- Date published:
8:29 am, December 6th, 2019 - 110 comments
Categories: making shit up, Media, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: crosby textor, topham guerin
New Zealand and the United Kingdom are both cursed with the right wing parties having the same advisors and similar means of campaigning. And it is starting to show.
Neale Jones in this series of tweets shows how far national is willing to bend the truth for political advantage:
If you feel sufficiently aggrieved you can complain to the Advertising Standards Authority although as Neale mentions the Authority’s response to political ads has not been great.
And in the UK Google has banned a number of Conservative advertisements. Six of them were released immediately after the launch of Labour’s manifesto. The tories launched the website labourmanifesto.co.uk which purported to contain Labour’s policies. They then paid Google to push their fake version of the Labour manifesto to the top of search results for those searching for the document.
Advertisements that were not cut include include links purporting to send people to “Corbyn’s Labour manifesto” but point to the fake manifesto website. Other uncensored adverts purported to be a link to Labour’s Brexit, Education and Defence Policies but instead send users to the Conservative website.
More recently complaints from the BBC caused two further videos to be taken down. From the Independent:
Two Tory election videos have been banned from YouTube following complaints from the BBC.
The widely criticised videos took footage of BBC news presenters and edited them to suggest the journalists were agreeing with Conservative propaganda. One video showed a journalist saying the phrase “pointless delay to Brexit”, for instance – but the full video made clear that she had been quoting Boris Johnson.
The ads had been seen as many as a million times, according to YouTube’s ad library, and the party had spent as much as €30,000 on promoting them.
YouTube did not immediately respond to a request for comment or explanation on why the ads had been removed. Google’s ad library tool does not show why the videos have been taken down.
The party maintained the videos did not break advertising rules and said it saw nothing wrong with the ad. It said that the video had not been edited “in a manner that misleads or changes the reporting”.
Facebook also removed the ads but on the grounds of breach of intellectual property rights rather than for being false. What standards Facebook has.
One of the subjects, Huw Edwards was pleased with the decision. Again from the Independent:
Newsreader Huw Edwards, who alongside political editor Laura Kuenssberg was one of two BBC journalists featured in the ads, had praised the decision to remove the videos from Facebook on his Twitter feed.
“Good,” he wrote. “My thoughts on this kind of stunt are unprintable.”
These ads mark a new low. Previously the Conservatives were prepared to doctor and alter interviews involving Labour Party politicians to seriously distort what they were saying. Now they are doing the same to journalists. Who will be next?
The basic problem as identified by Neale Jones is that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. There no longer seems to be sufficient effective outrage at lies, particularly from the media, while the benefits of stoked outrage and saturating the media with right wing propaganda is too much for a born to rule class of politicians to ignore.