The Twitterverse is where it all seems to be happening these days. It is a strange old world,frequented by celebrities, politicians, journalists, and generally anyone that has an axe to grind over something or another.
It is a pretty wild world, where very little is beyond saying, and freedom of expression is encouraged and discouraged in equal measure.
It is a world restricted to 140 character bursts, and not normally a place for rational argument or discourse.
For a writer like me, I have an aversion to trying to get my points across in such a word limited environment.
It is a world where your status is measured not by who you are, nor really what you have to say, but by how many followers you have, and who follows you.
It is a world where, if you don’t like what someone says, you block them..
It is a world where, the merest comment can easily be taken out of context, and suddenly your words are re tweeted all over the place, with people you have never head of suddenly using your words to attack you.
It is a world where, the obsessives need to know at all times, who has followed them, who has unfollowed them, who has blocked them.
It is also a world, where ordinary people can make direct comment to politicians, and they may even reply, or retweet what has been said.
But mostly, above all….It is a place where journalists and social commentators and the establishment, all communicate with each other, and pinch each others copy.
Much has been said in recent times about how the new media is replacing the traditional media, evidenced by rapidly falling print sales.
So what does the traditional media do about this? Newspapers rely heavily on their circulation figures to attract advertising. If the circulation figures plummet, so does their advertising revenue, and that is surest way to kill off a newspaper.
So what do newspaper owners do about this unsatisfactory turn of events? They put their articles on line, and rely more heavily on internet traffic to drive up their page views. With each click on their articles, they receive more advertising revenue.
But with every newspaper all competing to have their slice of this cake, they have to resort to more and more sensational headlines, and rely on creating more controversy..The more contentious the better.
In recent times on the twittersphere, things have taken a rather nasty turn of events,with an almost all out attack and counter attack going on, over Scottish Independence.
To put this into context..
Over 90% of “Scottish” newspapers are owned and run from outside Scotland. Putting the word “Scottish” before such titles as The Mail, The Express , The Sun, does not make them Scottish. It merely gives an impression that they are somehow different from their English parent.
The Express is owned by Richard Desmond, ex pornographer and owner of sex lines, and magazines such as Penthouse, and also a major UKIP donor.
The Mail and The Metro is owned by the 4th Viscount Rothermere, who’s grandfather founded and owned the Daily Mail, supported Hitler and Moselys Black Shirts, and has been rabidly right wing ever since its inception. Rothermere is also a major donor to the Tory party.
The Telegraph is owned by the Barclay Brothers, previously owners of the Scotsman and still currently owners of the Spectator magazine… They are serial tax avoiders, and fervently right wing politically.
The Scotsman is currently owned by the Johnston Press group (London Based) , who bought the paper from the Barclay Brothers in 2006. Previously has Andrew Neil as its editor, and has retained a distinctly anti Independence slant.
The Herald group… Herald, Sunday Herald, The National, Evening Times is owned by Newsquest, an American company with its base in London. It sort of tries to cut both ways over the issue of Scottish Independence, with the Herald mostly anti Independence, the Sunday Herald and National being seemingly for Independence.
The Sun, Times, Sky are all owned by Murdoch..need I say more?
The Sunday Post, Press and Journal, Courier and Evening Telegraph,This England Publishing,…. are all Scottish owned by DC Thompson, who traditionally have been Tory supporters. The first owner William Thomson was notable for his conservatism, vigorously opposing the introduction of trade unions into his workforce, and for refusing to employ Catholics. .
Trinity Mirror…London owners of The Mirror, Sunday Mirror, The People and Sunday People, The Daily Record and Sunday Mail…..traditionally Labour supporting
With this Unionist owned and supporting press, it is hardly of any surprise if Scottish newspapers have been taking a circulation hit in recent years. Nor is it at all surprising that some journalists (not all) have taken to more and more desperate attacks on Scottish Nationalism, the SNP, the Scots Government, while openly promoting Ruth Davidson and her cronies, in the advent of Labours melt down. Some do so, because they firmly advocate the Union, some because it is what keeps them in their bread and butter with their editors and owners.
What has been terribly galling to the Unionist owned and run press, and tv media, is that they are increasingly questioned and have their arguments debunked by a significant proportion of their audience in Scotland. They are completely out of step with at least 50% of the electorate since Brexit, and they know it!
Hence this new war between traditional and new media.
For many generations, the journalist opinions were taken as gospel, they did the questioning, but were rarely ever questioned themselves.
Now they are questioned, now their propaganda at the behest of their masters is pounced upon and dissected. Now they are called to account, and they do not like it!
Any criticism of them is taken as an offense, and they term it, however mild, as being abuse! Some even call it Hate.
In the online world of twitter, where they all reside and follow each other, the merest hint of an attack on one of their colleagues by those nasty CyberNats…is immediately retweeted, and supporting of each other.. Particularly so amongst the most sycophantic unionists among them.
During the Independence campaign, many reported abuse and even death threats being made to them, yet strangely such death threats have never materialised, and no prosecutions forthcoming against Gnats… While the opposite has been true of rabid supporters of the union…Strange that.
Recently all of this has ramped up again since the Brexit vote. The Union is once again under threat, and even more so than before.
Allegations have been made by a Herald journalist,alleging that the SNP causing the STV online editor to be sidelined, and screaming of journalistic interference. As if the SNP had any control over the media, it being a reserved matter to Westminster. This caused a meltdown among fellow journalists, who all repeated the story without any question whatsoever.
Allegations were made by David Torrance of abusive comments being directed at him on Twitter, without any evidence of such on his timeline, as he flounced off Twitter, only to appear back on it again a few weeks later. All this after he had written an obviously prepared article in the Herald and elsewhere with these supposed complaints. All of these allegations were again roundly condemned by his journalistic mates and spread all over the internet.
Now we have reached the point where a previously completely unknown journalist has been writing inflammatory articles in that bastion of moderation, the Express, knowing full well that she would be challenged over them. She was mildly castigated by Wings over Scotland proprietor Stu Campbell and some of his readership also complained to her, quite civilly.
She kicked off screaming Abuse, and encouraged one gullible soul in particular to keep coming back at her, along with others who complained…. She actually managed to receive correspondence of 600 tweets, and by retweeting with @wingsoverscotland in almost every one of them, she sought to make the impression that Wings were instigating the correspondence… She also managed to get a whole load of people to read her nonsense articles in the process… Click Bait!
But even better still….She seemingly managed to harangue the Twitter executives so much that they suspended the Wings account….with no reason given as yet.
No doubt about it….
The Union is in serious trouble…and its lackeys too…. So this is all getting more and more nasty and most of it (not all) coming from them…
Roll on Indyref2 …… We aint seen nothing yet!