Tuesday, December 22, 2009

#GitmoNorth - the Talk on Twitter about Thomson

As discussed in a separate blog post, Illinois -- and the IL congressional delegation -- has become central to America's response to Guantanamo.

One measure of this is the discussion on Twitter about the use of the Thomson Correctional Facility to house Guantanamo detainees. Frequently re-tweeted messages give an indication of what's on people's minds.

People who oppose the move tag their messages #GitmoNorth. For instance:

  • "Heard on #Rush 2day_there is a Nuke Plant 20 miles south of #GitmoNorth in #Illinois"

  • "Obama is a clear and present danger to the US #OffutAFB #FTHood #911terrortrials #GITMONorth"

  • "Even the ACLU knows moving #Gitmo to #GitmoNorth is a HUGE mistake: http://tinyurl.com/ydvt5v4"

A more middle-of-the-road approach is to use the tag #Thomson. For instance, Congressman Mike Quigley has tweeted:

  • "Closing Gitmo plus Ill. jobs is a win-win #Thomson #Gitmo http://bit.ly/7SX2Id"

On reflection, however, at present what seems significant is the lack of Twitter traffic on this topic. Fifty tweets or so in the past week? Maybe that's why WGN-TV used Twitter to generate participation in an old-fashioned poll about Thomson:

  • "Do you support the #Gitmo #Thomson prison plan? Text YES or NO to 97999."

The results of that WGN poll show 35% supporting and 65% opposing the Thomson plan. (Say, nice integration of Twitter, SMS texting, the Internet, and good old TV there, WGN!)

What does this all suggest? It seems there are a lot of anxious -- even unhappy -- Illinoisans. But for now, at least, they are keeping their views to themselves, by and large.

This issue is evolving. You can see the full discussion by going to Twitter and searching on the term #GitmoNorth and #Thomson.

(More information about the IL congressional delegation.)

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