Facebook Engagement Drop Off Not Seen Here

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook algorithm moves in mysterious ways. To Guido’s surprise, checking Facebook’s analytics shows that our engagement levels are actually up since the Zuck announced they will be deprioritising “publisher content which is just passively consumed and not talked about”. The above graphic shows the amount of engagement achieved on the Facebook pages of some of our rivals last week according to Facebook’s publisher insights. Not what many would have expected.

One of Guido’s rivals reckons what this really means is that plain vanilla reporting will be downgraded and news with views will be upgraded. Looks like engaging content is still king…

49 Russian Twitter Trolls Sent Just 942 Tweets During Referendum

Over in Washington, Twitter’s Nick Pickles has told grandstanding Damian Collins and his Culture, Media and Sport select committee that the company detected just 49 accounts linked to a Russian “troll factory”, which sent out a mere 942 tweets during the EU referendum. This is 0.005% of the total number of accounts that tweeted about the referendum. Earlier Collins lost it with Facebook’s representative for denying there was any Russian intervention, snapping: “But you haven’t looked! You haven’t looked!”, and even implying Facebook was lucky not to be “closed down” and its executives “face prosecution. Almost as if Collins is an arch-Remainer using his position to push the Russia / Brexit conspiracy theory, even when the tech companies themselves say it’s a load of nonsense…

Unilad Deleted From Facebook

Viral video outlet Unilad appears to have been booted off Facebook. Unilad’s main page went offline after the social network said it had violated its posting policy. Unilad has (or had) 34 million followers. It’s not clear if the ban is temporary or permanent. Unilad has a staff of 60, it makes its founders hundreds of thousands of pounds in profits, it has a global reach of a billion people per week and Facebook is its main traffic driver and revenue source. Facebook now holds the future of many publishers in its hands… 

Cringeworthy Rudd Memes Worse Than Activate

Last week The Times reported that three social media accounts promoting Amber Rudd have been set up by her supporters. Guido has been following their progress and can report that they have alas not gone viral. @VoteForRudd has attracted a total of 300 followers, pumping out memes that are more cringeworthy than Activate. This photoshop of the “Battle of Hastings re-enactment” got two retweets.

In fact, we’re probably being harsh on Activate. These Rudd graphics are worse:

The “Vote For Rudd” Facebook page is even more cringe, it has managed just 90 likes. Meanwhile on Instagram they’re mocking her up as a cheerleader and calling themselves the “Ruddettes“.

All in all it is not exactly #Moggmentum. The terrible accounts are being run by an anonymous blogger calling himself “Tory Boy 999“. He says:

“We need young people with a good knowledge of social networking to become keyboard warriors for the centre right. We are endeavouring to provide a range of useful resources and will be running this blog, an active instagram account and a YouTube channel. We encourage people to copy and paste, screenshot, share or reproduce any of these resources. We want to reach as many people as possible, target young people and reach new audiences.”

Is that you, Roland?

New Number 10 “Road to Brexit” Social Media Strategy

Number 10 is releasing a video titled “The Road to Brexit” on Facebook and Twitter this afternoon as it steps up its Brexit messaging – you can watch it on Guido first. It’s the first time Theresa May’s government has really tried to do anything like this – a 21st century social media strategy pumping positive Brexit news into the newsfeeds of young voters. Certainly a marked change in communications compared with the previous regime. The video strikes a realistic tone, noting these are “the most complex negotiations the country has ever faced”, stressing the tough talks ahead and the need for a transition period. It also reconfirms the Lancaster House principles of leaving the single market and customs union and taking back control of laws, borders and trade. Good to see civil servants previously tasked with talking up Project Fear doing something useful for a change…

May’s Facebook Live Q & A

Facebook Reports BBC to Police

Facebook has reported a number of BBC journalists to the police after they “provided” them with evidence of child abuse image that appeared on the social network. It is obviously illegal to distribute child abuse images, so when Facebook asked the BBC to “provide examples of the material” they had apparently found, the Beeb’s lawyers should have sounded alarm bells. Instead, the BBC “did so”, and Facebook then reported them to the National Crime Agency. As a Facebook spokesman says:

“It is against the law for anyone to distribute images of child exploitation.”

And in their write up of the story the BBC admits to have confessed all. Wouldn’t it have been more sensible to invite them in and show them in person?

Momentum Spent Thousands to Gain 0.4% Votes

Momentum have spent thousands on Facebook advertising to recruit supporters to Unite to vote for Len McCluskey in the union’s forthcoming election. People in the know estimate well over £10,000 was spent…

The Guardian reports that just an

“extra 659 people joined as community members in December compared with the previous month, part or all of which may be the result of the campaign group asking its supporters to join Unite to vote to keep McCluskey, a key ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In total the union has 1.4 million members, though only about 15% voted in the last election of its general secretary in 2013. Were all the new members to vote, the turnout could be expected to increase by around 4%.”

Not fake news just poor mathematics, the increased vote would be a mere 0.4%.  A rounding error…

Facebook Likes Post-Brexit UK, Plans Thousands More Jobs

Facebook zuckerberg

Facebook will confirm its commitment to add 500 skilled jobs to its London workforce today as part of a plan to expand its British headquarters from 4,000 to 7,000 employees within the next four years. This joins Google’s £1 billion investment in Britain, and Apple’s huge new HQ at Battersea as evidence that the tech sector is still thriving. Unemployment is falling and retail is surging, despite Brexit! Strangely, Google, Apple and Facebook are not worried about being outside the EU’s Digital Single Market, the over-regulated, over-subsidised irrelevance to the future…

Choking the McChicken: X-Rated Content Trends on Facebook

CHOKING THE mcchicken sandwhich]

Facebook was embarrassed over the weekend after it replaced its human editors with an algorithm, which then allowed a fake news story to appear on the site’s “trending” sidebar. It gets worse. Trending on Facebook yesterday was an x-rated video of a man performing a sex act on a McDonald’s McChicken sandwich – choking the McChicken, if you will. Previously Facebook’s trending stories were monitored by a team of real people, who could filter out fowl content like this. This weekend the algorithm was set loose to decide what should trend. With predictable results. I’m not loving it.

Corbynistas Attempting to Preempt Co-op Plan

co-operative party inflitrate

In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Tim Shipman revealed that some nameless Labour moderates might use their sister Co-operative Party to form a new opposition. While plans for the immediate future include establishing a factional grouping, Shippers has uncovered a scheme to get Labour moderates to sign up MPs to the Co-operative Party itself, which has a pact to work with Labour in Parliament and elections. “Double-hatted” MPs can then apply to Bercow to have themselves recognised as the official opposition in the event of mass deselections from Labour, which will grant them a healthy chunk of short money. Guido is too modest to point out where the idea was previously mooted

The advantage of Labour MPs flagging themselves as Co-op MPs is that it is a non-split, split. 24 MPs are already Labour/Co-op MPs. The parties do not stand against each other under the terms of an agreement going back to 1927. The Co-operative Party is a legally separate entity from the Labour Party, and is already registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission, thus Bercow will be able to designate them as the official opposition with very little legal difficulties. This Guido understands is only one plan being considered – Tom Watson would be reluctant to go along with it – however he will under no circumstances allow the SNP to become the official opposition.

Ideologically the ideas of the cooperative movement; egalitarianism and mutualism with co-operative commercial enterprises will be agreeable to most of the Progress-faction MPs. It has always struck Guido that Labour taking the state socialist route rather than the non-state co-operative route was, in retrospect, a fundamental mistake that put the Labour Party on the wrong side of history at the end of the twentieth century. A less statist, redistributive party that favoured social market and non-state solutions might be the future…

Corbynista’s have of course mobilised quickly, with Momentum groups on Facebook awash with calls to join the Co-op and “avoid its infiltration by the coup plotters!” Carry on comrades..

MP’s Social Media Expenses Paid to Labour Crony


If an MP had spent a whopping £7,000 of taxpayers’ money on top tech gear, “comms management” and social media training, you would expect to see some results. Ruth Cadbury billed the taxpayer for a Macbook Pro, an iPad Air 2 and an office full of new computers, as well as funnelling £2,575 to former Gordon Brown SpAd Caroline Badley to teach her, among other things, how to use social media. Your money well spent? After the social media splurge Ruth has a measly 680 Facebook followers, just 5,000 odd Twitter followers, and a grand total of zero YouTube subscribers. Is this taxpayer cash actually being spent on anything or is it just lining the pockets of a Labour crony?

£1,800 on ‘Social Media Strategy’, But SNP MP Has Just 6 YouTube Subscribers

anne mclaucghlin

Have you ever heard of SNP MP Anne McLaughlin? Guido hadn’t either. So it’s perhaps forgiveable that she’d want to boost her profile by claiming £1,800 on expenses for “Social Media Consultancy” as part of an attempt to build a “Social Media Strategy”. What’s less forgiveable is that, despite this taxpayer cash, her Twitter account has just a few thousand followers, her Facebook just a couple of thousand likes, and her YouTube channel – inactive for five years – has just six subscribers. Your money well spent.

Tory Social Media Campaign Begins

social media accounts

The first real social media campaign for a Tory election has had a lacklustre start, with just three accounts spawned across Twitter and Facebook so far. Theresa May leads the pack with a Nation-builder website Theresa2016.co.uk capturing email addresses for the all important final membership round. Facebook and Twitter pages complete the digital assets. May already boasts 649 Facebook likes and a whopping 4286 Twitter followers. The other candidates can’t afford to be left behind during the membership rounds…

Leave Overtakes Remain on Facebook

Referendum likes

On the whole, Facebook often lacks Twitter’s faster political edge. Yet as shown by the general election, it matters far more…

While Remain always lacked Twitter* followers, it carried the edge regarding Facebook likes – until today. With Guido’s daily campaign report showing the two campaigns being neck and neck yesterday, it would appear that Farage’s (or Cameron’s) performance last night was enough to push some as-yet-undecided Facebook users over the edge, lending Leave 4,500 extra followers overnightArron Banks fans screaming “split campaign” should remember Guido only started tracking likes after Vote Leave got the official designation…

What does this mean? Facebook offers politicos the opportunity to appeal directly to users with targeted messages from their page. Using the vast array of data stored on each Facebook profile – likes, location, events attended – these posts can be laser precise while not subject to the clamour of Twitter’s left-wing echo chamber. If that isn’t convincing enough, the Tories chose to spend £1 million more than Labour on Facebook alone in 2015. Twitter wins columnists, Facebook wins votes…

*At the time of going to pixel @Vote_Leave has 53,946 followers and @StrongerIn has 35,256 followers.

Milo & Mensch Go Snowflakey Over Facebook


Louise Mensch and Milo Yiannopoulos are getting worked up about the revelation that Facebook’s “Trending News” discriminates against right-leaning news sources. This means their outlets Heat Street and Breitbart are being denied traffic by Facebook. Facebook had kinda-sorta pretended that their Trending News function was an algorithm driven objective news curator. Gizmodo revealed that it was actually curated by left-biased human editors. 

Steve Hilton over at CrowdPac gives us a clue why that might be:


CrowdPac shows that Tom Stocky, Facebook’s VP of Search who is responsible for the “trending” feature, is a major donor to Hillary Clinton. In fact based on all his contributions the data shows that he is to the left of Clinton. CrowdPac says the rest of Facebook’s “content team” skews even further to the left based on previous donations to political candidates and causes. So now you know Facebook are probably not politically neutral.

Milo and Mensch are now demanding a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, presumably in a safe space, to discuss this suppressing of conservatives and libertarians after he invited “leading conservatives and people from across the political spectrum” to share their views. Zuck also denies Facebook is biased. 

So what if Facebook is left-of-centre? Are lefties entitled to a meeting with Rupert Murdoch to complain that the Wall Street Journal is right-of-centre? Louise tweets that even though Facebook is a private firm, “it is governed by terms of business that state objectivity and EU data law too”. No idea what she means by that, nor does Guido think publishers should be required to be even-handed. Guido isn’t in his equivalent “Seen Elsewhere” links.  If a private firm was required to be “objective” in editorial decisions, Guido would oppose that. A free press is not required to meet up to some illusory measure of “objectivity“. Milo and Mensch should stop whining like snowflakes about how unfair it is. Winners compete, not whine.

Tory Hunk’s Taxpayer-Funded Social Media Juice

mercer fb

Soapy hunk Johnny Mercer should have no problem getting social media followers. Those shower commercials should mean he has all the ingredients required for likes, follows, and re-tweets galore. Surprising then that this Tory totty has charged the taxpayer £2,500 on expenses for “professional services” on social media management. His Twitter following stands at a relatively modest 13,579 – fewer than many 2015 intake colleagues – and his Facebook page has a mere 3,708 likes. His YouTube channel has a paltry 33 subscribers and his last video had just three views. If Johnny wants to boost his following, selfies are probably a better approach…

Censored! Viz Kicked off Facebook


Cheeky comic Viz has fallen foul of Facebook censors this morning. The top shelf Beano famous for the outrageous antics of Roger Melly and the Fat Slags announced via Twitter that their page had been banned for polluting Facebook’s “welcoming, respectful environment.” The same environment that saw hundreds of paedophile groups allowed to post sick images and perverse comments, and gave SNP cybernats a platform to share their bullying videos during the election. Guido is sure Viz will take this threat with its usual solemnity

Liz Kendall For UKIP Leader

This is just getting silly, now:

When will the smears stop?

That escalated quickly:

No word yet on whether it was a Corbyn or Cooper backer who set it up. Though Guido suspects it is too witty to have been created by a Labour supporter…

Telegraph Mysteriously Drop Front Page Facebook Story


The Telegraph were clearly taken with the government’s line yesterday that the organisation most at fault for failing to prevent the Lee Rigby murder was Facebook, running it on their front page this morning. Odd then, that the story is not available anywhere on the Telegraph website.[…] Read the rest


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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Douglas Ross on the fishing section of the transition deal:

“it would be easier to get someone to drink a pint of cold sick than to try to sell this as a success”


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