In the UK, the dialogue between a government minister and their civil servants takes place behind a screen, like any good professional relationship. Exchanges are relatively stylised and formal as one might expect and some might hope. Social media in government makes that dialogue occasionally break out into public when you are least expecting it.
The recent coverage of Tom Watson reminded me of this unexpected public exchange when I was working on the Power Of Information work in the Cabinet Office. It is hard to explain to those outside the system how odd it is to see 'your Minister' suddenly popping up replying to your tweet about the work you are doing for him.
As one of the people behind the power of information work I am all for this sort of thing, but it isn't everyone's cup of tea.