Sarah Teather and other Brent Liberal Democrates have joined facebook. I’ve poked her, have you?

I wasn’t expecting to see our Sarah on Facebook… A few years ago electronic networking wasn’t on her list methods for constituency communications. How things change over time: the ubiquity of the term “social networking”, meaning a twittering, bebobuzzing space for me to show my face on the internet, has overtaken “blogging” in terms of its penetration into the nations daily lexicon.

Sarah sees Facebook as a compliment to her existing constituency working: “It’s important to be accessible to all my constituents, and there are lots of ways for people to meet me face to face.”

“Young people often have very strong opinions on local and national issues. Sites such as Facebook provide another way for me to hear their views. I can also use the site to tell young people about the work I am doing on their behalf. For lots of younger adults the internet is now the main way of keeping in touch. I hope that having a page on Facebook will encourage many more people to come forward with issues and campaigns they would like me to take up.”

But Facebook is a closed community, a members only space on the internet: at least MySpace member pages are public! These “Social websites expose class divide“. Blogging, i.e. online publishing with comments, is open and public and seeks to engage readers in a transparent dialog.

As we know from recent escapades that some people around Brent’s elected representatives like to engage in online ‘activism’… So I hope that Sarah’s Facebook account and our other MPs for that matter are only being operated by her and not by their teams. As we know from the Facebook terms of service, in the User Conduct section:

  • In addition, you agree not to use the Service or the Site to:
  • register for more than one User account, register for a User account on behalf of an individual other than yourself, or register for a User account on behalf of any group or entity;
  • impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity;
  • impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity;