Laura Kuenssberg Tries Explaining Shitposting

The BBC’s flagship BrexitElectioncast podcast turned its attention to online media strategy last night, bringing the term ‘shitposting’ into British households. As ever, they’re well behind Guido on this…

Referring to CCHQ’s deliberately poor Twitter graphics, Laura K explained

“There’s also this thing called [shit]-posting, where… political parties or campaign groups make an advert that looks really rubbish and then people share it online saying ‘Oh, I can’t believe how s*** this is’ and then it gets shared and shared and shared and shared and they go ‘ha ha ha, job done'”

Twitter’s more youthful hacks leapt on Laura claiming she’d butchered the definition. Most failed to clarify anything, choosing only to sneer…

The mistake of Laura’s was the Tories’ digital strategy is an example of shitposting, but shitposting is far from limited to political strategy – indeed political parties are only just testing out the well-loved internet joke format. Definitively, shitposting is most often a deliberately low-quality, jokey post or comment that derails – or devalues the quality of – the conversation.

The intent of the poster is important. For example, the Tories’ garish yellow and pink Brexit graphic was posted to get attention, but it wasn’t until they saw the mass negative reaction and put out their black and white comic sans version that it could be classified as shitposting.

Laura and the Brexitcast team gave a good example but a poor definition. Most ironically of all, the Brexitcast video ended up itself being memed for shitposting purposes – perhaps this was Laura’s intention all along…


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