CAMERON AGAIN CAUGHT IN TWITTER STORM – There are some politicians that feel Twitter should be avoided at all costs. One of the restrictive practices, that being to allow only 140 characters, is sometimes simply not sufficient to explain a policy cohesively and therefore content can often be misinterpreted.
David Cameron once famously wrote on Twitter; “Too many tweets make up a tw*t” – which in itself caused outrage among his 450,000 followers. However, this is one time I will agree with the Prime Minister because there is an awful lot of drivel on Twitter; but I could also say the same for Facebook.
The latest condemnation comes from a post that David Cameron marked as a ‘favourite’ which came from a spoof account that mocks politicians. It is not clear if Mr. Cameron himself marked the post as a ‘favourite’ or that it was a member of his staff – regardless Twitter users have taken to bombarding Mr. Cameron’s Twitter account with some fairly distasteful comments.
The twitter message in question was posted by @AdrianBurley, although it has been established this is a spoof account and not officially associated with Mr. Burley, a Tory MP.
In the message it likened the image of Norma Tebbit, being lifted to safety by rescue worker in the aftermath of the Brighton Bombing in 1984, as if Mr. Tebbit was enjoying sex. Another tweet then followed asking the Prime Minister to refrain from contacting Kenya as they had already suffered enough.
It has not yet been established if the blunder of tagging the message a ‘favourite’ was either by Mr. Cameron himself or a member of his staff.
Members of the press who contacted Downing Street this morning were stonewalled, however it was mentioned that Mr. Cameron has contacted the President of Kenya to offer his condolences and the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, would personally be in touch to discuss the terrorist act at Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi over the weekend.
The spoof tweet was highly offensive. Norman Tebbit was badly injured in the Brighton bombing and indeed his wife was left paralyzed for life. Shortly after the attack Mr. Tebbit resigned from office in order to care for his wife. The Brighton bombing also claimed the lives of five innocent victims and therefore the tweet was extremely offensive and disgusting.
Whoever was monitoring Mr. Cameron’s twitting account didn’t bother to determine the content or indeed who was responsible for its creation. This blunder has again caused Mr. Cameron great embarrassment and will no doubt bring into question the validity of Twitter’s usefulness as a political communications tool.
The Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP parties all came out to condemn the tweet; stating that making a mockery of the victims in Kenya and the Brighton bombing was highly insensitive; especially after it was just announced that the Home Office had received and released confirmation that three British citizens died in the terrorist attack in Kenya.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister has condemned the tweet and affirmed that Mr. Cameron would never have marked such a post as ‘favourite’ knowing its content and the outrage it would cause – it is perceived that someone tagged the post by accident but it is yet unclear who was responsible.