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Fears of Twitter impact on voting
Twitter should not become the main medium for raising awareness of voting amongst young people, an MP has warned
Twitter should not replace traditional methods of encouraging young people to vote, MPs have been told.
Instead, television adverts should be screened advising youngsters how to take part in elections - but on channels they watch, the House of Commons heard.
Labour MP Gavin Shuker said: "I am aware that many initiatives focused towards young people involve the use of social media, and I can Twitter with the best of them."
But he feared the social network could become the main medium for raising awareness of polls among young people, as the Government introduces individual electoral registration.
The reform will place responsibility for signing up to vote on individuals, scrapping the current system where the head of a household completes a form.
Luton South MP Mr Shuker, who has more than 5,000 Twitter followers, demanded assurances the microblogging site would not replace "more practical ways of getting young people to sign up to vote".
Conservative Gary Streeter, answering Commons questions on behalf of the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, said: "The Commission runs public information campaigns before elections and referendums to encourage people to register to vote.
"The campaigns are targeted towards groups less likely to be on the electoral register, including young people."
He added: "It's important to target the public awareness campaigns towards young people in a way that is most likely to attract their attention.
"This is done by using TV and radio advertising, but on channels they are likely to watch - probably not those you and I are likely to watch."