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Metro Nashville Council looks to silence Twitter at meetings

Michael Cass • Feb 17, 2010 at 12:00 AM

A social networking service that's often credited for creating greater openness may not always be open enough to meet Tennessee's standards for local governments, Metro Council's attorney said Tuesday.

Jon Cooper said council members should refrain from using Twitter during meetings to discuss bills under debate or other members' comments. Doing so could violate the state Open Meetings Act, which prohibits deliberations by public officials out of public view and often is interpreted broadly by courts, Cooper said.

"If you tweet during a council meeting about what's going on, that could be problematic," he said, using the newly created verb for posting a comment or information on the service, which limits each post to 140 characters. Cooper said he sees no problem, however, with council members giving "play-by-play" of votes after they're over.

Read the full report at the Tennessean's Web site.

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