Trial by Twitter – Jan Moir Feels the Brunt of a Social Media Backlashby Andrew on Oct 16, 2009 • 1:42 pm 5 Comments
Remember the days that when Jan Moir, or some other Daily Mail moronic columnist (other right-wing, poorly written trashy tabloids are available) would vomit some bile into a column, and the only thing you could do about it was write an irate letter to the editor?
Thankfully, those days are gone. Thanks to social media, it’s never been easier to round up an angry mob and force newspaper editors to take notice. But does trial by Twitter work?
Yes, Trial by Twitter is ruddy brilliant!
Trial by Twitter has produced results before. When Observer hack Will Buckley took a swipe at radio journalist Jonathan Agnew, he was forced into giving a very public apology. Admittedly, having Twitterati goliaths Lily Allen and Stephen Fry onside helped Aggers’ case somewhat, but the principle was solid. Hundreds of people pointed out that Will Buckley wasn’t funny, had been quite offensive and was really a bit of a div, and Mr Buckley had to backtrack and pretend he’d been joking. Honest.
Perhaps the best mass-mobilisation of Twitter pressure came from the entire nation of Scotland, who picked up on the #boycottscotland campaign being handled by a few angry Americans and turned it into one of the site’s most amusing trends in a few short hours.
With a veritable hate-storm brewing, it’s not going to be long before other daily papers pick up on Jan Moir’s ranting and the Twitter backlash. When this goes mainstream, could the threat of bad publicity put off advertisers?
No - Trial by Twitter is counter-productive and useless.
Well, we’ve all seen how much effect the little green twibbons have had on the Iranian election, haven’t we? And the Twitter community’s support for Pirate Bay really swung that actual trial, didn’t it?
remember what I said about advertisers up there? Well guess what. Jan Moir’s page has had more hits today due to people linking to her vitriolic outburst that it’s ever had before. Advertisers will be creaming their jeans.
People like Jan Moir know that if they can rile up the right people, their content will go viral. It doesn’t matter that 99% of people who read her page think she’s a nutter, as they wouldn’t have bought the mail anyway. It’s the bigoted, moronic 1% who will now have her bookmarked that make the difference for her – and her advertisers.
If you’re going to link to Jan Moir’s homophobic rantings, please use this Google document. But as with most right wingers (and Daily Mail employees), would we be better off just denying her the publicity.
What do you think? Is trial by Twitter effective or counter-productive? Leave a message below. If you want more examples of Mail moronity, I’ve covered their Street View hysteria before.