Thursday, 28 July 2011

Freedom of Information Requests Valid via Twitter

The Information Commissioner’s Office has ruled that requests submitted via Twitter are valid FoI requests, so long as the requesters real name is available.  This could be in the Twitter ‘handle’ itself (eg in the same way that mine is @NicolaFranklin), or it would be equally valid if it were in the person’s Twitter profile page. 

The statement on the ICO website explains that an authority has a duty to check for tweets mentioning its corporate twitter account:  “...whether a request in a tweet that only refers to an authority in an @mention, for example @ICOnews, is really directed to and received by that authority. The ICO's view is that it is.  Twitter allows the authority to check for @mentions of itself, and so it has in effect received that request.”
The lesson is – if a public body has a Twitter account – check the ‘mentions’ tab frequently and ensure there is a mechanism in place to refer requests for information to your FoI team.

- Nicola Franklin

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this heads-up. I'm on the phone already, speaking to our social media people.