Front Page News

Nick Sutton has announced that he will no longer be tweeting out the nightly newspaper front pages with the hashtag . He has handed over the responsibility to @, @ and @He is busy enough running the BBC News website…

It is fair to say that his tweets influence front pages in terms of layout and timing. When tabloids have a scoop they have to weigh up the publicity versus the risk of giving away the one fact story for free. Some of us wonder about Sutton’s definition of a newspaper; the Independent’s digital “front page” only exists in virtual reality to be tweeted and the union-printed Morning Star has fewer readers than Guido, yet is still worthy of BBC promotion. These are quibbles, the initiative sets off nightly social media conversations and is a valuable public service for the chattering classes…

Lineker Reveals Naivety and Personal Vendettas of Section 40 Lobby

Gary Lineker is a Hacked Off backer and high profile supporter of Section 40. Last night the respected media law expert David Banks explained to Lineker why Section 40 is so dangerous: because it will charge newspapers costs when corrupt, powerful people make vexatious legal claims against them. Lineker extraordinarily tried to argue that no one makes libel threats against newspapers with the aim of killing true stories:

As Banks and several others pointed out to Lineker, this is demonstrably untrue. Some examples: police boss Gordon Anglesea obtained libel damages from two papers and threatened many others before eventually being convicted of child abuse. The Guardian received legal threats from over a hundred clients of HSBC’s Swiss bank when they investigated their leaked account data. Last year Guido received a number of legal threats over true stories, for example from Nick Clegg. Vexatious legal threats aiming to shut down news stories happen every week, this is an irrefutable fact. One which the worryingly naive Lineker refused to acknowledge. 

Lineker then called for collective punishment of the national media, local newspapers, the entire magazine industry and student papers, justified in his mind because of “the Sun and Mail”. When Guido pointed out the problem with this non-argument, he replied:

I.e. The newspapers Gary has a personal problem with.

These three exchanges show the issue with Lineker, Max Mosley, Hacked Off, Impress and the Section 40 lobby. They are rich celebrities with personal vendettas against the press, either naive or wilfully blind to the facts, unable to offer any reasonable arguments other than ill-thought out policies driven by their own prejudices. Lineker revealed a lot about the people behind Section 40 last night, there are just five days left for it to be canned…

Mutinous Telegraph Journalists Locked Out of Twitter Accounts

Telegraph bosses locked their journalists out of the paper’s social media accounts over Christmas as they hunted for a mutinous employee who publicly attacked the editor. After a disgruntled hack used the Telegraph Politics Twitter account to blast Chris Evans for “firing journalists”, passwords for the paper’s various social media streams were changed. Journalists were not told the new passwords as bosses decided they couldn’t be trusted not to continue the online insurrection. The lockdown caused chaos on Christmas Day when the below tweet misquoting the Queen was sent by the ‘Social’ team from the main Telegraph account. It stayed up for over an hour because none of the journalists who spotted the error knew the password to log in and delete it.

Trust and competence at an all time low at Telegraph towers…

PM’s Aides Turn Anger on CCHQ

Eagle-eyed tweeters will have noticed that the CCHQ Twitter account has not posted anything for six days. Nothing at all, in fact, since their ill-fated tweets directly targeting Labour MPs who abstained on the Article 50 vote. The attack misfired after it emerged some of the Labour MPs were away on international trips with Tory colleagues who also didn’t vote, a fact Labour took great delight in publicising. Theresa May’s famously relaxed and easy going Downing Street aides are said to have taken particular exception to the line of attack. Or as one Tory insider puts it:

“No. 10 went f*cking apesh*t, like bone throwing mad.”

Nicky Morgan got off lightly…

Amy Lame is Sorry, Not Sorry

khan22

City AM reports that Sadiq Khan’s Twitter troll aide has written to the leaders of six Tory councils apologising for calling Ruth Davidson scum, George Osborne a “c*nt” and celebrating Thatcher’s death. Since Lame’s only public response to the row has been to ‘like’ tweets supporting her unhinged rants, you’ll be forgiven for not believing her apology is genuine.

Still no explanation from Khan or Lame about her tax arrangements, which are highly abnormal for a public official…

Leave.EU-Backed Raheem Had Little Real Support, Despite Social Media Lead

raheem-twibons-ahead
The social media profiles of UKIP’s leadership candidates show Raheem Kassam was far ahead of his rivals before he pulled out this morning. The best indicator of online campaign support was the twibbon, where supporters add a campaign slogan to their social media profiles. Raheem had 1,326 twibbons, dwarfing leadership favourite Nuttall’s 214 – and yet all the signs indicate that Nuttall will win. Despite the online support Kassam admitted this morning that one of the reasons for quitting was he couldn’t raise enough money: “While we raised enough for our deposit, and got over 200 assentors to my nomination, we could not raise enough for this to be more than a digital campaign run from SW1”. What does this tell us about the relative importance of digital campaigning?

This has implications for Leave.EU, the pro-Brexit campaign group set up by multi-millionaire businessman Arron Banks, which backed Raheem. Leave.EU claims their huge social media reach* helped create “an extraordinary mass movement, drawing in swathes of voters neglected by the main political parties.” Banks has hinted that this will be the kernel for a new “people’s movement”. Banks is confusing “likes”, “follows” and casual clicktivism with active support. Leave.EU bought Facebook “likes” essentially by buying traffic.

Digital campaigns which enable commitment; donations, offline meetings, phone banking and membership drives do actually achieve something. Campaigns which generate clicks, petition signings and social flag counts are just virtue signalling. The casual easy click is no more substantive or permanent than what is trending online at any moment. Guido speaks as someone who garnered a million signatures and emails in one campaign, Banks has not got the beginnings of a popular movement, he has captured the virtue signals of a moment…

*As Dominic Cummings rightly points out, Facebook’s algorithms mean that Leave EU’s half-a-million “likes” are just a form of digital dick-waving, they achieve nothing in terms of visibility or extending reach. Leave.EU has less than half as many Twitter followers as @GuidoFawkes

Michael Gove v Tim Walker

A catty encounter between Michael Gove (who’s clearly enjoying his new Twitter account) and diary journalist turned Remoaner Tim Walker:

You know you’ve lost when you pull the Murdoch card.

John Cleese’s Spectator Column So Bad It Was Canned After One Article

nelson-cleese

After John Cleese asked his Twitter followers why “half-educated tenement Scots” are allowed to run the English press, Fraser Nelson had to look up the term. Since the Speccie editor isn’t “educated, cultured and intelligent” (in the words of Cleese) his regular Telegraph column standing up for press freedom was merely an example of how his “craving for social status” makes him an “obedient retainer”.

Fraser hits back today in the Telegraph today:

“his writing fell short of the standards expected of a Spectator contributor – which is why his status as a contributing editor did not last longer than his first article. An expensive education, you see, can’t buy you everything.”

Indeed Cleese’s first and only piece in 2009 was so dull and unfunny that they never had him back. Not much has changed since then.

Labour Adviser Created “Theresa May for PM” Campaign

tm4pm

A former Labour adviser who denied supporting Theresa May was behind the pro-Theresa May campaign Twibbon. Jonny Chambers, who previously worked for Stella Creasy, lashed out on Twitter this morning after being barred from the Labour party after he “demonstrated support for the Conservative party on social media.” In a Facebook post, Chambers claimed that the allegations of “support” for May were a “wonderful demonstration of Labour’s values”, before denying any support had been given:

“Labour claim that evidence shows I have demonstrated support for the Conservatives – something I have never done.

[…] Read the rest

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MP’s Social Media Expenses Paid to Labour Crony

RUTH CADBURY TECH

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.[…] Read the rest

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Cleese Hopes Dacre’s Next Heart Attack “Is His Last”

john cleese

Twitter has not been a happy forum for John Cleese, whose foray onto social media has transformed him from national treasure to eccentric old weirdo. The Hacked Off divorce enthusiast this morning tweeted that he hoped Paul Dacre’s next heart attack “is his last”.[…] Read the rest

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£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”.[…] Read the rest

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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.[…] Read the rest

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Corbynistas Weaponise Cameron

cameron corbyn go

Pro-Corbyn supporters are jumping on Cameron’s call for Corbyn to goDave looked like he was being sincere but has he made it harder for Labour to get rid?

Ed Miliband has now called for Corbyn to go – no Shadow Cabinet job for him then.[…] Read the rest

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Jedis for Jez

jedis for jez

Actor Ewan McGregor has hit out at the 172 “turncoats” who voted against Jeremy:

ewan mcgregor

McGregor was made a global star by his role as Obi Wan Kenobi in the lacklustre Star Wars prequels. If they strike him down, he will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine…[…] Read the rest

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Telegraph Journalist’s “Kill Baby-Farage” Tweet

gee

Catherine Gee, a culture writer for the Telegraph, compares Farage to Adolf Hitler, founder of the Third Reich, responsible for the deaths of 85,000,000 people in World War II and initiator of the previous German attempt at a European superstate.[…] Read the rest

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