JAPAN: The Dangers of Distasteful Tweeting

Twitter_bird_logo_2012.svgJEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Government use of social media to engage with citizens has boomed.

Japan is a great example, with many bureaucrats and politicians tweeting about their views or upcoming campaigns. Disappointingly, Yasuhisa Mizuno, a 45-year-old official, managed to tweet his way out of a job.

According to the Japan Times, the nation’s leading English daily, Mizuno was a senior Reconstruction Agency official who’d been in charge of helping victims of the 2011 Fukushima disasters. Following a meeting this March on the effects of nuclear fallout, he criticized citizens’ groups and Diet members, referring to some as “sh-thead leftists.” Until this June the comments were not known, as the agency was unaware of the twitter account.

Nor surprisingly, Mizuno’s actions led to a ‘fallout’ of his own, with many victims saying they’d lost trust in both him and the Reconstruction Agency. According to Fukushima evacuee Katsumi Hasegawa, the agency has assured victims that “Mizuno was doing his best and taking care of the details.” While the meaning of this is still unclear, Mizuno was definitively fired June 13.

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