Yet Another Labour Party Internetz Win

Picture the scene. You have just filmed a hard-hitting party political broadcast with a 91 year old war hero. It’s strong stuff, and you think it will get people interested in your party. So, at the end of the PPB, you put your party’s website up on the screen. Except, instead of the correct URL (www.labour.org.uk/harry), you send them to www.labour.org/harry, a parked domain that belongs to someone else and used to for  job recruitment. “But we don’t need millions for this election, as we’re going to win the internetz.”

Selfie Sticks Banned at UK Music Venues

selfie

Once upon a time they were the domain of the Asian tourist, but now they are so popular that nanny is coming for them. In a shocking clamp down on freedom, a group of major music venues have now banned “selfie sticks”. The O2 Academy Brixton, London’s O2 Arena and the SSE Wembley Arena are now stick free zones. These extendible poles allow users to take self photos from new and exciting angles have become something of cultural phenomenon recently. While the venues still welcome selfie taking, the use of elongated aids have been forbidden on health and safety grounds. A real blow to cleavage shots.

How’s That Social Media Thingy Working Out For Ya?

Remember when Labour tried to boost party morale by claiming that they may be outspent at this election, but at least they were winning the internetz? Well Facebook has not gone very well for them today. #CameronMustGo

13 Other Countries That Ban Encryption

putin

There’s been something of an uproar in the cryptography community following the revelation yesterday that Digital Dave is planning to clamp down on encrypted communication. It seems the PM’s plans aren’t just remarkably naive, they’re simply unenforceable. Most decent encryption technology is open source, eradicating it would mean arresting every geek with a laptop or shutting down the internet. However, Dave can take heart that he’s not in this fight alone, the other countries where there are known domestic controls on the use of encryption are Russia, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Israel, Tunisia and Morocco.

That’s one hell of a club Dave’s trying to sign us up to…

Tories Use Paris Terror to Mobilise Election Leafleting

Perhaps a slightly ill-advised Facebook status from the Tory leaflet fodder machine “Roadtrip 2015” this morning:

Indeed, even its own Tory supporters are less than impressed:

The late editor of Charlie Hebdo was a supporter of the French communist party…

UPDATE: The post has now been deleted following Guido’s story.

Socialist Twitter Stasi Ban #EmptyShelvesInVenezuela Hashtag

The great socialist experiment is going so well in Venezuela that the country has run out of McDonald’s French fries and soap. Online dissent is being quelled by the authoritarian regime, with President Maduro’s government banning photos of bare supermarkets on the #AnaquelesVaciosEnVenezuela (#EmptyShelvesInVenezeula) hashtag. In solidarity with the oppressed peoples of of the Bolivarian Republic, Guido shares their plight:

Two years ago Owen Jones and Diane Abbott flew to Venezuela at the expense of the regime, giving the government a nice PR boost in spite of its atrocious human rights record. Now the people of Venezuela are crying out for help, where are they now?

Miliband Election Chief Wants Gong For Sex Assault Star

lucy

Labour’s walking election disaster Lucy Powell showed what a woman of the people she is with this tweet about darts champ Phil “The Power” Taylor:

Correct: Taylor never got a knighthood, though he was awarded an MBE in 2001. Only to have the gong annulled after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting two young women in his caravan. Bullseye!

We Want Our Website Back!

Amateur hour over at UKIP HQ, who seem to have forgotten to renew the domain name of their official website. Which doesn’t augur well for this afternoon’s whelk stall. Someone stick 50p in the meter…

UPDATE: A closer look at UKIP’s domain details shows the domain expires on March 22, 2016, but was mysteriously changed yesterday. Were UKIP hacked?

UPDATE II: It is a technical fault according to UKIP, “It is all paid for and will be up soon”. Have they tried switching it off and on again?

UPDATE III: Six hours later, it’s back up.

Labour Staffer’s Online “Gestapo Royals” Rant

Someone might want to have a quiet word with Labour regional organiser Rob Sherrington and tell him to step away from the Twitter:

https://twitter.com/thecaptainrob/status/551388910316969984

https://twitter.com/thecaptainrob/status/552105311793078272

If social media is going to win Labour the election, do they really need their paid staffers tweeting “f**k you” to the Queen, or calling her family Nazis?

Miliband’s Intro From Granny Rape JokerBiz Backer Says ‘Trafficking Underage Hookers’ Key to Success

Labour hope that social media is going to win them the election, so you might have thought they would have a look at the online presence of those chosen to introduce Ed Miliband at his speech in Manchester this morning.

Amman Ahmed took to the stage talk about the economy and business.

And what is the secret to his profit making success?

Apparently “trafficking underage hookers” and “raping elderly women and stealing their handbags”. According to his Facebook…

Social Media Sentiment is Mythical – Just Ask Alex Salmond

Labour are playing the best of a bad hand by bleating on about being outspent by the Tories, but they should be careful to avoid choking on their own Kool Aid. Pretending that Twitter can level the playing field did not work in 2010…

Guido has warned before, and will say it again; Twitter is just an echo chamber, not a voter battleground. Anyone following politics closely on there has already pretty much made up their mind how they are going to vote. Whilst it might be good for Labour morale, it’s not going to help them in the long run. 

There are 45.5 million voters in the UK, yet only 15 million people on Twitter. Only a fraction of those active users actually follow politics, so to pin your hopes on swinging an election by targeting this already partisan demographic is at best naive…

And it goes badly wrong. Alex Salmond was drafting his victory speech at 10 p.m. on Referendum Day because he was relying on social media sentiment analysis over reality based numbers. Euan McColm reports in the Scotsman:

“But, still, Salmond believed he had won. This was because of his secret Canadians. At huge expense, and amid considerable secrecy, the former SNP leader had brought in polling experts from across the Atlantic. With their new methodology, they’d be able to give him the most detailed predictions yet seen in political analysis. Or something like that.

The reason I mention these secret Canadians, apart from the fact that their existence remains a fascinating, if little known, aspect of the referendum campaign, is that unlike most traditional operators in their field, they placed great store on the use of social media among voters. By monitoring interactions on Face­book and Twitter, a fuller picture would be painted.

In the end, the fuller picture turned out to be a fake, but the fact that Salmond was willing to invest so heavily in his secret Canadians shows us how seriously the SNP – and, naturally, all other political parties – take social media as a campaigning tool.”

Has Douglas Alexander hired the same Canadian voodoo pollsters? 

Enforced Party Loyalty: Miliband Style

It’s all getting a bit heated over at the I’m backing Ed Miliband Facebook Group. The 3,020 members have been warned:

Rules are what we use to help control the fun.

Tories Attack UKIP Plans “To Privatise the NHS”

ukip-nhs

The latest video attack ad of the Rochester and Strood campaign is playing out in the local media…

WATCH: UKIP Hit Back at Labour NHS Attack

UKIP’s outbreak of civil war has not stopped them from producing this quick rapid rebuttal on Labour’s NHS attack. Not bad…

Labour’s #EMforPM Hashtag Has Mixed Results

Earlier today Miliband’s new senior adviser implored Labour supporters to back their leader using the hashtag “EMforPM”. The plan did not go so well:

Slow clap.

CCHQ Throwing Kitchen Sink at Reckless

reckless-kent

This is the online version of the main local paper covering Rochester and Strood, and it is running paid for American style anti-Reckless attack ad videos. Whether this is Jim Messina’s influence or just the inevitable next step in digital campaigning is unclear. It is a lot more entertaining than a leaflet through the letterbox…

It is also getting under the skin of Mark Reckless, who is protesting vociferously and unconvincingly on Twitter that he didn’t flop-flop on supporting a massive local housing development for 12,000 people – in doing so making the rookie mistake of repeating his opponent’s charge. It is cheering up Tories who have been on the back foot in this by-election campaign until now…

Democrats Bullying Voters With Big Data

Is this rather menacing letter being pushed through doors stateside evidence of the Democrats resorting to bullying voters with big data? Worth having a read of this passage from Sasha Issenberg’s “The Victory Lab”, the seminal text on Obama’s digital campaigning. Issenberg writes that the Democrats previously considered the exact same tactic, but “no candidate or group wanted to be associated with a tactic that looked a lot like bullying – and a bit like blackmail”.

This time round it seems they’ve decided to play nasty…

Clicktivism's New Politics: Same As Old Top Down Politics 38Degrees Ruling Clique Evade Backing RAF Strikes

38-degrees-war

So much for digital democracy and the new politics of ‘clicktivism’. What happened when rank and file supporters of the left-of-centre online campaign 38 Degrees voted the wrong way on backing UK air strikes against Iraq? The group’s right on ruling clique ignored the majority and said there was “no consensus”. Actually, if you look past the mathematical sleight of hand, of those who expressed preference 51.7% were in favour of air strikes – an absolute majority.

38 Degrees belongs to all 38 Degrees members. Right now there isn’t a clear consensus among us on what we want to happen. So that means 38 Degrees won’t be campaigning in either direction.”

Yeah, right. Despite all the obfuscation this is a classic example of top down politics, where those at the top ignore the democratic will of those below. Just like with the EU, if they don’t get the result they want, they ignore it…

Yes Campaign Winning On Search Terms and Facebook Likes

search

More people are searching online for Yes than No in relation to the Scottish referendum according to Google’s data, Facebook have also released data showing the level of interaction around the Scottish independence referendum favours the Yes campaign. Over 2.05 million interactions directly related to the Yes campaign and Yes Scotland, compared to the No campaign 1.96 million over the same period. If Facebook “likes” were votes, the Yes campaign has won, with 258,000 likes to the 182,000 of the No campaign…

Tories Implementing iDemocracy in Clacton

clacton-con-ads

There is a certain irony in the Tories holding an internet driven open primary in Clacton to select their candidate and UKIP HQ imposing Douglas Carswell, the prophet of iDemocracy, as their candidate. Carswell will be pleased his ideas are being taken up…[…] Read the rest

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