Tory Leadership Cat-astrophe

Pakistan’s ruling party discovered the purrils of social media over the weekend after an unfur-tunate incident – politicians from Imran Khan’s party were left unamew-sed after the party’s official Facebook feed livestreamed a press conference. With a cat filter on:

The party evidently didn’t see the funny side and issued a humourless clarification for their cat-astrophic error. To stop Westminster watchers feline left out, Guido has given the Tory leadership contenders a similar makeover for your purr-usal:

Purr-haps the only surprise is that Rory Stewart hasn’t done it himself already…

Hancock on Receiving End of Social Media Smear Campaign

The Women’s Equality Party has a social media campaign today bombarding the Health Secretary Matt Hancock with pictures of errrm, shrinking violets. WEP are furious with the Health Secretary for saying falling rates of cervical smear check-ups are due to women being embarrassed. WEP claim it is down to cuts to sexual health services, despite studies siding with Hancock. WEP are also spamming his Matt Hancock app…

The Exiling of InfoWars from Social Media

Guido is instinctively uncomfortable with censorship, even of liars. In the marketplace of ideas, good ideas should best bad ideas in free debate. That is the theory. So the exiling of Alex Jones from Facebook, Apple’s iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and MailChimp seems to be shutting down open debate. Twitter have now put Alex Jones in a half-way house where he is unable to tweet. That cuts off Alex Jones from most of his audience.

He’s not completely exiled from public discourse, the InfoWars apps are available to download, his website is running. His freedom of speech has not been taken away, Big Tech has just exiled him from their huge social media audiences. They are it seems to Guido making an example of him because he is the highest profile “fake news” outlet associated with Trump. The tech titans are of course completely within their rights to purge InfoWars from their platforms.

Jones says “Mass censorship of conservatives and libertarians is exploding. You’ve already seen this with the demonetization and ultimate purge of Infowars and other alternative media outlets by mega-corporations working in tangent to stifle competition.” He is right in that it really does seem that it is right-of-centre voices that are being purged disproportionately, the left argues that is because the right are disproportionately “haters”. The alt-right does revel in being provocatively confrontational. Milo being kicked off Twitter was an early sign of this reaction.

If the social media platforms are going to start discriminating about what content they will host and distribute they will become like the US TV networks, seen as partisan and thus subject to partisan heckling. The left are hard-wired to “no platform” people, banning voices they don’t like, the right are not so temperamentally inclined. This means there is a continuous lobbying from the left to silence people they don’t like; the ceaseless effort to get advertiser boycotts of the popular press, to get Nigel Farage off LBC, Owen Jones’ shrill screeching about Andrew Neil (nothing to do with his humiliation at Brillo’s hands). Does all this matter much to voters? Only at the margins, those who want Alex Jones will still be able to get Alex Jones. It increases the self-filtering effect on public discourse. As our information sources become ever more filtered we live in our own increasingly polarised social media echo chambers, that is not good for democracy.

Hancock: 4 Out of 14 Social Media Companies Turned Up to Meet Me

Not including Matt Hancock of the Matt Hancock App, presumably…

Corbynistas Trying to Use Data Protection Laws to Reinstate Suspended Members

Mandatory re-selection and a purge at HQ are just the beginning of the Corbynista consolidation plan. The next step is to reinstate those nutty members suspended for various offences last year. Hundreds of Corbyn supporters were censured by the party’s Compliance Unit for tweets and Facebook statuses that breached Labour rules, either on grounds of anti-Semitism or supporting another political party.

Now Corbynistas are launching legal challenges to prevent the Compliance Unit from using evidence gleaned from their social media accounts. They have complained to the Information Commissioner, claiming it is a breach of the Data Protection Act for screengrabs from their Facebook and Twitter accounts to be used against them. Corbynistas have been writing to General Secretary Iain McNicol stating they do not consent to their “private” data being used by Labour HQ. At least one suspended member claims to have had their complaint upheld.

This is bonkers. In the vast majority of cases the social media posts are publicly available broadcasts from foolish members. Would be laughable if Labour reinstates these anti-Semites and Trotskyist entryists on a technicality… 

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