Tag Archives: social media

Beware photos of the Queen shared on social media

A quick look down my Facebook timeline today understandably shows some lovely pictures of the Queen. Actually, my inbox is full of mentions of her as eager marketers exploit her record-breaking reign, but that’s another story. Now, I would happily get rid of the monarchy purely on principle as I don’t believe that a head of  state should come to that position by accident of birth. I know that that is very much a minority position and, frankly, there are more important things to take up my campaigning time.

However, my innate republicanism doesn’t mean I can’t respect the woman who has held that high office for the last 63 years and fulfilled her duties with dedication and dignity. She fully deserves the tributes being paid to her today.

This post isn’t about the Queen as such, though. Some of the aforementioned lovely images of the Queen on my social media have a much more sinister provenance.

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LDVideo: Naomi Long reads out and responds to mean tweets

Twitter abuse is an occupational hazard for anyone who has an opinion, especially if they happen to be female. If you are a woman, it’s not only what you say but how you look that is fair game for the trolls.

Alliance MP Naomi Long had a bit of Friday fun this week as she read out some of the abuse she’d received over the years and get her own back with some witty retorts. I think my personal favourite was her response to the one about the size of her backside – a subject on which Alistair Carmichael waded in with support for Naomi.

Anyway, watch and enjoy:

You might also be interested in one of Jo Swinson’s favourite antidotes to the haters. Thank you, haters, by Clever Pie and Isabel Fay is very funny.

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Jenny Willott on the Twitter abuse she got after Inside the Commons

A couple of weeks ago, Ruth Bright wrote of her admiration for Jenny Willott after seeing her and her family on the Inside the Commons series. I can only echo her sentiments after finally catching up with the programme late last night. What I saw was a happy family eating together, making a difficult work/life balance situation work in a way that suited them. Of course, I did wonder why Parliament couldn’t schedule its votes in a more family friendly manner and, why, in the 21st century, casting a vote requires running across your workplace then standing in a lobby for quarter of an hour, but that’s hardly Jenny’s fault.

I was appalled to see, from her speech to Welsh Liberal Democrat conference, that she’d taken some Twitter abuse after the programme was shown, as WalesOnline reports. 

The Liberal Democrat MP jokingly described herself to party activists as “the one with the child who screamed the place down when I left him in the whips office and went to vote”.

She said: “I’m also the one who got completely vilified on social media for daring to be a woman who wants to both work and have children. It’s absolutely amazing how many people thought it was okay to tell me my children would turn into delinquents, that I wasn’t up to the task of being an MP if I was also thinking about my children, that my children should be taken into social services care… that I was letting down my children and my constituents etc.”

She continued: “It’s extraordinary to think that even in 2015 there are plenty of people out there who think that women can’t be both MPs and have children successfully – I don’t hear any of them suggesting that men can’t be both MPs and have children.”

Ms Willott said her experiences made her “even more determined to show them how wrong they are,” adding: “It also proves to me that we need to get more women elected overall to change attitudes.”

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Opinion: How the world has changed since the Orange Book was published

Earth Day 2007 - Atlantic ReflectionIt’s so commonplace for politicians to publish their thoughts on policy for public debate now that it’s hard to understand the furore which prevented the Orange Book having a public launch when it was first published in 2004.

Yesterday’s Orange Book – 10 years on  conference finally celebrated the way in which contributors to the Orange Book raised the standard of debate about liberalism by exposing their views to rigorous scrutiny and by doing so challenging others to do the same. Amongst a very tempting variety of …

photo by: FlyingSinger
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First tweets: the Liberal Democrat Voice team

License Some rights reserved by shareskiThis is a blatant rip-off of my co-editor Stephen Tall’s piece yesterday giving all our MPs’ first tweets. It must have taken him ages to embed them all. I’ve seen the list described as “adorable” and it is a really useful trip down Memory Lane.

I have much less to do in my shameless copy, but I thought it would be interesting to see what first utterings came from the Liberal Democrat Voice team. The first thing I noticed is that we were all pretty early adopters. It was the much missed Andrew Reeves who got me into it way back when you did it by text message.

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5 things you didn’t know Nick Clegg loves – another clever use of Buzzfeed by LDHQ

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 08.53.06Back in January, when a character from Sherlock was analysed as a disillusioned Lib Dem, those clever people at Party HQ came up with a Buzzfeed thingy giving 1o reasons why she should come back to us.

They’ve now done the same with five of the things from Nick Clegg’s speech that he loves about Britain.

I liked that part of his speech – here’s a reminder:

I love that a country capable of extraordinary pomp and ceremony can still retain a spiky irreverence towards its establishment. A

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Social media training at Glasgow Conference

At last month’s Edinburgh TV Festival, Kevin Spacey’s McTaggert lecture warned television execs to ‘embrace online or die’.

I don’t imagine that I will be changing how I watch Borgen anytime soon, but I can see from my own children how technology is changing the way they watch television.

As Liberal Democrats, one of our strengths has always been our sense of duty to communicate; since the very first Focus leaflets were sent out. As an MP, I think that the technological developments that Kevin Spacey was discussing raise important questions about how technology is changing the way we engage with local people.

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Opinion: No social media identity? Be very afraid

Twitter logoYesterday the government chief scientist issued a thoughtful Foresight report on social media and social identity. It has important implications for political campaigning. For those in a hurry, here is the main message in a tweet:

@andybodders No online identity? You will fade out of existence #beveryafraid

The report uses rather more eloquent words to express this:

As people have become accustomed to switching seamlessly between the

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Opinion: For the sake of democracy, we need to be civil online

Twitter logoSome of the world’s best-known politicians have messed up on Twitter.

…From the Labour whip who called the Tory opposition “pigs”, to the American Republican politician Jeff Frederick who prematurely tweeted about a Democrat defection, and the Hull councillor who called members of the electorate voting for the opposition ‘retards’.

Therefore, it was hardly surprising when Lib Dem favourite Sir Graham Watson made his first Twitter blunder, tweeting something potentially ill-judged on Wednesday night. A popular MEP winning 80% of first-preference votes in the last Euro selections, opponents jumped on the error, and …

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The Independent View: Grassroots 2.0

With Conference season upon us once again, Parties reach out to embrace their wider membership of activists, supporters and sympathisers. This brief popping of the Westminster bubble is of course vital: a safeguard stopping Westminster disappearing into its own parochial obsessions.

Party Conference is only one of a number of ways of dipping into the wider public mood, of course. Polls, focus groups, constituency surgeries, party machinery and, indeed fora like Liberal Democrat Voice all allow views and concerns to (sometimes) percolate up to the leadership. And some politicians – such as Tony Blair at his height – seem to have …

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The Independent View: A blueprint for social media intelligence

The controversy over the Government’s plans to legislate for Internet surveillance, the ‘Communications Capabilities Development Programme’, has exposed a deep division within the Coalition. Into the dispute that has simmered since some details were first leaked earlier this month, David Cameron himself has weighed in to say that the proposals are necessary to stop crime, whereas Tim Farron has threatened to kill it “if we think this is a threat to a free and liberal society”.

This rumbling outrage surrounding CCDP testifies to the importance of a principled, publicly argued grounding for any kind of intelligence. It is exactly …

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How Twitter makes news consumption more diverse

Back in the internet boom at the turn of the century, one of the popular debates was whether the internet would provide exciting new access to a diverse range of information or whether the internet’s ability to give you far more power over what information you see or read would result in a narrowing of horizons as people just go for what they already know and what they already agree with.

Cass Sunstein in particular made the case for that latter pessimistic view very forcefully in his Republic.com book and it’s a pattern you see often in, for example, choices over political blog readership where supporters of different parties particularly congregate on blogs that take similar lines.

Now, however, researchers have taken a close look at how news is shared on Twitter and come up with a rather more positive finding:

Indirect media exposure increases the diversity of political opinions seen by users: between 60-98% of the users who directly followed media sources with only a single political leaning (left, right, or center) are indirectly exposedto media sources with a different political leaning. In orderto reach this conclusion, we use public classification of news sources and infer the political preference of every audience member. One can only speculate about the effect of political diversity, because users do not necessarily read the complete Twitter timeline nor do they always prefer receiving diverse political opinions (Munson and Resnick 2010). Nonetheless our results show the power of social media, in that users are exposed to information they did not know they were interested in, serendipitously.

One of their other findings is that for all Twitter’s newness, the sources of information are mainly fairly traditional:

There is much about the media landscape in Twitter that is ‘old media’. Established media outlets retain the role of publishing news and stories without much interaction with readers. However, the features of the ‘new media’ age are reflected in the way journalists and audience engage in new communication patterns, communicating with each other directly, and tapping into breaking news.

Media Landscaipe in Twitter – A World of New Conventions and Political Diversity

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Opinion: social media priorities

The last article I wrote conjoured up a utopian vision of Liberal Democrat e-campaigning. However, it might not be a realistic aim for individuals or groups who lack social media expertise, or time, to develop a fully fledged social media presence. How, then, should Liberal Democrats prioritise the different elements of social media?

The first choice is an absolute no-brainer. If you do nothing else, start a Facebook page. Don’t mistake a Facebook ‘group’ for a Facebook ‘page’. Though they share some features, they are different beasts. A local Party group should have an ‘official’ Facebook page. Individuals may …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 9th Oct - 1:09pm
    I also thought it was a very good performance from Tim. Regarding the point about his hands, that is just what he does when he...
  • User AvatarGlenn 9th Oct - 1:07pm
    Some of what Nick Clegg has to say is sensible, but the there is a basic problem with the notion of moderate opposition. Firstly actual...
  • User Avatarexpats 9th Oct - 1:01pm
    Duncan, I'm with Jayne M. on this one.... We already have a situation where people do not earn enough without government 'top-ups' (I'm adverse to...
  • User AvatarSarah Olney 9th Oct - 12:57pm
    Don't want to make a massive issue of the hands thing. Just to say that I think it's fine when you're on stage by yourself...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 9th Oct - 12:55pm
    Excellent News about real people leading the #libdemfightback in their local communities. Congratulations to Jean and the whole team.
  • User Avatarpeter tyzack 9th Oct - 12:54pm
    Jennie, please share your motion with other Regions, that is the way forward. One of this Party's strengths is the centralised membership database, all we...