VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – We all know future employers, friends and families look at our Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, but one provincial NDP candidate says the party requires potential candidates to hand over their social media passwords.
Is it an invasion of privacy, or NDP trying to weed out unsuitable potential leadership candidates?
Powell River/Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons says he will hand over the $15,000 fee required by the party to run in the leadership race, but he certainly won’t hand over his Facebook, Twitter or other social media passwords.
Simons says he’s worried this does not only violate his privacy, but also the privacy of his friends. He says it’s inappropriate for the party to have access to people who have sent him private messages in the past. So he says he has left the information off on his nomination package.
News1130 called BC NDP Communications who simply told us that they’re in the process of vetting their potential leadership candidates and they don’t want to compromise that process.
BCIT Social Media expert Kemp Edmonds says this rule probably stems from an earlier incident. “I think this goes back to what happened to them last time. They had a young member of their party, who had a picture of himself in a compromising position on his Facebook, and it embarrassed the party, and I think this might be a reactive decision on that.”
He is referring to Vancouver-False Creek former MLA candidate Ray Lam, whose Facebook pictures showed him palming a woman’s breast, and forced him to give up his hopes of running.
At the time, leader Carole James said it showed a lack of judgment, and that “once you become a public figure, everything is public.”