Tag Archives: Twitter

Is this the reason police won’t investigate Twitter disputes ‘simply because someone is offended’?

Offensive: Police have been told not to investigate Twitter posts as hate crimes just because they offend people – but is it because the person in charge of policing the internet is a principle offender? This image has offended people – and was posted by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Nadine Dorries.

This is interesting:

Police should stop “wasting time” investigating when people are offended, a senior police chief has said.

Stephen Watson, chief constable of Greater Manchester, admitted police had been overzealous in recording trivial online spats and legitimate debate as hate incidents at the expense of tackling mainstream crimes.

Mr Watson welcomed revised guidance by the College of Policing, the national standards body, as a “move in the right direction”. It has decreed that police officers should no longer investigate legitimate debate or treat trivial online spats as hate incidents.

The guidance, hailed as a victory for free speech, said people contributing to political and social debate must not be “stigmatised simply because someone is offended”.

But is this the reason?

Source: Police told to stop wasting time on Twitter disputes ‘simply because someone is offended’

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Boris Johnson has ‘routine’ sinus operation. Suddenly ‘Cocaine’ and ‘Daniella Westbrook’ trend together

Cocaine: Johnson has admitted taking the drug at university, but there is no evidence that his sinus operation has anything to do with drug use.

This had to happen, after all the reports of cocaine traces found in almost all the toilets in the Palace of Westminster.

It seems Boris Johnson had a “routine” operation on his sinuses. That was enough for some of us to make fun of him:

Then some of us – and I admit this is the first thought that came to This Writer after hearing the news – had another idea:

Daniella Westbrook is, of course, the former EastEnders star who famously had such a problem with cocaine that it destroyed her septum and she had to have cosmetic surgery as a result.

Soon, Twitter was alight:

That might be enough for you, but there’s one more twist to the story:

Of course, there is no evidence that Boris Johnson has any current connection with either Ms Westbrook or cocaine.

(He does have a prior connection with the drug, though; in 2007,

Mr Johnson admitted to having used cocaine in an interview with Piers Morgan in GQ, but said the experience resulted in “no pharmacological, psycho-tropical or any other effect on me whatsoever”… He was unequivocal that the substance had been ingested, saying he “tried it at university” and remembered it “vividly”.)

But it speaks volumes about his ranking in the estimation of people across the UK that this was the first thing that came to their minds on hearing of his operation.

Given the recent Partygate scandal, a more “on the nose” comment would be that provided by Dorset Eye: that “Pinochhio” has had “his nose shortened”.

Neither response is an indication of faith in his leadership!

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Oberman apologises for anti-Semitism smear against Northern Independence Party leader

Before anyone writes in, I know that UK courts don’t use the gavel. It’s a nice illustrative image, though.

Readers with long memories may recall that Tracy-Ann Oberman threatened to sue me, at the same time as Rachel Riley, after I wrote in defence of a then-teenage girl who had fallen foul of the two TV workers*

Oberman subsequently chose not to initiate proceedings against me, although she has never withdrawn her claims. In the light of her current libel loss against Dr Philip Proudfoot, leader of the Northern Independence Party, that might prove to be the wisest choice she ever made.

I am grateful to the Skwawkbox blog for providing information from Dr Proudfoot’s lawyers Rahman Lowe, which I reproduce below:

Dr Philip Proudfoot’s High Court libel claim against high profile actor (and this month’s Celebrity Bake off contestant) Tracy-Ann Oberman has succeeded. Dr Proudfoot has won substantial damages from Ms Oberman and an unreserved apology for publishing a defamatory tweet about him that suggested he had a ‘Jew blocklist’.

Ms Oberman has entered an undertaking not to repeat the allegation. The comprehensive legal settlement, which also includes payment of Dr Proudfoot’s legal costs, concludes the successful libel claim.

Following the settlement, Ms Oberman has published a statement on Twitter (here) in which she states that: “I accept that Dr Proudfoot has at no time had a Jew blocklist and apologise for stating otherwise”. She recognises that her “mistake” was “hurtful”, adding that she has agreed to pay “substantial damages and legal costs.”

On 04 April 2021, Tracy-Ann Oberman posted a tweet stating that:

“So a man called @PhilipProudfoot of @FreeNorthNow has a Jew blocklist. I’ve been out of the twitter politics loop for a few months but is this Party continuation Corbyn? Seems like it. And will it end up the same way? Seems like it. Good luck all”

Many responded to the tweet with comments such as: “Whoever’s behind it it’s hateful”.

The allegation was untrue. The true position was that Dr Proudfoot used a standard, commonly utilised, and entirely legitimate online tool, ‘Twitter Block Chain’, in response to being targeted by anonymous troll accounts attacking him for his pro-Palestinian views. As the name implies, and as others commented in response to Ms Oberman’s tweet alleging a ‘Jew blocklist’, the tool blocks all Twitter users following the blocked account, regardless of whether or not they are Jewish.

People subjected to online bullying campaigns use Twitter Block Chain to limit how the bullying impacts their wellbeing. By blocking all those following the initiating and magnifying accounts, the application can prevent abuse from appearing in the victim’s private inbox, notifications and feed. It is a key self-help tool for people who suffer online harassment.

Dr Proudfoot commenced a libel claim against Ms Oberman, on the basis that the tweet was defamatory of him and meant that he was a racist antisemite who blocks Jews from interacting with him because they are Jews.

After his win, Dr Proudfoot published this statement:

When I founded the Northern Independence Party, I expected public scrutiny. Harmful defamation, however, is unacceptable.

Outside of my political life I am a humanitarian researcher. I’ve seen the horrors of war in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. It is for this reason I am a supporter of the struggle for human rights in Palestine. And it is for this reason I am appalled and disgusted by antisemitism, and all forms of prejudice.

But it is harmful to allow the fear of false accusations to prevent us from speaking out against apartheid in Israel. Speaking out against injustice is also a fundamental political right.  We must defend our rights, defend Palestinians, and never allow defamation to scare away solidarity.”

So Oberman misrepresented a Twitter blockchain intended to protect its user from harassment as a “Jew blocklist” and has now had to apologise and pay his legal fees.

This Writer welcomes her decision. It seems clear, though, that the claim against the leader of a UK political party indicates that innocent people are being smeared with false implications of anti-Semitism.

Getting back to my own libel case, Oberman’s part in the events that form its background lasted only one day – and is likely to be thoroughly discussed during the trial in the week of July 18.

The majority of my case concerns a pattern of behaviour by Rachel Riley, over the course of almost a month – and false claims about anti-Semitism are integral to the evidence.

I am still crowdfunding in order to be able to afford to defend myself in court, and am now nearing the total needed to be able to put my case before a judge.

If, after reading the above, you would like to help me get there, you may wish to take one or more of the following actions:

Make a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

This is an excellent victory for Dr Proudfoot.

Let’s do everything we can to have another one.

*I balk at the prospect of describing them as “celebrities” or “personalities”.

Source: Oberman apologises, pays damages for smear vs Proudfoot. Exaggeration of a/s claims is legal fact, Mr Starmer – SKWAWKBOX

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Backlash against former PM Cameron after social media foodbank post

Russian connection: while we’re panning David Cameron for his shameless exploitation of the food banks whose use exploded under his premiership, let’s remember that he was also a close friend of Vladimir Putin’s Russian government.

The politician most closely associated with the surge in UK foodbank use has actually had the nerve to fanfare his volunteer work in one.

David Cameron’s harsh anti-social policies pushed foodbank use up by 2,612 per cent while he was prime minister.

No wonder people rushed to condemn his ill-advised attempt at self-publicity:

Probably the best put-down was by left-wing journalist Owen Jones.

He tweeted that it was like a ‘serial arsonist joining the local fire brigade’.

Source: David Cameron faces foodbank backlash after posting about his volunteer work

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‘Jew-hate’ scammers send police to harass man over Twitter message

We’ve seen this tactic time and time again from the fakes who pretend there’s a huge rise of anti-Semitism in the UK – particularly focused on the Labour Party.

They take a line from an article or message, out of context, and present it as proof of a campaign of hatred.

So here’s Simon Maginn’s Twitter message: “Attention Jew-hate scammers: you try it on here, you will be confronted and you will lose, publicly. There are more and more of us all the time, we are informed, we are organised, and we are coming for you. Things have changed.”

Perhaps it’s not the most diplomatic message. But then, Mr Maginn has been accused, threatened and otherwise abused by these hate-filled manipulators for a long time, now. After a while, it tends to wear away one’s willingness to use neutral language.

But people who considered themselves to be addressed by his message – in other words, people who deliberately lie that anti-Semitism is more widespread in the UK’s left-wing politics than is actually the case – cut the message down and reported it to the police.

The words they reported?

“We are coming for you.”

Out of context. Misrepresentative. Misleading.

Mr Maginn duly received a call from a member of Sussex Police, labouring under the belief that he was dealing with an offence under the Malicious Communications Act, and was subjected to a “words of advice” sermon.

He has complained to Chief Constable Jo Shiner – and has publicised his complaint on – where else? – Twitter’

In an article, he elaborated:

All any Sussex Police officer had to do was read the tweet and understand what it meant. They could then explain to the complainants that, they might not like it, it might make them angry, but it was perfectly lawful, was not abusive or insulting or threatening, did not mention ‘Jews’ at any point, and was obviously a reference to a long-running political campaign on Twitter, #ItWasAScam, and not a ‘threat’ of an angry mob attacking Jews.

We see ‘evidence’ that is plainly wrenched out of context and wholly misleading, we see a histrionic over-reaction to a perfectly innocent event, we see a fraudulent accusation of antisemitism, we see an immediate and furious demand for action, and we see that action take place.

The scam, in miniature, over just a few hours.

They screamed loud enough, and they got heard. That’s how the scam has operated from the outset, and that’s how it’s continuing to operate.

Personally, I’d like to know what Sussex Police are doing about the people who contacted them to misdirect their attention to an innocent man with a lie.

No innocent people were threatened by Mr Maginn’s tweet, and those guilty of spreading vile lies about innocent people were only under threat of having their lies exposed.

For that, these liars called the police and wasted officers’ valuable time.

Has any action been taken to reprimand them?

Source: So The Police Rang Me Up. About A Tweet…

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#GaryNeville upsets the tossers

Gary Neville: he shot to prominence as a political pundit when he criticised Boris Johnson’s government during the commentary on a Euro 2020 football match.

Former England football star Gary Neville has been subjected to a dogpile on Twitter after he blasted Boris Johnson’s leadership.

In a series of tweets commenting on the Partygate scandal and the way institutions including the Metropolitan Police seem to be trying to defend him, Neville accused Johnson of reducing the UK to a new low point:

This seems to have upset supporters of Johnson (yes, it seems they do still exist), who started posting hate about him under the hashtag #GaryNevilleIsATosser.

It has backfired on them – badly.

Supporters of Mr Neville (and/or opponents of Johnson) realised what was happening and leapt to defend the former Manchester United player. And their comments were searing:

It’s a lesson for the hard-right headbangers: your knee-jerk disparagement of anyone who disagrees with you doesn’t impress anybody.

Gary Neville impresses them, though. And here’s the reason:

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Why was I reported to #Twitter over #EmmaWatson’s support for #Palestine?

Emma Watson: she’s the United Nations Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, so it must be hugely embarrassing for that organisation that any nation’s ambassador to it has accused her of anti-Semitism, especially on such specious grounds as Danny Danon has.

I had a curious email from Twitter yesterday.

Twitter is required by German law to provide notice to users who are reported by people from Germany via the Network Enforcement Act reporting flow.

We have received a complaint regarding your account, @MidWalesMike, for the following content:

@xxxxxxxxxxxx @xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx @EmmaWatson Right-wing apartheid-supporting Israelis. While there’s nothing wrong with your description, it’s Israel & it’s Zionism that’s the problem so better to put pressure there.

We have investigated the reported content and have found that it is not subject to removal under the Twitter Rules (https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311) or German law.

Interesting, isn’t it?

I had been responding to a tweet by Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, attacking actress, UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador and international treasure Emma Watson for daring to show support for the people of Palestine:

(Some might argue that “solidarity” isn’t a verb but the intention behind the statement is clearly about the act of showing solidarity with a cause, or a people who are oppressed. I’m happy to clear that up here and now.)

Danon’s attempt at wit backfired massively, provoking outrage in the wider community. Here’s just one example.

This Writer was among those who responded with support for the actress and goodwill ambassador: “Let’s have some #solidarity with @EmmaWatson who is NOT an anti-Semite for supporting the people of Palestine in their struggle to survive persecution by a hostile invading state,” I tweeted.

One fellow Twitter user then responded: “I’ve reported him to twitter, we all should! I’m so fed up with these right wing apartheid supporting Jews who think they can get away with anything and never look at their own behaviour!”

While I agreed with the sentiment fueling the decision to report Danon, I felt it necessary to point out that the comment was open to misinterpretation by the people and groups that have been making false accusations of anti-Semitism for the past six years or more. So I wrote the tweet forming the basis of the apparent complaint to Twitter.

I then received a comment from a user in Germany, which I can’t reproduce here because it has mysteriously disappeared!

If I recall correctly, it expressed discomfort with my observation that Israel and Zionism were harmful to Palestinians.

Next thing I knew, I received the email from Twitter.

You may be wondering why I am writing about any of this.

I’ll tell you.

It seems to me that, with 28 million followers on Twitter, Emma Watson isn’t going to be particularly bothered by some lame denunciation from a has-been politico. And this multi-millionaire movie star certainly has the cash to see off any legal challenge to her comments.

So it seems to me that this attempt to attack me was, for the anti-Semitism scammers (see #ItWasAScam on Twitter), the next-best thing: attack her supporters and have them silenced.

Didn’t work though, did it?

But now I wonder how many other people were treated a similar way.

And how does Emma Watson feel about anyone being attacked, just for supporting her?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Asylum crisis: Johnson’s tweeted letter infuriates Macron and make UK look daft

The clown head of Britain: this is undoubtedly how Emmanuel Macron and all the other European national leaders rate Boris Johnson.

What sort of statesman thinks Twitter is an appropriate place to discuss ending the refugee crisis with the Head of a neighbouring State?

A man who’s in a state, that’s what sort.

And what were his advisors thinking? Why didn’t they stop him?

No wonder Emmanuel Macron was enraged by this:

For a start, it’s an attempt to seize control of the dialogue by engaging the public; by ensuring that the general population got to see his proposals, Johnson hoped to ensure that at least some of them would have support.

Also, he tried to seize control of the language used to discuss the issue.

And of course this meant that Johnson was trying to dictate the posture that France should take – that asylum-seekers should be prevented from trying to reach the UK for their own safety and that not doing so is helping people-traffickers.

It seems, as well, that the content of Johnson’s letter was radically different from what he had previously said to the French President in person.

No wonder M. Macron was enraged.

According to the BBC,

At a press conference on Friday, Mr Macron attacked Mr Johnson over the posting of the letter on Twitter, saying: “I spoke two days ago with Prime Minster Johnson in a serious way.

“For my part I continue to do that, as I do with all countries and all leaders. I am surprised by methods when they are not serious.

“We do not communicate from one leader to another on these issues by tweets and letters that we make public. We are not whistleblowers.”

A French government spokesman accused Mr Johnson of saying different things in his conversation with Mr Macron and in the letter, adding: “We are sick of double-speak.”

The result: a furious France has retracted an invitation for Home Secretary Priti Patel to discuss the matter with her counterparts in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Macron is also understood to believe that Johnson tweeted the letter to address flagging support from his fellow Conservative MPs, rather than to achieve anything serious.Sickckckckck

Johnson has worsened the UK’s position internationally. Yet a-bloody-gain.

(And I’m not the only one who feels that way.)

The meeting without Patel will undoubtedly be more productive than if she had been allowed to attend. I mean, consider the state of this:

That’s an accurate criticism. The UK has spent decades causing chaos in foreign countries and making promises to their populations – then, when the time come to honour those promises, they turn out to be lies.

Earlier in the week we heard that one of the men who died was a former Afghan soldier who had worked with the UK and whose life was endangered after the panicked withdrawal that Dominic Raab couldn’t be bothered to leave his holiday to oversee.

Even knowing that, Matthew Garrahan’s words ring true:

There are simple solutions for the problem that the UK government has created for itself. Firstly:

Secondly, as This Writer has previously stated, there should be an easily-accessible and legal route for asylum-seekers to take. Blocking off the routes only makes these people prey to the traffickers.

And that leads to deaths.

This Site has commented many times on the fact that Tory government policy on disability benefits has killed (many) more people than the Nazis did with their Aktion T4 purge of disabled Germans, back in the 1930s and 1940s.

Now it turns out that the false barrier the Tories have made between the UK and France has killed more people than the false barrier the Communists created between West and East Berlin:

Yeah. British jingoism refers to the Nazis and the Communists as the bad guys, but it turns out that the people making these comparisons have killed more people than Johnny Foreigner.

Are continuing to kill more people.

And they’re lying to us about what’s happening:

On second thought, it’s probably a blessing in disguise for Johnson and Patel that they are being excluded from Continental discussions on the subject.

If they tried to float their lies and silliness around serious politicians, I dread to think of the international consequences.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Twitter’s algorithms promote right-wingers over the left – especially in the UK

If you’re a Twitter user who has ever wondered why the fascists seem to get more space on that platform, now you know the answer: Twitter’s computerised rules demand it.

Here‘s the story:

Twitter has admitted it amplifies more tweets from rightwing politicians and news outlets than content from leftwing sources.

The social media platform examined tweets from elected officials in seven countries – the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Japan. It also studied whether political content from news organisations was amplified on Twitter.

The research found that in six out of seven countries, apart from Germany, tweets from rightwing politicians received more amplification from the algorithm than those from the left; right-leaning news organisations were more amplified than those on the left; and generally politicians’ tweets were more amplified by an algorithmic timeline than by the chronological timeline.

Under the research, a value of 0% meant tweets reached the same number of users on the algorithm-tailored timeline as on its chronological counterpart, whereas a value of 100% meant tweets achieved double the reach.

On this basis, the UK suffered the second-strongest discrepancy between right and left (behind Canada) – although some might think that Labour (112%) is currently even more right-wing than the Conservatives (176%) meaning the results are skewed by the lack of information about left-wing organisations here.

The findings indicate problems for Twitter because they suggest that right-wing tweets get preferential treatment as a function of the way the algorithm is constructed.

The good news is that Twitter has indicated it may need to change its algorithm to give left-wing tweets a wider – and more equal – audience.

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