Social media

comment. It is a way to engage with potential voters, responding to their questions or concerns, sharing information and having them recommend you to their friends. It is also a good source of information on the issues that matter to them.

However, there are certainly traps for the unwary. Many public figures have learnt too late the cost of engaging in “flame wars” with internet “trolls”, or of issuing a thoughtless tweet or status update that lands them in hot water. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether you would be comfortable seeing your comments published on the front page of a major newspaper, and act accordingly.

It is also important to recognise that any material published or broadcast during the election campaign is considered electoral material and subject to the relevant rules.  Authorisation details like those required for printed matter need not be included, but if anyone prints from the website these details are required