Is this evidence that the UK government has been restricting free speech online?

This is damn peculiar.

Last night I was very tired and went to bed early, so there were no new stories to boost the Vox Political site’s hit count overnight. But I just checked site stats and have already had more hits than I had in the whole of yesterday.

Checking the stats, I see the vast majority of hits are for the home page – at the time of writing, 1,786. Top article has 180. Top REFERRER is Twitter, for the first time in years, with 817 views – but checking Twitter’s (well, ‘X’ now) own analytics, it shows 0 new tweets, 46 impressions and 2 link clicks.

So where are all these hits coming from?

Do you think it might have something to do with the Freedom of Information request I sent to two government departments a week ago?

It asked whether the government had written to the social media platforms, asking them to restrict Vox Political’s reach – the number of people able to see links to my site and its articles.

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On Thursday, I had a response asking me to narrow down my request – to cover particular dates and types of communication.

I had a think about it and sent an email yesterday (Sunday, October 22) at 10.37pm, agreeing to limit my request to communications sent between the government and social media platforms during 2023.

According to my stats, the increase in my hit count started around five or six hours ago, at the start of the working day today.

Does it seem to you that, having received my response, officials made a change of some kind that made it possible for more people to see Vox Political?

And does it seem to you that my experience shows that the UK’s government is restricting free speech in the UK – for no reason other than political advantage?

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8 thoughts on “Is this evidence that the UK government has been restricting free speech online?

  1. The Toffee

    Don’t know if it’s my phone or whatever, but over the last week or so when visiting your site, whenever I clicked to read on an article, I’d get about 1/3 to halfway down and would get a message telling me to reload the page.

    Hasn’t happened today, mind. Didn’t visit the site yesterday so couldn’t say if it was fixed then.

    Also, twitter video links (this site and others) won’t work – keeps telling me “The media could not be played”.

    Very strange. 😕

  2. Stu

    From BBC – “The UK PM says Israel is a nation in mourning and under attack” – The One Sided, limited Context is a classic BIG LIE.

    If they are allowed to control the narrative in Parliament, suppressing opposing views should be a piece of cake.

  3. James

    Actually replying to Hecuba’s comment: Hecuba referred just to teaching assistants but according to the Guardian article the government actions are applied to actual teachers, not just teaching assistants, as well as to respected authors and consultants. Government actions also extend to threats to cancel conferences at which people critical of government policies were due to speak.

    My comment: “These actions by the UK government can only be described as sinister – the kind of thing you would expect from the employers of the Gestapo, the KGB, Mossad or the CIA. Or, of course, MI5, MI6 and the Special Branch…”

  4. Simon Patterson

    Something has changed, I used to get emails from Vox Political, now it just says a message from

Comments are closed.