Ed Balls and literacy levels

Ed Balls, has set himself up with a twitter account, which in itself is in my opinion a good thing, as he exposes himself to immediate reaction to his comments and a way for people to directly communicate with him.

Increasingly MPs are doing this in the UK and theoretically it can only be to the good. However in exposing themselves to this level of scrutiny, they also need to take responsibility and be aware that their actions on Social networking sites, provides an insight to some of their actions they may wish to keep out of the public glare. In other words, they should behave responsibly.

Today saw Ed Balls, make a bit of a twitter gaff. He evidently decided that he needed to generate more followers, so set himself up with one of those 'get lots of followers on twitter' sites. The value of which is a different debate and open to personal preference.

Having decided to join one of these sites, a twitter user needs to know exactly who they are dealing with. Not only does the particular site in question, require your log-in details for your twitter account, itself something that can be problematical, but in this particular instance the 'contact us page' leads to a 404 error page, the 'about us page' tells you nothing about the company itself, but is full of typographic errors.

XXX (site name removed as I have no wish to promote this site) is a tools website for twitter. Here you will gain more followers for your account. This concept is quit simple and works very well. The 1st thing you will need to do is login your account (The same info as your twitter credentials) Then after loging in your taken to page with a list of vip members and regular members. The vip members are paid members and will gain the most followers on our site. Right now vip members are getting anywhere betwenn 400-1500 followers a day. The regular members are free members. Before anyone can join this site you are obligated to click and follow all the vip members and the last 20 regular members. After doing the following you can then join the site to get more followers.

These two problem pages should lead to alarm bells, but evidently to Ed Balls this wasn't the case. So he decided to sign up for an account, despite not reading the terms of service, which do actually lead to a link with some meaningful, if incorrectly spelt information. It is only a 7 point terms of service, so hardly onerous.

1. You agree to submit your twitter accout credentials.

2. You agree to allow us to store your account information in our database.

3. You agree your account will be used to automatically tweet an update on your account for promotional purposes every 6 hours with the exception of VIP members.

4. You agree upon loging in you allow us tweet an update on your twitter for promotion.

5. You agree when buying vip there are no refunds or returns what so ever.

6. You agree to allow us up to 6 hours to put your twitter user name on the vip section.

7. You agree if you spam our site you will be banned from our service forever with out hesitation.

But Ed appears not to have read this and when the spam messages began to appear:

I just become a member of this AWESOME site that gets you TONS of followers: http://XXX

unsuprisingly followers were not amused.

He was suprised by this, sending out the following message:

Apologies to all.. I followed a link and it has spammed everyone. Still learning.. RT @deburca: Be aware of all of these automated tweets!

I accept people make mistakes, yes even I do, but this process provides an insight into the mind of this man.

He doesn't check site validity prior to signing up, he doesn't read T.O.S. despite them being very simple and easily seen.

I wonder whether Ed Balls is someone we should trust to prepare and scrutinize legislation. If he can't read a 7 point Terms of Service, how on earth does he manage with reams of documentation?

Is it any wonder the Learning Skills Council overspend occured? Balls introduced legislation to raise the education leaving age from 16 to 18, yet failed to give schools and colleges the money they needed to make these reforms a reality.

He has shown himself someone as not fit to tell other people how to use the Internet, as he doesn't grasp the reality of not checking out a site, or the need to read the T.O.S.

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