Bost.

But, there are some other things that politicians have to concern themselves about when posting things on their websites.

"I think it's a great way to keep in touch with people. And to let them know about upcoming events," said Representative John Bradley (D)-117th District. "But I'm very careful about particularly my children and how much information I provide about them. And about our personal lives. So I try to be very careful about that in order to protect my family."

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