Twitter says Conservatives misled public, minister says voters ‘don’t give a toss’
Twitter accused Britain’s ruling Conservative Party on Wednesday of misleading the public during a televised election debate, but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said voters did not care about the cut and thrust of social media.
Twitter spoke out after the Conservative Campaign Headquarters press office changed the name of its account from “CCHQPress” to “factcheckUK” while Prime Minister Boris Johnson was debating Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday night.
With its avatar changed to a white tick against a purple background instead of the party’s traditional blue branding, the account, which is followed by 76,000 users, issued tweets supporting Johnson and criticizing Corbyn.
Quizzed about the stunt on BBC television on Wednesday morning, Raab said he disagreed with Twitter’s criticism that the tactic was misleading, and said voters didn’t care anyway.
“I knock on doors every day,” he said. “No one gives a toss about the social media cut and thrust. What they care about is the substance of the issues, and of course there’s a huge amount of scepticism about the claims of all politicians.”
Raab said the aim of the Conservative campaign was to rebut what he described as “nonsense” put out by Labour. “It matters that we have an instant rebuttal,” he said.
Asked why his party needed to dress up its rebuttals as independent fact-checking, he said: “Because we want to make it clear that we’re holding Labour to account for the nonsense that they systematically and serially put out in relation to Conservatives.”
Labour said what the Conservative press office had done was a “scam” that showed the party could not be trusted in government……..read more