Tory politicians know that social media played a vital role in stopping them from winning the super-majority they were expecting when Theresa May called her vanity election in April 2017, and they’re now determined to crack down on it.
One of the keenest supporters of a social media crackdown is the Tory MP for South East Cornwall Sheryll Murray, who wants to see new restrictions on political commentary introduced on social media during elections.
It’s hardly surprising that Sheryll wants to see a social media clampdown on freedom of speech after a clip of her provoking outrage at a hustings by saying that she was “really pleased that we have food banks” went absolutely viral in the hours after she said it.
This clip went absolutely viral during the general election, & now @sheryllmurray wants to restrict social media free speech. I wonder why🤔 pic.twitter.com/DiIkBCam2e
— Another Angry Voice (@Angry_Voice) June 29, 2017
The clip I posted on Facebook was seen 1.5 million times, and I was obviously far from the only person to upload it on social media.
Sheryll knows that in the olden days of carefully managed media presentation of the news most people would never have heard of a Tory hustings gaffe like hers or her appalling attitude towards her critics, but now that ordinary people have a measure of control over what is newsworthy (shareable) her out-of-touch gaffe has been seen by millions, and she’s absolutely terrified.
Sheryll doesn’t like ordinary people to have the ability to hold elitists like her to account for their words and actions, so she’s reacting like all right-wing authoritarians do when challenged, and calling for censorship because she’s terrified of people power.
South East Cornwall MP @sheryllmurray calls for new legal restrictions on social media use during election campaigns. pic.twitter.com/ucapCqCbyS
— Martyn Oates (@bbcmartynoates) June 28, 2017
One of the most interesting things about her call for restrictions on social media is the fact that of all of the political parties it was her Conservatives who were the worst offenders, spending £millions to spew their smears and outright lies into people’s Facebook feeds, Youtube videos and even their Google search results.
This unprecedented Tory campaign of dark ads was particularly bad because they refused to provide copies of their adverts to the electoral authorities.
It just goes to show what a pack of absolute hypocrites the Tories are that they just spent £millions pushing the most extreme social media smear campaign in UK general election history, but because it failed and people chose to share genuinely viral content rather than Tory smear jobs, they suddenly want impose a clamp down on social media free speech.
The Tories are so terrified that ordinary people were sharing “the wrong content” that they want to censor what we can say and share on social media.