They serve us.
Or do they? This week has been quite a week on social media for baiting, in all it's ugly forms. There have been campaigns led by prominent politicians and councillors, both on personal and on official social media accounts over the last years, but the date 22 - 2 - 22 is going to be remembered as one where they collectively got together to create campaigns of hatred against normal everyday folk - who hold differing opinions to them. I am not restricting this piece to one side or the other in this hateful war of online attrition. I've seen people remove themselves from social media, because of this - on both sides of the argument.
I'll let the article linked below remain as a point to note, as I don't think I need say more about the people named in it and i'll start with the SNP candidate for Glasgow Southside ward, who quickly put herself in the limelight, responding to the article in question. She is quite an active character on social media and where she rarely uses her account for political business, she often revels in what can only be conceived as political baiting - inciting hatred and creating anger against those who would be keen to offer her, valid debate contrary her political views. It's a personal account, so those commenting on her politically minded posts have every right to join in the discussions which she instigates. That candidate is Mhairi Hunter, a very close friend of the Scottish First Minister and someone who many people follow, and look up to.
The initial post in this thread, as previously mentioned, was an article shared by journalist Neil Mackay, in which he analyses the differing political viewpoints we often see online and raises the issue of Scotland's political divide and how people conduct themselves online.
The article can be read here - a very good piece of writing with many valid points, and should be read in full:
The response to which Mhairi felt the need to grab up her pitchfork and begin her tirade of slander;
Also a valid response, even if the the comment may seem a little skewed or biased but as is the purpose of social media, whether you agree with that statement, or not, soon became completely irrelevant and Mhairi began to prod with that metaphorical pitchfork. Her dialogue was quite relevant to the article, even though she did not conclude any opinion on it, specifically...
"You follow multiple trolls so sit down." - even though Mhairi seems to have shrunk into her echo chamber and found solace in using the mute function to restrict her view of these opposing views, she still finds time to compile a list of them, for public view and display them as 'she remarks, trolls'. Mhairi clearly didn't read Neil's article, or didn't read it with an open mind as most of us would and I'll close this part of today's blog with this, and let you make up your own mind...
"I've never muted anyone simply for disagreeing with me."
Clearly she has more sinister reasons for compiling these lists of people who disagree with her, muting them and displaying them publicly. I think Neil should be commended in his article, as a truthful narration which, as seen, has been proven by Mhairi Hunter to be the case, on both sides.
My second point to note today is a slightly more sinister narrative. It is a very familiar lacking-in-intellect method of arraigning an ideology, without due discussion or trial. A very familiar, and sinister side of Scottish politics. This one is a standalone comment, without provocation and I have included my own remark on the matter in the screenshot of it...
"*cue the bigots in three ...two ...one...*" totally detracts from the point Anum initially tries to make, which on one hand should be commending inclusivity, and diversity but on the other, is merely used as a protagonist view to her evident race-baiting. Was that last part absolutely necessary? Unlike Mhairi Hunter, who clearly uses social media mostly for her own personal troll-like behaviour, Anum conducts this account as an official parliamentarian, verified account with a parliamentary email address...
I urge you dear reader, please don't contact her directly. You can use email@example.com and simply make an official complaint about how this account is being used to race-bait her own constituents. Whether they are or are not as she would lead you to think; racist in mind, this is utterly irrelevant and she should compose herself to work for each and every one of those constituents, regardless of their nuances and ill-thought biases.
None of this is new, yet none of it has stopped these people perpetuating these campaigns of hatred and it is likely these narratives will not stop, anytime soon. Race-baiting and the compiling of lists to further the nationalist narrative has been going on for a long time now, and not just by nationalist politicians.
They work for us?