Tag Archives: twitter

Leadership News: The Tweets

We thought we’d take an occasional look through the Twitter feeds of leadership hopefuls Norman Lamb and Tim Farron. Today they are united, marching for human rights.

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Just when we thought we didn’t have to worry about David Ward’s tweets any more…

Delightful!

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Opinion: The right is winning on Facebook and votes, but the left on Twitter

facebook and twitterI have been thinking why it seems that right wing parties are more toxic than left wing parties. Is this true? Or is it simply my prejudices? Is there anything in the “shy Tory” phenomenon?

It does seem that popular culture is more left leaning, but I thought some numbers would help us understand society better and also help Liberal Democrats decide who to vote for in the upcoming leadership election.

For this analysis I have used the Facebook likes, Twitter followers and 2015 General Election votes for the following parties: Conservatives, UKIP, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Liberal Democrats, Labour, the SNP, The Green Party of England and Wales, the Scottish Green Party and Plaid Cymru. I didn’t use Sinn Fein because they campaign throughout the whole of Ireland and I didn’t use any other parties that I deemed to be “minor”.

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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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Clegg launches Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation

I think it’s fair to say that Nick Clegg may not exactly rock the tracksuit look, but he did do something very valuable today. In one of his last engagements as Deputy Prime Minister before the election campaign, he launched the Charter for Mental Health in Sport and Recreation aimed at kicking the mental health stigma out of sport. The video explains why:

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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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What does the Twitter “sarcasm detector” tell us?

They Say sarcasm detectorJohn Rentoul told us in yesterday’s Independent that he had found a tool which analysed what was being said about party leaders on Twitter, taking into account whether the comment was sarcastic or not.

I spoke to Karo Moilanen at the company about how “sentiment analysis” works. He told me the algorithm detects positive and negative sentiments associated with the leaders, and can even recognise a double negative as a positive, for example, “kill bacteria”.

What about sarcasm, I asked, thinking about how Twitter works. “We have a rudimentary sarcasm detector,” he said. “There are patterns which tend to correlate with sarcasm.” But how accurate is it? “Sarcasm is hard for people to detect. Human accuracy can be as low as 40 per cent.”

TheySay “trains” its computer programme by feeding it texts that humans have marked as being sarcastic. “Algorithms can hence learn that sarcasm tends to involve cases in which someone likes something negative,” said Moilanen, “or conflicting or abrupt changes of sentiment between strongly positive and negative words and phrases.” He said that computer algorithms can detect sarcasm between 55 and 95 per cent of the time, depending on the study, with an average of 77 per cent.

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The tale of Taylor Swift, Twitter and the Liberal Democrat MP

 

This has to be the strangest Twitter conversation involving a Liberal Democrat MP this year.

Lib Dem conference rally and party political broadcast superstar Kavya Kaushik asked Jeremy Browne on Twitter:

Hi @JeremyBrowneMP do you like Taylor Swift? Do you like Libertarian Fans of Taylor Swift on Facebook? Did you create the movement?

His reply:

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Liberal Democrat Lucy Care answers questions from NUS students

The National Union of Students is questioning candidates across the country via the medium of Twitter as part of its build up to next year’s General Election.

The idea is that they will take one marginal seat at a time and ask each of its candidates a series of ten questions. The  candidates will then tweet their replies. The first such event took place last Wednesday involving the candidates from Derby North, including our own Lucy Care. Tackling the subject of tuition fees in 140 characters and doing it justice was quite a challenge but Lucy managed it.

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Nick Clegg “surprisingly good at Twitter”

Whether it’s posting a selfie from a football match, posing with a Princess mug, mocking the Daily Mail or looking like the perfect domestic goddess before admitting that it was Miriam who had made the very nice looking pie (for which we still need the recipe), Nick Clegg certainly has a quirky way with Twitter that. Over at the i, they’ve recognised that today by posting these highlights, commenting that:

 He seamlessly blends being part of the liberal establishment and looks genuinely happy to be at a football match.

They added that a scene with children could look very awkward if …

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Ryland’s story – and why it’s important

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LibLink: Mark Pack: There’s rather more to the story of “Police call on someone who tweeted criticism of UKIP”

There’s been a fair bit of discussion online about the incident last weekend when two Cambridgeshire Police Officers visited Green Party member Michael Abberton over a tweet which contained his edited, fact checked version of an anti-UKIP poster designed by someone else.

He told the whole story on his Axe of Reason blog.

Julian Huppert, as you can imagine, expressed concern about the and …

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Nick Clegg to host live Twitter Q & A at 2:30 pm today

Nick Clegg will be taking to his keyboard for what he described as a “Twitter Town Hall” at 2:30 pm this afternoon.

We’ll bring you the highlights later, but if you want to ask him something, it couldn’t be simpler. Why not take a few minutes out of your lunch hour to send him a question?

 

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Jeremy Browne responds on Twitter to Times’s ‘pointless’ front page headline

Three weeks ago, Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne joined Twitter. He’s been putting it to use this morning to refute The Times’s front page headline that claims he said the Lib Dems are ‘pointless':

As for those imagining that he’s about jump ships, Jeremy couldn’t be clearer:

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#NickvNigel Pre-match fun: Pick of the Tweets

In just over half an hour, the #NickvNigel debate will be on. There have been many amusing tweets throughout the day. Here are some of the best:

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Jeremy Browne joins Twitter. In unrelated news, his new book’s out next month

I published the complete and utter list of Lib Dem MPs’ first tweets last week, so it seems only fitting to include the latest first tweet – from Taunton MP Jeremy Browne (updating David Penhaligon‘s famous injunction):

jeremy browne_Reform_Race_plan_coverWe can expect to hear a lot more from Jeremy in the coming weeks. He’ll shortly be publishing a book, Race Plan An

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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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The ten most active MPs on Twitter are…

Courtesy of John Rentoul, news reaches us of a list of the ten most active MPs on Twitter in 2013.

top tweeters

Yes, it’s our Tim and our Julian at the top of the list, with an honourable mention for Greg Mulholland.

Tim has managed an incredible fifty tweets a day this year, and probably should avoid piers for a while. And for anyone out there who wonders, it is him, and not a staffer, as those of us who have discovered that, by mentioning Tim in a tweet, you …

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Jo Swinson: “About to get on tube. Seat offers welcome….but I was happier standing yesterday”

The febrile world of Twitter has been a little obsessed with the fact that Liberal Democrat minister Jo Swinson, who is 7 months’ pregnant, was standing throughout Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, with concerned political correspondents expressing outrage that nobody had offered her a seat.

Then the Daily Mail got in on the act.  Their attitude to women generally can be summed up as patriarchal nonsense. That’s not the word, I confess, I used earlier in a private LDV team discussion, but this is a family site.  I’ve written before about that awful phrase they tend to use about any pregnant …

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How to do Twitter, Home Office style

Oh, they have been busy bees at the Home Office this Summer.  The Go Home vans, immigration checks at tube stations, not telling Nick Clegg what they’re up to, it’s amazing they’ve found time for anything else.

On Tuesday they published their Twitter policy. While I’d like to think it was hastily drawn up in response to criticism of the way its account was used during the immigration spot checks, with statistics of how many people had been arrested were given along with disturbing photographs of people being bundled into vans, I’m not sure the wheels of …

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Opinion: Forget #twittersilence, we need to be #shoutingback

I read Kelly-Marie’s article about her ‘#twittersilence’ yesterday with great interest, and not just because I couldn’t believe that a Dr Who fan would be able to stay out of the twitter discussions on ‘Number 12’!

As a feminist, social-media addict and aspiring MP too, Kelly-Marie and I have much in common. However, it was for exactly those reasons that I decided to be part of the ‘#shoutingback’ crowd yesterday – those users who refuse to be intimidated by nasty people hiding behind their keyboards, spouting bile because they think that they can get away with it.

I’ve been utterly …

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Opinion: Why I stayed off Twitter on Sunday (despite Doctor Who)

Lots of discussion was had about “#twittersilence” this weekend.

The premise is clear. Following the diabolical harassment of feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, threats included the most heinous debasement, the threat of rape; feminists around the world pledged to go silent on Twitter for National Friendship Day.

As a feminist and social media user myself, as well as being an aspiring politician, I’ve experienced my fair share of offensive behaviour, comments and abuse. Indeed the downside of social media in society seems to be that it creates a form of mask through which people can hide in order to persecute and …

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Today’s #TwitterSilence – are you in or out?

For those of you who don’t inhabit the Twittersphere, many people today are taking part in a #TwitterSilence (that’s its hashtag).

It was the idea of Times columnist Caitlin Moran as “a symbolic act of solidarity” intended to shame Twitter into taking more seriously the rape/bomb threats and other abuse being targeted against women. You can read her blog about it here.

I’m not taking part. I summarised my reasons here:

My Co-Editor Caron Lindsay wrote an excellent piece on the topic here last week. And Index on Censorship’s Padraig Reidy has written an excellent response to Caitlin Moran, highlighting how the well-intentioned desire to limit the free speech of people who abuse it can have damaging consequences:

A lot of time spent defending free speech is not actually about defending what people say, but defending the space in which they can say it (I’ll refrain from misquoting Voltaire here). It may be idealistic, but we genuinely believe that given the space and the opportunity to discuss ideas openly, without fear of retribution, we’ll figure out how to do things better. Censorship holds society back. In fact, it’s the litmus test of a society being held back.

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Chickens, eggs, Twitter and report abuse buttons

In the last 24 hours, over 40,000 people have signed an e-petition calling on Twitter to install a “report abuse button.” This was started after journalist Caroline Crialdo-Perez suffered numerous tweeted threats of rape and sexual assault in the wake of her successful campaign to have Jane Austen put on a bank note. Shewrote for the Independent about her experience both of the abuse and the support she’d received in return. Ishould warn you that if you click on the link you will see some examples of the tweets she was sent:

These are all tweets from men. Men who

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The ingenious humour of the British public vs the Home Office

Yes, I know I’ve banged on a bit about these awful Home Office poster vans this week, but bear with me. This is funny.

I said at the time that we needed some sort of original and creative way of protesting against them. Really, they were crying out to be mocked.  The internet has not disappointed.

Liberal Conspiracy has a few examples, although it should be noted that it’s not found the time within its articles on this subject to mention the Liberal Democrat opposition to the vans, nor that they were never cleared by any Liberal Democrat minister.

The #racistvan

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The BBC, Twitter, Bailey and me

bailey july 2013I was  elected to Brentwood Council in 2007 with people knowing I was an animal lover and I always wanted to be the most approachable of councillors, so my animals have always featured on my website and in my work because I want them to know I am “one of them” and not a remote career politician.  I’ve always picked up casework when walking Louis and his predecessors around the ward.

My dog Louis lives with my mum in my Brentwood West ward and has, since 2012 when I got

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Paddy Ashdown finally starts tweeting

Last year, I remember seeing somewhere that Paddy Ashdown was learning how to work Twitter. Sadly, nothing happened after that. However, yesterday, our favourite ex leader and new Chair of the General Election campaign actually sent his first tweet.

Paddy's first tweet

 

Needless to say, he immediately received lots of  replies asking what he did have for breakfast – including one from Ladbrokes which started offering odds on Paddy’s morning repast.

Paddy's breakfast betting

 

I have no doubt that some enterprising Liberal Democrat will tweet a …

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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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Lib Dem MEP Graham Watson apologises for ‘insensitive’ tweet

A swift retraction by Lib Dem MEP Graham Watson of this tweet, reacting to the news David Cameron has cancelled his landmark speech on Europe as a result of the hostage crisis in Algeria:

graham watson tweet

Immediately condemned as ‘clearly sick and offensive’ by Nick Clegg’s spokesman, Graham has now issued this apology:

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Lynne Featherstone calls for Julie Burchill to be sacked for post attacking transgender people

As Equalities Minister, Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone put into place the Government’s Transgender Action Plan. She will be acutely aware of the issues facing transgender people, particularly in relation to violence and discrimination. Hate crime towards that community has been rising as the Independent reported.

Yesterday, the Observer published a piece by controversial writer Julie Burchill which was peppered with hate filled language. Had the target of Burchill’s invective been a particular ethnic group, and she had used similar language, then her piece would have found its way onto the editor’s spike and she would most likely have been …

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