Paddy O’Flynn’s Twitter Phished, Restored & Now Banned

Twitter has been missing the erudite dry wit of Patrick O’Flynn – the former Express political editor turned UKIP MEP who now writes for the Spectator – for some days nowGuido has got the tale of his Twitter tribulations from him directly. Paddy fell for a phishing ruse and the hackers changed his password and email address. They had control of it for a while before Twitter alerted Paddy to the suspicious activity. Such are the benefits you might think of being a blue tick. Twitter restored the account to the rightful owner and all was well. For 4 hours…

Paddy then found his account had been suspended, and so it has stayed this week despite emails to Twitter HQ in San Francisco. Whatever the hackers did presumably triggered a belated ban. Paddy is famously polite and gentlemanly on Twitter so surely it could not be a violation by him for perhaps gently mocking Lord Adonis? Guido and thousands of his followers would like to see him restored to his pomp and our timelines… 

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Second GB News Sneak Peek
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Who’s On BBC Question Time?

Paul Mason will be providing the comedy tonight…

mdi-timer 13 May 2021 @ 19:08 13 May 2021 @ 19:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Naga Finally Labels the Labour Activist Doctor

After Guido made headlines last year revealing BBC Panorama’s PPE documentary was, in essence, a Labour party political broadcast – rammed with anti-Tory activists who weren’t flagged to viewers – the corporation admitted it had made a mistake. Specifically in the case of Dr Sonia Adesara, a Corbyn activist and former Labour candidate, where the failure to flag her long-time political activity had breached guidelines. It led to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden writing to the BBC to remind them of their duty to be impartial…

The message has penetrated to presenters, it was good to see the corporation learning from past mistakes this morning, as Adesara appeared on BBC Breakfast and was flagged as a “Labour activist” at the end of the interview by Naga Munchetty. Almost there – now the BBC just needs to make sure these biases are flagged at the outset of the interview before everyone tunes out…

Prior to the last-minute declaration by Munchetty, Dr Sonia’s appearance was shaping up to be a classic example of a biased ‘expert activist’ making claims from an anti-Tory point of view, rather than their area of expertise; that the PM is delaying the Covid inquiry to avoid it coming out before the next election – something the government strongly deny – and stems from her political views rather than her medical expertise. Munchetty clearly hesitated before reading the scripted warning – hopefully she’ll get more comfortable doing it from here on out…

mdi-timer 13 May 2021 @ 12:49 13 May 2021 @ 12:49 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Apologises to James Dyson Over Smears

The BBC press office has apologised for smearing James Dyson as a Tory who sleazily lobbied for tax advantages:

We accept that Sir James Dyson is not a prominent Conservative supporter as was stated in some of our coverage of his text messages with the Prime Minister. The James Dyson Foundation made a charitable gift to support the Wiltshire Engineering Festival for school children. We accept that this does not signal affiliation to any political party and we would like to put the record straight. Sir James also raised concerns about the accuracy of other aspects of our reporting. We wish to make clear that Sir James contacted Number 10 in response to the Prime Minister’s direct request to him for assistance in relation to the urgent need for ventilators and incurred costs of £20 million which his company voluntarily absorbed in trying to assist in the national emergency. His text messages to the Prime Minister were also later sent to officials. We are sorry that these facts were not always reflected in our coverage, and we apologise for not doing so.

In response, Sir James Dyson said  

“The BBC now acknowledges that it was wrong and has issued an apology – which I accept. To justify its claim that I am a “prominent Conservative supporter” the BBC shamefully twisted our charitable gift to school children to suit their political narrative. The Prime Minister asked Dyson to help at a time of crisis, in the national interest, and we did just that. We dropped everything and focused on the national effort. Far from any gain, the project cost us £20 million – a sum we voluntarily bore. I am proud of the efforts of every Dyson person who contributed and we would do precisely the same again. It was deeply disappointing, for me and for the hundreds of Dyson people who gave it their all, to have our efforts developing an emergency ventilator mischaracterised and used for political mudslinging.”

That famous BBC objective impartiality funded by coercion…

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More Harm Than Good: Free-Speech Attacking Online Harms Bill Will Cost Users £2.1 Billion

Not only is the government’s Online Harms Bill set to massively erode online freedoms, they’ve now admitted it will cost billions to implement. The newly-published draft bill’s impact assessment indicates the authoritarian proposals will cost £2.1 billion, with £1.7 of that expected to be spent on content moderation. Costs that will cripple start-up tech companies and increase online monopolies…

Looking at the details of the draft, the bill is arguably worse than initially feared. At the same time as calling for mass restrictions of online content – unless users prove they are not a child – the Bill will create a “duty of care” on digital companies, creating extreme pressure to remove content. Larger social media sites will see this extended to having to act on “lawful but still harmful” posts – mandating the removal of legal speech. What does the government define as “harmful to adults”? Anything that could have “physical or psychological impact”. Guido aims for every story to have a psychological impact on liars, cheats and hypocrites.

For all the PM’s culture war platitudes around free speech, the Bill ties the government in knots. For example, in December Oliver Dowden and Priti Patel held up Youtube as a role model for protecting user safety online by removing Covid misinformation; however when the platform removed TalkRadio’s channel over accusations they were spreading Covid misinformation, the government personally intervened, outraged at the free speech clampdown. This Bill is feeding the beast a whole three-course meal…

The Bill also sets the Tories up for future anger as much of the regulation will fall to OFCOM, who will issue guidance on social media moderation and be able to fine and criminally sanction senior managers. This may just about work if Boris gets his way with Dacre’s appointment, though what is the plan when a future Labour government get to make appointment decisions?

The ASI’s Matthew Lesh tells Guido the bill is “an incoherent train wreck”, which represents “a frightening and historic attack on freedom of speech”

“The Bill needs a serious rethink. There needs to be a mandate on Ofcom that prevents the issuing of guidance that infringes on legal speech, open to arbitrary interpretation under the current proposals. There also needs to be a much greater focus on the perpetrators of unlawful behaviour”

Guido wonders, given we are talking about the world wide web, how this Bill will operate extra-territorially? Will Britain introduce a firewall for censorship like China? Are Guido’s servers in the Land of the First Amendment going to be blocked?

mdi-timer 12 May 2021 @ 15:08 12 May 2021 @ 15:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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