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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will teach House Democrats how to use Twitter

Democrats are aiming to up their social media game.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newly minted member of the US House of Representatives, will teach her colleagues about social media.
Don Emmert / AFP/Getty Images

House Democrats are hoping new colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can show them the path to Twitter success.

The New York congresswoman will join Jim Himes of Connecticut for a session, hosted by the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, "on the most effective ways to engage constituents on Twitter and the importance of digital storytelling" on Thursday morning, USAToday reported.

Ocasio-Cortez, who has 2.43 million Twitter followers and 1.8 million on Instagram, had a viral moment just before becoming youngest-ever US congresswoman, when a Twitter user tried to use footage of her dancing in college to embarrass her.

The 29-year-old tweeted about the class on Wednesday, noting that it's one of the "perks of being in the Democratic Caucus."

Himes is 52 and has nearly 77,900 Twitter followers, a group he thinks is "more typical of most members" than his younger colleague's. He also generally runs his own account instead of leaving it to staffers -- a factor he reckons is key in social media popularity.

People have "a real hunger for calling it like it is," Himes told USAToday. "For kind of opening the kimono on personal details. Are you a person? I think a lot of people believe politicians are manicured."

He jokingly addressed the difference between him and Ocasio-Cortez in terms of Twitter popularity on Wednesday.

"On average, @AOC and I each have 1.2 million followers!" he wrote.

Some politicians have shown a shaky grasp of social media. In 2018, for instance, Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg how the social network makes money, though members of Congress did somewhat better when grilling Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in September.

At the other end of the spectrum, there's President Trump, who has made tweeting a signature aspect of his time in office.

In an emailed statement, Twitter noted that it makes its resources available to politicians of all stripes.

"We regularly host trainings with congressional staff and Members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, to ensure legislators are able to leverage the power of Twitter to amplify their message and communicate directly with their constituents," a spokesperson wrote.

Neither Ocasio-Cortez, Himes nor the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee immediately responded to requests for comment.

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