I was at a meeting recently where someone from Chatham House was present.
I was tempted to say ‘Chatham House rules’ in the manner of ‘I’m sorry I haven’t a clue’ and shouting ‘Mornington Crescent’.
Which leads on to my lesson for today.
As you probably know I monitor Twitter every day for mentions on the NAO. I noticed yesterday a mention of a colleague and what they were purported to have had said.
I was not aware that they were at a conference so I made a screenshot of the comments and sent them to the relevant person for their information.
The response was ‘oh I thought it was a private conversation’ but no harm done – or similar words.
It is easy to forget these days that someone can be easily filming a conversation on a phone or tweeting.
It is perfectly legitimate to say at an event that the whole thing is not for Twitter – though this can be seen as overkill and is not very transparent or engaging which hopefully the NAO wants to be.
More typically if you are in a workshop or seminar and you want to mention something slightly critical or controversial you can comfortably say ‘please do not tweet this’. I have done it myself and will do it again.
Generally people understand what this means and do not have a problem. If they do not understand the group present will probably correct them if they transgress.
Of course the best route is not to mention anything you might regret being ‘re-published’ in any format. It’s the old ‘common sense’ rule.