The Implications of Social Media for Parliamentary Privilege and Procedure

Article 3 / 9 , Vol 37 No 4 (Winter)

The Implications of Social Media for Parliamentary Privilege and Procedure

Does social media present a substantive challenge to parliamentary procedure? And, if so, can existing parliamentary conventions and practice adequately respond to the challenges of the digital age? In this article, the author explores incidents where social media was used to violate or circumvent a standing order or parliamentary convention, or to challenge parliamentary privilege in order to answer these questions. She concludes that while social media is simply another form of communication which can conflict with and challenge parliamentary conventions and rules in the same way as more traditional forms of communication, parliamentarians should be aware that its “instantness” can set it apart and expand their audience.