Tweets Go Horribly Awry on Capitol Hill

Utah lawmakers got a harsh lesson in the perils of social media on Monday.


It started with this exchange on Twitter between Rep. Jacob Anderegg and Senate President Wayne Niederhauser.

Niederhauser’s tweet was referencing a computer glitch from last week that had Anderegg co-sponsoring SB 100, Sen. Steve Urquhart’s non-discrimination bill.

Since this is the internet, the missive did not go unnoticed. However, within a few hours, the offending tweet was deleted from Niederhauser’s account.

So, how did this happen? Niederhauser says it was an intern who got too eager with social media.

“If you know me, I’m not active on Twitter during the session,” said Niederhauser. “Unfortunately my intern took some liberties to tweet on my account. That tweet does not reflect anything I believe in.”

Niederhauser apologized for the tweet during a morning press availability.

Niederhauser says both he and the intern are embarrassed by what happened. The intern is still employed by Niederhauser.

“She’s really ashamed by what she did. I can guarantee she will remember this for a long time. I’m glad we can turn this into a teaching moment,” said Niederhauser.

As a result, the Senate is holding a mandatory sensitivity training by Equality Utah for all interns Monday evening. Niederhauser says Senators have been invited to the event, but attendance for them is not required.