The story includes several examples of company representatives who mix personal and professional information in their private data streams. The question Kang seems to be asking is whether or not policy oriented posts should be regulated.
Lobbying activity is relatively well defined and regulated. If you are communicating directly with elected members or regulators your actions (and the specific topics of conversation) are supposed to be captured by lobbying disclosure forms. Similarly, paying for events (like a round of golf) that provide exclusive personal access to the same officials are closely watched and reportable.
But should communications that speak to a non-targeted, broad audience be treated in the same fashion? I’d suggest we tread very carefully here.
There are really three flavors of posts to consider; individuals posting about news or opinion, organizations (i.e coalitions, companies) posting news or opinion, and organizations mobilizing followers (i.e. sign a petition on net neutrality).
I doubt the latter two options would be in danger of confusing an audience. If you’ve subscribed to an organization’s twitter stream, you proactively decided to receive information from that source and will know what their agenda is.
In the case of individuals, if anything, a permanent (and searchable) record of tweets provides a welcome new layer of transparency that would have been unimaginable ten years ago. I’m in the “more information is good” camp and having the ability to search through an individual’s musings on a given topic is a welcome way to familiarize myself with their background and motivating principles.
While it’s good to ask hard questions about how folks try to pull the levers of power, I think we can let our social networking friends off the hook for now. After all, those tweets have a long and public shelf life. Certainly a lot longer than comments made in a closed meeting or over cocktails at the 19th hole.