Shellharbour councillor cops Twitter rant rebuke

Shellharbour City Deputy Mayor Paul Rankin has come under fire for his use of "inappropriate" language on Twitter.

The criticism comes despite Shellharbour councillors being given training in the use of social media earlier this year in the wake of a Twitter mix-up that led to claims of councillors' accounts being hacked.

Councillor Peter Moran said some of Cr Rankin's "poor taste" comments, which included labelling one person a "f---wit", were not a good look for the council.

Councillor Paul Rankin.

Councillor Paul Rankin.

"I'd like to see him moderate the language he uses on Twitter ... to something that is appropriate for a deputy mayor," Cr Moran said.

"He stood for the position of deputy mayor and sometimes you have to cop it.

"If he is on the receiving end of inappropriate comments then he should look at taking action to deal with it, not throwing insults back."

Cr Rankin said the social media training may have taught councillors about social media etiquette but it didn't teach them how to deal with multiple personal attacks.

He conceded that he "probably" shouldn't have reacted the way he did.

"I'm only human," Cr Rankin said. "I understand we have been voted into a position of privilege but it doesn't give people the right to make personal attacks.

"Social media makes it easier for those not in the public position to take shots at those who are."

Cr Rankin said a lot of the anger directed at him on Twitter stemmed from his decision to resign from the Liberal Party.

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