Imagine the pain as he typed out that hashtag…
In the wake of “vicious abuse” aimed at the BBC’s Scotland correspondent James Cook, the Beeb have taken the extraordinary step of releasing a statement in response:
BBC Scotland today made a robust defence of its journalists in the wake of a barrage of abuse on social media and other online sites.
The broadcaster called for restraint by some social media users who are following its in-depth coverage of the General Election campaign but have resorted to posting or sharing offensive comments about members of staff.
Over the weekend, BBC Scotland reporters covering breaking political stories were subjected to abusive posts on social media and by email.
Donalda MacKinnon, BBC Scotland’s Head of Programmes and Services, said that while social media engagement is welcomed by the broadcaster, its journalists are entitled to be treated with respect.
She said: “We welcome social media engagement with our audiences. It was a significant element of last year’s Referendum, and for the General Election we are increasing the ways in which voters can access our coverage online with more shareable content such as video and audio clips.
“But there are times when social media and other online sites have been used to abuse and threaten journalists. This is completely unacceptable and our journalists are entitled to carry out their work without the threat of unwarranted personal attacks online.
“The safety of our staff is of paramount concern to us and we are doing everything in our power to ensure they can carry out their work helping to inform our audiences on this major story without intimidation or abuse.”
The parliamentary rules for MPs’ social media use during the election campaign could not be clearer:
“If your website, Twitter account, Facebook page etc. refer to you as an MP (on their pages or in the address or in the handle) make sure you have either set up alternatives to use from Monday 30th March at 00:01 until polling day, or frozen the account, or published the necessary disclaimer making it clear you are not an MP during the Dissolution period.”
Yet as of 10:35am this morning, the Twitter bio of Labour campaign chief Lucy Powell still referred to her as an MP:
Within minutes of Guido politely pointing this out, “MP” had been quietly changed to “candidate”.
Yet, in a display of Powell’s winning judgement, she summoned all of her famous deflection skills to spin that Guido was talking about her handle, @LucyMPowell, which refers to her middle name Maria, and not her bio:
You would have thought, after yesterday, she would have learnt when to put down the spade…
Nigel Farage has upset the old parties and the BBC with his comments from last autumn – which are suddenly emerging now – about axing race discrimination laws. And lo, Nige and Dave’s thumb-twiddling tweet doctors are having it out on Twitter. In text speak.
Why not just ditch the whole TV debates thing completely and decide it all in 140 characters. Said no one ever.
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?
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!
Today’s Mirror splashes on “heartless” George Osborne giving his SpAd Rupert Harrison, apparently “one of the chief architects” of the “cruel austerity drive”, a 19% pay rise.
The story very much upset Man of the People Mirror Associate Editor Kevin Maguire, who Peter Oborne has the temerity to speculate is on rather more than Rupert:
How does Russell Brand respond to a journalist asking him a question? By tweeting his mobile number to his 8.7 million followers. Guido has obscured the image, but Brand knows Daily Mail reporter Neil Sears’ phone will be ringing off the hook with nutters bombarding him with calls. Was there an ulterior motive? Guido is told Brand and Sears had a run in last week when the reporter doorstepped him to give him right of reply on a story he was planning on running. Brand then allegedly responded by throwing curry sauce all over him…
The less reality-based elements of the loony left are still banging on at the ‘biased’ media failing to cover a hashtag calling for the PM to step down. Today’s Populus poll offers a more likely reason: no one cares. Not one person in the real world thought it was a story this week:
The final proof it was never news…
Tory MP Karl McCartney appears to have ‘done a Dromey’, in other words ‘favouriting’ a saucy picture on his Twitter account. His Labour opponent’s decision to flag this up, uncensored, to her followers will have had them choking on their lunch:
Red faces all round…
Ed Miliband’s new political adviser is in Norman Baker territory with this latest conspiracy theory. Jon Trickett reckons he can explain the lack of press coverage for the prosaic #CameronMustGo campaign, which was started by an internet loony who claims the Tories are Nazis, and shared by dozens of simpleton Labour MPs. “The official media suppressed any comment,” tin foil Trickett claims, “you won’t have seen anything about it in the mainstream media”. (It’s been covered by the BBC.)
Could it be that Labour supporters tweeting that they don’t like David Cameron is not really that interesting? No, says Trickett, “the press barons and their hired hands fear that their power to control the flow of opinion and information is, daily, slipping away from their hands”. Tell that to the barons at the top of the Daily Mail Group and Telegraph Media Group. Papers owned by both have covered the ‘story’.
The Labour old guard spent their Sunday afternoons locked in a bruising Red on Red deathmatch. The protagonists: Blairite Shadow Cabinet minister Ivan Lewis and one time Brownite bootboy Tom Watson. The subject: Scottish Labour’s leadership election. The venue: Twitter.
Alas, Ivan couldn’t quite bring himself to write ‘knifing Blair’…
Eddie Izzard is a backer of hopeless causes ranging from joining the euro, voting for Ken Livingstone, Gordon Brown, the Yes side in the alternative vote referendum and now of course Ed Miliband. Guido was therefore highly perturbed when Izzard managed to be, for once, on the winning side in the Scottish independence referendum thus devaluing his use as a negative predictive tool. Fear not, all is once again right.
After urging his Twitter followers to vote for the Democrats they had a bad night and the Republicans took control of the Senate…
The nominees were:
- Louise Mensch: For services to international trolling and picking Twitter fights
- Cllr Karen Danczuk: for selfless services to selfies and feminism
- Brooks Newmark: for not putting down the loo seat before photographing himself masturbating in the bathroom mirror
- Aidan Burley: For cultural diversity online and really entering into the whole Olympic spirit
And the winner:
Stay tuned for the rest of the winners throughout the afternoon…
It’s a day ending in ‘y’ so Louise Mensch has been at the internet again, with predictable results.
Round one of this weekend’s transatlantic duel saw her go after Nadine Dorries, who she probably should have known from previous experience is a brave choice of sparring partner.
If that were not enough, Louise then decided to swing for someone she clearly presumed would be a softer target:
Except Karen is in politics. Elected politics. She is a politician. A Labour councillor, and Louise isn’t, having abandoned her seat. No one has a pop at Mrs D and gets away with it…
Westminster Public Affairs have done their annual Twitter tot up. When they’re not on holiday, the 461 MPs online sent a total of 718,431 tweets in the last year. “Over this twelve-month period MPs spent a combined total of over 115 days (or more than 2774 hours) sending Tweets.” That’s an awful lot of time wasting…
So who are the biggest blabbermouths?
Well apparently George Galloway – who recently described being an MP as tedious – comes out on top with 16,399 tweets.
The top-Tweeting Conservative MP is Michael Fabricant with 11,311 tweets – some of them costing him a job as the Vice-Chairman of the party.
Shouty-crackers Karl ‘anger management’ Turner is seemingly as much of a gobsh*te online as he in Parliament and on trains, topping iLabour with 12,577.
While Tim Farron’s campaign to convince everyone he is a thoroughly nice bloke, while simultaneously knifing his leader, sees him top the LibDems with 14,741 Tweets.
Wasting time on the internet is meant to be Guido’s job.
Remember those crazy Snapchat guys who turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook for their zero revenue firm? Bloomberg reports they are now in funding talks which value the app at $10 billion. Data from Business Insider shows that 1 in 3 US smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 34 are using Snapchat, twice as many as nine months ago and considerably more than Twitter. If Facebook had bought them out Mark Zuckerberg’s company would now own the three most popular social networks in America…