Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

This Is What Happens When You Ask Politicians to Stop Tweeting

After Bundestag President Wolfgang Schaeuble ordered lawmakers to pocket their phones and stop tweeting during sessions of parliament, they responded with irritation and disbelief. Via Twitter.

Schaeuble, the veteran former finance minister, who was elected speaker of Germany’s lower house of parliament last month, said using mobile devices to photograph, tweet, or share information about a session “is inappropriate,” Deutschlandfunk radio reported, citing a Schaeuble letter.

“You can watch the session live but we’re not allowed to tweet about it?” Frank Sitta, deputy caucus leader of the Free Democratic Party, asked on Twitter. “That’s nonsense.” Petra Sitte of the Left Party told the daily Berliner Morgenpost the ruling was “silly” and that she planned to ignore it.

Jens Spahn, a deputy finance minister who worked under Schaeuble, defended his former boss, saying -- again, in a tweet -- that “The real question is whether some of the Twitter pictures/selfies from the plenary create the impression of being a tourist in your own parliament.”

While Schaeuble is something of a social-media neophyte, he’s no stranger to mobile devices: In 2012, he was caught on camera playing Sudoku on his tablet -- while the Bundestag debated a 130 billion euro aid package for Greece.

— With assistance by Rainer Buergin

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