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02nd Oct 2019

Tory commentator on why people need to get off Twitter

Wayne Farry

Twitter has become a new political landscape in recent years

While political hearts and minds are still won on television and in traditional print media, a new generation of politically literate people are now getting the majority of their stories from social media.

The aftermath of the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election has shone a light on the influence of Facebook, and the content read on the platform, on voters.

News moves slower on Facebook though, and stories can often linger there for days or even weeks, giving them the potential to snowball and gain a wider audience.

Twitter is a much faster but a no less influential environment, and one where vocal political supporters can actually reply to the politicians they want to get behind (or their social media team, at least).

One consequence of this however, and the fast-paced nature of information on Twitter in the first place, is that there appears to be a never-ending race to one-up your political opponents on the platform.

Words are taken out of context, old posts are dug up and used as ammunition, and videos are slowed down, frame-by-frame, in a bid to highlight impropriety by one side or the other.

At the 2019 Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, JOE caught up with Tory commentator Tom Harwood – no stranger to Twitter himself – who said that people need to stop being outraged by what they see on the platform.