web analytics

A social media primer for progressive candidates

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, March 4th, 2017 - 15 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, Dirty Politics, labour, Media, social media lolz - Tags:

Labour Party General Secretary Andrew Kirton recently sent out a message to Labour Candidates which of itself was a lesson on all things social media.  The text was to warn them to review their social media and delete all the stuff that might be embarassing. But things went astray when it was texted to reporters …

From Newshub:

Labour MPs, election candidates, and staff are under orders to clean up their social media profiles.

The Party’s general secretary Andrew Kirton issued the directive in a text he also accidentally sent to reporters today.

Mr Kirton’s directed them to check their social media feeds to remove any potentially embarrassing material – specifically old posts from before they were candidates.

He’s telling candidates their social media accounts should present them as being professional and in touch, and has asked they delete images showing them drinking or making inappropriate gestures.

It asks Labour candidates to check for any old social media posts which could “embarrass you or the Party” – even if they were taken before the person joined Labour.

Warning that Labour’s opponents were searching through candidates’ pages, Kirton said: “Your social media accounts should present you as a professional and in touch person.

“Images of you drinking, making inappropriate gestures etc etc should be deleted.”

It also says any criticisms of Labour policy, current or former leaders “will come back to haunt you and us”.

And here is the text:

I am sure everyone had a laugh and that Andrew is feeling just a little bit embarrassed right now. At least his text had nothing which was actually sensitive. And the incident contains a very important lesson, if there is something that you want to share that is important and you do not want the media to report it, then do not text/email/message/use a computer or cellphone to spread it around.

Apart from the lesson concerning the inherent weakness of modern social media and how it should be avoided for sensitive messages there is one aspect that I want to comment on and that is the suggestion that having been historically critical of the party or doing something slightly inappropriate like drinking should be considered to be a negative.

I think this is a mistake.  Call me a heretic but I think that we should have proud passionate outspoken candidates, and I don’t believe that sanitising backgrounds is a good thing to do.  Bob Harvey is one of the politicians who I admire the most and he has always outspoken.  He may have caused headaches for his personal advisors but people always knew exactly, precisely where he stood on issues and what he thought.

I appreciate this is the modern way, with parties through message discipline seeking to advance their framing of issues through the media who are intent on spotting and highlighting divisions and differences.  But this ignores the importance of local politics, that communities support candidates who know the local issues and are prepared to advocate for them.  Yes there is a national aspect to all politics but there is also a local aspect which sanitised direction setting can damage.

Of course the opposition is searching through candidates’ social media pages.  Dirty politics is what they do.

And I would be interested to see how the dictum would handle this photo …

15 comments on “A social media primer for progressive candidates ”

  1. Anne 1

    My guess is: someone – possibly a sympathetic journalist – told a senior member that the Nats are digging through all the social pages for anything that could be used to undermine Labour during the campaign. The hierarchy had a collective hissy fit and hey presto… the memo.

    It should be a foregone conclusion that Labour candidates will be trawled extensively by the Nats (and not just social media) but there will always be a few candidates who are inexperienced or naive (or both) and end up embarrassing Labour. We’ve seen quite a few of them over the years.

    It is better to get these types of messages across verbally and NOT to rely on the written word. This time it was an address error but next time it could be an illegal hacking job. Slater’s “hacking” of Labour’s computer system a few years ago shows it can done with impunity if you’re on the “right” side of the fence.

  2. tc 2

    Amateur hour has begun in earnest, does the Luddite not realise that copies of all relevant material is probably already been sifted through, sorted, categorised and saved in multiple physical locations awaiting use.

    The act of deletion would give an opportunity for mischief.

    Totally agree mickey, it should remain for all to see. Nothing to hide etc as having a drink isn’t a crime is it.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Not in Aotearoa!

      I put up that photo of Andrew to suggest that slightly embarrassing photos can actually be very powerful. I thought it showed what a wonderful sharp sense of humour he has.

      And the BLinglish sheep shearing episode apparently went down very well in national polling and focus grouping land. I bet he practised for days beforehand so that he did not make a complete mess of it …

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    I think this is a mistake. Call me a heretic but I think that we should have proud passionate outspoken candidates, and I don’t believe that sanitising backgrounds is a good thing to do.

    I agree. People have their foibles and make mistakes. Sanitising those is like trying to make the MPs seem more than human.

    Of course the opposition is searching through candidates’ social media pages. Dirty politics is what they do.

    Yep and the correct response isn’t to cringe and try to hide it but to laugh and say that we’re all human and have human foibles.

    This is how you connect to people.

    To try to hide them and be more than human is to disconnect from them. That may have worked for the Ancient Egyptian God-Kings but it doesn’t work in a democracy.

    • Karen 3.1

      +1 Draco (and Mickey).

      • xanthe 3.1.1

        yes the greens in years past were very good at just saying “what of it, we are all what we are” works very well and the media soon learns nothing to see here.

    • “I think this is a mistake. Call me a heretic but I think that we should have proud passionate outspoken candidates, and I don’t believe that sanitising backgrounds is a good thing to do.”

      “I agree. People have their foibles and make mistakes. Sanitising those is like trying to make the MPs seem more than human.”

      I agree with both of you. The dumbing down of candidates and MPs and parties is one of the biggest turnoffs for voters and is party of the reason for shrinking election turnouts. The Mt Albert by-election may have displayed niceness but it didn’t engage much interest, hence the media switching to promoting a leadership change even before election day.

      For all his foibles and acts John Key didn’t allow himself to get boxed into a PR corner.

      David Shearer’s initial promise was strangled by attempts to repackage him. To an extent Andrew Little has suffered the same but there are signs of him emerging from that at bit.

      Jacinda Ardern suffers from celebrity packaging (although the media like it).

      Winston Peters keeps being successful (to a degree) by being outspoken.

      Sure every candidate should have a good look at their online history in case something could be used to damage them, but passion and beliefs should not be erased for fear of being seen as something other than a party sheep.

    • Yeah, this is the one thing there is to admire in the US Presidential system, it allows for airing a debate inside the party in the public sphere, rather than keeping all the internal debates private and sanitized. (of course, the downside is that the candidates try to sanitize that internal debate for the public as well, and this may have contributed to the rise of corporatism within the Democratic Party, but that’s way too much of a tangent to explore in detail)

      If Labour’s going to continue to be a big tent, I would much rather they air their different visions of the party in public in a constructive and collegial way, and then have Andrew Little piece them all together into a whole, and finally argue why it is a good thing that they bring together voices that disagree so much, and why New Zealand will benefit from being governed by a party with diverse perspectives.

      There’s a certain amount of democracy theatre involved with being a real democratic party. (because it’s not enough to actually be democratic, you have to be seen to be democratic) The Greens get this, it’s why they hold votes in their AGM on so many critical issues, why even when the executive gets to make certain key decisions, they’re still informed by member votes first.

      If Labour want to be a big tent, they need to act like that’s a strength, play to it, and then punch National in the nose for being a party that appeals to only one type of New Zealander, and is ruled from the top down, rather than democratically governed. That’s how you fight back to them trawling your facebook feeds or whatever.

  4. Just at the moment the msm are frantically attempting to defend the indefensible. They can’t fully concentrate on attacking the left so are, and have no doubt already been storing up a supply of potential future targets. Required in the main, when they get time,to foil or divert attention from their seemingly on going stuff ups .(any thing is better than nothing-it can be skewed.}

  5. Skinny 5

    Kirton makes a valid point, messaging maybe should have been sent out via the LEC’s. Oh well no big issue other than a GS boxing things off.

    I guess all those on the Left should ease up on the hard line stuff on social media. Bit guilty of ranting out loud the other day, which in hindsight would have been best not to. Just gets a bit frustrating after 9 years in opposition and you see patterns from past failing reoccurring so you get a bit knee jerky. My apologises the crew is firing with great strength under our best leader since Clark. Onwards and upwards, cheers.

  6. EE 6

    Re Photo: And what’s wrong with a man showing off his sausage?

  7. Ross 7

    and has asked they delete images showing them drinking

    Nothing wrong with drinking…but I suspect the text was directed at people like Poto Williams. Especially the comment about being “a professional and in-touch person”. It’s not professional to publicly criticise another Labour candidate and, by implication, the leader who has endorsed that candidate.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ’s credit rating lifted as economy recovers
    The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and faster than expected economic recovery has been acknowledged in today’s credit rating upgrade. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) today raised New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to AAA with a stable outlook. This follows Fitch reaffirming its AA+ rating last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
    Tena koutou e nga Maata Waka Ngai Tuahuriri, Ngai Tahu whanui, Tena koutou. Nau mai whakatau mai ki tenei ra maumahara i te Ru Whenua Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora Tena koutou, Tena ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices
    The Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the Government’s urgent commitment, as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto, to ban conversion practices in New Zealand by this time next year. “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched a new Creative Careers Service, which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives, across three regions over the next two years. The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Honey exporters busy meeting surging demand
    Overseas consumers eager for natural products in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic have helped boost honey export revenue by 20 percent to $425 million in the year to June 30, 2020, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says.   “The results from the latest Ministry for Primary Industries’ 2020 Apiculture Monitoring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers more wellbeing support for young people
    Thanks to more than $10-million in new services from the Government, more rangatahi will be able to access mental health and addiction support in their community. Minister of Health Andrew Little made the announcement today while visiting Odyssey House Christchurch and acknowledged that significant events like the devastating earthquakes ten ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government eases visa restrictions for visitors in New Zealand
    Two month automatic visitor visa extension for most visitor visa holders Temporary waiver of time spent in New Zealand rule for visitor stays Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Push for sustainable tourism gathers pace
    The Tourism and Conservation Ministers say today’s report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) adds to calls to overhaul the tourism model that existed prior to COVID19. “The PCE tourism report joins a chorus of analysis which has established that previous settings, which prioritised volume over value, are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government extends dietary supplements regulations
    The Government is providing certainty for the dietary supplements industry as we work to overhaul the rules governing the products, Minister for Food Safety Dr Ayesha Verrall said. Dietary supplements are health and wellness products taken orally to supplement a traditional diet. Some examples include vitamin and mineral supplements, echinacea, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to join the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime
    The Government is joining the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (the Budapest Convention), Justice Minister Kris Faafoi and Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark announced today. The decision progresses a recommendation by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch terror attack to accede to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago