Can you Tweet that?

March 21, 2013 at 9:18 pm (Galloway, Rosie B)

George Galloway is always on Twitter. He tweeted his joy at winning the by-election in Blackburn which he had just won in Bradford.  Then he tweeted that someone had hacked into his Twitter account to mistweet him. (This was technically impossible).

He was tweeting 25 minutes ago (time of writing 20:32, 21/3/13).  He calls his critics “labour stooges” and retweets any compliments that come his way*.  He promotes himself  indefatigably.

So why has he put down this early day motion:-

“That this House notes that Twitter is now a very widely used mode of social networking; further notes that Twitter is a US-based enterprise whose primary motivation is to maximise its profits; further notes that Twitter is now used for a variety of criminal activities including sending malicious communications; further notes that Twitter refuses to co-operate with the UK authorities in general and the police in particular in trying to detect the source of criminal communications ‘unless it is a matter of life and death’, to be determined by Twitter; believes that this failure to co-operate with the detection of the sources of criminal behaviour is reprehensible; and calls on the Government to impose sanctions on Twitter until it agrees to fully co-operate with the UK authorities and police in the detection of crime.”

It’s Twitter’s seventh birthday and celebrities are celebrating it.  But GG is calling it a bad thing that should have sanctions imposed on it.

He is missing the chance to set an example by boycotting Twitter .  After all, he is a supporter of boycotting, divesting and sanctioning Israel, and showed it by refusing to debate with an Israeli citizen. Yet there he is on Twitter, helping to maximise its profits.

He is tweeting, while eating Jaffa oranges.

*Doing that make you look like a conceited jerk, as outlined here. Nesrin Malik is talking about writers but it goes for everyone:- “Don’t retweet compliments. Ever. Not once”


  1. s4r4hbrown said,

    I was a bit baffled to see this compliment retweeted!

  2. Jim Denham said,

    Nooman & Co “do” irony??

  3. Simon Burton said,

    Just to correct a technical point: It actually IS technically possible to hijack Twitter accounts. Several BBC Twitter accounts were hijacked this week by the ‘Syrian Electronic Army’. group. (That’s not to say that this is what happened to Galloway’s account – but it is possible, and Galloway is the sort of figure who might expect to attract attacks by groups with the technical wherewithal to do it.))

    • Rosie said,

      I didn’t mean “technically impossible” for Twitter accounts to be hacked in general, but for GG’s account to have been hacked at the time.

      “Twitter users were quick to point out that the tweet was sent from an iPhone, meaning the alleged hacker would have to have the same phone.

      More eagle-eyed internet users also pointed out that the ‘hacker’, like George, hasn’t yet upgraded to ios5.”

      I agree it’s quite likely that someone would hack into GG’s account, but I’d expect them to send out more damning tweets than the Blackburn one.

  4. Malte Laurids Brigge said,

    Paul Klee has a wonderful painting entitled the ‘Twittering Machine’. It says it all. Twitter and Facebook are simply evidence that we have moved from a restricted to an unrestricted semiotic economy to match the commodifcation of culture that is its corollary. Those that engage in it are symbolic rather than political scabs. They scab on the beauty of language and shame its figural dignity – this figurality is one of the few phenomenon along with death and the weather over which capitalism has not yet gained complete technical mastery. It is my judgement that you should read Holderlin, for poetically man dwells.

    • Rosie said,

      @ Malte Laurids Brigge

      “They scab on the beauty of language and sham its figural dignity.”

      I think you are making too much of Facebook. My experience of it is that it’s gossip, or pointing out things of shared interest eg articles or music clips. I don’t expect that kind of chat to have much to do with the beauty of language and its figural dignity (??) one way or the other. I don’t expect chat at the coffee machine to have much to do with it either. But I don’t diss chat at the coffee machine. It’s all part of social interaction.

      I don’t tweet and don’t see the point of it. I would say it looks like relentless self-advertisement, except that people I respect do it. Here’s a tweet from the poet George Szirtes:-

      06:38 And now that wonderful soft mist, grey thinning into fragile ghosts of things, trees rising and stretching, bare children

      I can see Twitter being a challenge to a poet, like a haiku or limerick, that is, making the language dance in a small space.

      Other people use the small space to show their idiocy. Eg Sally Bercow’s tweet re the McAlpine case. All I’ve heard of Sally Bercow points her out as an attention-seeking airhead. Her tweet underlined that.

      “In November last year the BBC’s Newsnight broadcast a programme which wrongly claimed that a senior Conservative was a paedophile.

      Mrs Bercow, who had 57,000 Twitter followers, tweeted after the broadcast: “Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*.” ”

      It really is a bit of a gift to show what a twerp you are in one coy tweet. She’s way short of the 140 characters.

  5. Malte Laurids Brigge said,

    Szirtes is a second-rate purveyor of the sub-pastoral. He is more or less Robert Frost’s butler by way of cleaning Heaney’s boots.Trakl put his kind of elegiac drivel to sleep decades ago and so it does not surprise me that he is selling his stuff on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: