David Cameron Didn't Reply To A Single Tweet In Six-Week Period - But Do You Blame Him?
The Debrief: Can we blame our politicans for not wading through mountains of abuse to reply to genuine questions on Twitter?
According to recent data pulled together by the guys at cross-party think-tank Demos, MPs and political leaders aren’t too bothered about responding to Twitter questions – especially in the case of David ‘Call Me Daveyboy’ Cameron (this is not his actual nickname), who hasn’t replied to anyone.
Looking at tweets between 28 January and 4 March, Demos found that around 60,000 tweets were sent by MPs and only about 17% of them were @ replies. Nick Clegg tweeted 48 times and replied 7 times, Ed Miliband tweet 58 times and responded just twice, and David Cameron didn’t respond to anyone.
But, in reality, does this make any sort of difference? Well, while we want our politicians to appear engaged with the people who’ll be voting for them, it doesn’t really work like that. For a start, they probably can’t even see the questions through the tidal wave of critical tweets and all-out trolling they must get – can you imagine what David Cameron’s going through? As in, literally going through while scrolling down his feed?
‘Our politicians need to face up to their actions!’ you all cry, via Twitter, using angry face emojis. Well, yes, but at the same time we can’t then expect our leaders to read every single abusive tweet in order to a) face up to their actions and b) get to the genuine questions.
One false move and you’ve got a social media avalanche on your hands (Ed Balls tweeted his own name and inadvertently created an official day of celebration, for God’s sake), plus it’d play havoc with their self esteem, leading them to forgo running, or attempting to run, the country due to so much crying.
Just take a look at a cross-section of tweets aimed at David Cameron and Nick Clegg today:
@nigel_farage Nick Clegg is a dangerous fantasist.— Gary Coombs (@CoogarUK) March 10, 2015
@David_Cameron cunt— Carla Greenan (@CarlaGreenan) March 10, 2015
Youth is the time for high, utopian ideals that are then steadily beaten out of you by real life. It's not a time for David Cameron.— Tom Doran (@portraitinflesh) March 10, 2015
@Nigel_Farage I can’t remember the last time Nick Clegg spoke a word of truth....— John (@JohnWPA) March 10, 2015
This comes after Lena Dunham admitted in a recent interview that she comes up with her tweets, and has someone else tweet them for her in order to protect herself from the abuse she gets on a daily basis.
In light of being called a ‘goatfucker’ and reams of links to news stories about how your latest debate was a washout and you look like a ham, maybe you’d be less inclined to be vocal on social media, too – after all, the more you put in, the more you get out (and get slung at you). Plus, it doesn’t really make a difference whether our leaders are fully engaged on Twitter.
It matters that they’re fully engaged developing and implementing policies that reflect our best interests, and that we’re fully engaged in voting for the people we think should run the country (first-past-the-post system notwithstanding).
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