More than half of all UK members of parliament (MPs) are now active on Twitter, according to a study by Tweetminster.
Tweetminster is a media platform that analyses trends and links around Twitter in relation to UK politics and current affairs, and it says that 331 of the 650 MPs have Twitter accounts set up in their name. This is up from 234 MPs who used the microblogging platform in January 2011.
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Grant Shapps, a Conservative MP for Welwyn Hatfield and the current Minister of State for Housing & Local Government, is thought to have been the first UK MP to sign up to Twitter way back in March 2008, though some say he was preceded by Labour’s Alan Johnson who is no longer using the service. By the end of 2008, only three of Shapps’ fellow MPs had signed up.
Last month we reported on how Twitter is going all out to reach Earth’s 7 billion in inhabitants, with a billion tweets now flowing through the platform every 4 days. But there’s no shortage of fake Twitter accounts doing the rounds.
Back in August we reported that Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative MP for North East Somerset, was attempting to force the closure of a false Twitter account that had been set up in his name. He didn’t have an official account for himself, but someone had created the @JakeReesMogg handle, from which more than 1,300 tweets have now been sent. Most of the tweets aren’t particularly offensive, but many do claim to come from the politician himself, such as: “a busy morning out and about in my constituency, followed by a long promised family picnic.”