German Parliament President Wolfgang Schäuble has warned MPs not to tweet during Bundestag sessions.
“The use of devices to take pictures, tweet or spread news about plenary procedures is inappropriate and therefore not wanted during Bundestag sessions,” Schäuble wrote in a letter to members of the newly elected Bundestag, broadcaster Deutschlandfunk reported Wednesday. The Bundestag speaker explained that he “wanted to remind” MPs of the rules.
“Generally, devices, especially mobile phones and tablets, may only be used with restraint and in a manner appropriate for your participation,” Schäuble wrote.
Politicians from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which won its first Bundestag seats in September’s election, had been tweeting photos from inside the parliament, often showing the empty seats of other parties’ MPs, the Berliner Morgenpost reported.
Some politicians reacted defiantly to Schäuble’s instructions.
“The final word on this has not been spoken,” conservative CSU politician Dorothee Bär tweeted in response.
“So you can monitor the debate live in parliament, but we are not allowed to tweet about what happens in the plenary?” tweeted liberal FDP politician Frank Sitta. “That does not make any sense.”
In 2012 while he was finance minister, Schäuble himself was caught on camera by public broadcaster ARD playing Sudoku on a tablet during a Bundestag session.
Wolfgang Schäuble, new President of Germany's parliament, bans tweeting from the sessions in letter to all lawmakers, reports @DLF_Berlin. The times they are a-changing: as finance minister he liked to play Sudoku once in a while on the government bench pic.twitter.com/jwj1lxfiWA
— Christian Thiels (@ThielsChristian) November 22, 2017