Twit-Watch UK – 9/01/2011

Inspired by @Chislehurst, this is the first TwitWatch UK post.. if all goes to plan and you like them, I will make them weekly all year ūüôā

Coalition raise VAT to 20% – Twitter plot’s to scupper the extra tax on biscuits by pledging to buy Jaffa Cakes instead of HobNobs..¬† mwa¬†ha ha..¬† (I had trouble finding Jaffa Cakes today, they were sold out in a lot of stores #TwitterWin )

1st Anniversary of the day a man made a stupid joke¬†¬†– A year ago this week, Paul Chambers sent the #TwitterJokeTrial¬†tweet, which led to a conviction and him losing his job.¬† Paul (with the help of fantastico¬†lawyer @JackOfKent aka David Allen Green) is taking the case to the High Court in a bid to clear his name.¬† To help Paul, please donate what you can to the Trial Fund or buy a fab T-Shirt or Mug ūüôā

I Am Spartacus!

Kenneth Tong, You’re SO Wrong..¬† This week also brought us the joy that is Kenneth Tong, a man with the plan to make all women a size Zero. I have NEVER been a size Zero in my life, certainly not going to try it now.. pass the Jaffa cakes..

RIPs РTwitter mourned the loss of Gerry Rafferty and Pete Posselthwaite this week and for an hour or so, that of Gabrielle Giffords, the US Senator who was critically injured (first thought of as dead) in a horrific shooting for which the Tea Party are seemingly responsible.. if only indirectly, which left 6 people including a nine-year old girl, dead.

Expenses Scandal MP Jailed Р On Friday, Labour MP  David Chaytor was rightfully imprisoned for 18 months over his £20,000 expenses fraud. This news was somewhat overshadowed by sordid revelations by my MP!

Hashtaggery – A silly hashtag #LameToFame gave us all a laugh this week, my contribution was the fact I have a pair of Johnny Vaughn’s discarded long-john’s.. long¬† john’s/long story.. !

Jaffa Cakes – In support of the splendid Jaffa Cake and inspired by¬†last week’s TV special #StarGazing presented by Professor Brian Cox, Humph revives the wonderful “Eclipse” advert…

Full Moon...


Half Moon....


Total Eclipse !!





Que?? Yes, you heard it right.. this picture by @Crispian_Jago  :

Lead to this idea.. we print “I Am Spartacus” T-Shirt’s up and sell them to raise money for the #TwitterJokeTrial fighting fund.. While the “powers that be” discuss the legalities and finer details of the finances etc, lets chuck a few ideas around shall we?

Please add your comments and I will update this page with the best suggestions etc as we go…

“Power to the People!”

Twittersphere Fear…

This has been both a fascinating and frightening week in the world of Social Media. For those of you not blessed with the friend that is Twitter, let me fill you in a bit..

In January a tweeter made a joke.. a poor joke some would say but a joke nonetheless.  This led to a criminal conviction, I kid you not.. 140 characters bashed out on a laptop in mere seconds, has cost a man his job, thousands of pounds in legal fees and fines and he now has a criminal record.  What was the joke I hear you cry?  This one..

“Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your¬†shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport skyhigh!!”

See, not really funny is it, taken out of context.. To the¬†regular¬†followers of Paul Chambers’ tweets, it showed his frustration, nerves and excitement about flying to¬†meet a lady the following week that¬†he was very smitten by.¬† To an outsider, it seems¬†to have been viewed as a serious security threat.¬†¬† Although, I am pretty sure terrorists do not generally give a week’s notice and their real names when making bomb threats.¬†

Judge Jacqueline Davies deemed fit to uphold the original conviction when it came to appeal before her this week.  It worries me that Judges such as Ms Davies do not specialise in a chosen field, almost like GPs they rely on advice given to them on the day, rather than having prior experience and knowledge of the topic.  (Here is the full Judgment)

Following the upholding of the original judgement, a Twitterstorm¬†was evoked, with over 20,000 people tweeting Paul Chamber’s words with the hashtag #IAmSpartacus. Paul is, I believe planning to take the case to the High Court and we will back him all the way, not just as Spartacus but financially and if need be, physically at the court-house.

( Picture via @Crispian_Jago  #TwitterJokeTrial #IamSpartacus)

Another Twitter story is the case of the Tory councillor Gareth Compton who, as above, made a joke. This one was, in my opinion far more offensive and crass but again, when isolated, the single tweet is menacing.  The important difference here is that, unlike Paul, this author is an elected representative and should really know better!  If you are in a position of power, demanding respect then you should be above reproach.

Mr Compton¬†was responding to a¬†radio¬†interview¬†he was listening to, as¬†so many¬†of us tweeters¬†do.. we commentate on TV, Radio, something that our parents have said, what our lunch is..¬†Gareth Compton¬†has been arrested but was released on bail, presumably as the police do not see him as a real, physical threat to the person the tweet made reference to.¬† He has also been suspended from the Conservative Party.¬† (I won’t link to nor repeat his tweet as I find it particularly offensive and racist)

Then came this¬†article today by Quentin Letts, published in the Daily Mail which has thrown another angle into the mix..¬†¬† A tweeter known as @Baskers¬†has been publicly “named and shamed” at the will of a journalist. Although Sarah openly used her photograph and real name on her twitter biography, she also said the following: “I’m a Civil Servant, but this is my personal account & it’s my own personal views, not the Depts.”¬†

Sarah not only tweets about her day-to-day life but also writes a good blog on topics that affect her, as many of us do.  She recently wrote about the effect of government cuts to her department and her frustration about the Civil Service being attacked in the press.

So why are Sarah’s tweets and blogs so important to a¬†Daily¬†Mail¬†journalist? Is he seriously trying to protect the Civil Service’s reputation by reporting her words to her bosses or is there something deeper going on here?¬† I thought it was odd that Sally Bercow¬†was brought into the article as being a friend of Sarah’s.. she¬†doesn’t¬†really seem relevant to the piece? However, having looked at negative¬†previous¬†posts by Mr Letts about Mrs Bercow,¬†she is perhaps the key and Twitter can relax and tweet away¬†as usual…

So, what are we to do Twitter?¬† David Allen Green aka @jackofkent has advised us to “tweet and delete” as we go along.¬† I can see his point.¬†¬†Future employers for example are already using Google to check out potential employee’s.¬† Are we risking our own future’s by tweeting and even chosing to “like” something on Facebook?¬†

I think of Twitter and this blog as my diary, as do many other users and I don’t want to delete my tweets! However, even anonymity can’t protect you if someone is determined enough to find out who you really are and where you work.¬† (As I know to my cost, anything written on the internet stays there forever to be interpreted as the reader sees fit, particularly if they have a hidden agenda).¬†

This wont make me popular but I would advise you all to remove your first or¬†surname’s from your Twitter account, dont tweet from work unless you are on a scheduled break nor use your company name, Big Brother really is watching you..

Or.. you can say “Freedom of expression is my right, guaranteed to me by Article 10. If you want it you can take it from my cold dead hands. But if you try, remember #IAmSpartacus. Because my name is Legion, and I am many.” < Awesome blog post from @gaijinsan21

( Good post by @dnotice about #TweetDelete )

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