Thursday, August 22, 2013

Andrew Bolt - I Don't Know How Twitter Works, But Its Freedom Scares Me

 Oh yes, you do.

(quick backgrounder : Andrew Bolt is Australia's most heavily promoted Rupert Mudoch columnist. While never having used Twitter, it was decided that the #AskBolt Twitter hashtag should be used to stir up and "take on the Twitterati", and almost every Murdoch media held Twitter account began pumping out his challenge to Twitter users worldwide. In short, Bolt picked a fight with Twitter, and then hijacked the Usain Bolt #AskBolt hashtag in order to do so).

He can deny it all he wants. But The Bolt Report is an Andrew Bolt Twitter account. And it's official.

It's all a bit sad to see a once innovative political blogger so utterly lost amongst the trees when it comes to Twitter.

Boo Twitter, even though it's where a good slab of his daily blog traffic comes from these days, thanks to regular spammy-link tweeting by numerous NewsCorp automated Twitter accounts. He even has the 'Tweet Me' button on every blog post, along wth the official account for his TV show. He doesn't seem to know about that, either.

#AskBolt was an idiotic idea to begin with, promoting someone who doesn't use Twitter on Twitter, with 'Come And Get Me!' tweets like "Bolt Takes On The Twitterati!"

#AskBolt was a Fukushima-scale social media disaster.

There's no way around it. Even people who had previously used the #AskBolt hashtag to say hello to the incredible sprinter Usain Bolt joined in when they discovered some idiot from Australia  had hijacked their hero's hashtag.

#AskBolt made Andrew Bolt a Twitter pinnata. People who had never even heard of this goose from down under were weeping with laughter at the constant stream of 98% inane, and more the point, non-abusive, tweets that swept #AskBolt into the Top Trending Topics in a host of countries around the world.

Nobody on Twitter had seen anything like it.

For the love of FailWhale, you don't hijack established hashtags. Particularly when you don't use Twitter in the first place.

Mindblowing. What the hell were they thinking?

But Andrew Bolt knows what's going on.

It was all a big Australian Labor Conspiracy.

Really. Hard Leftists, you see, control the Twitternets.

Bolt also seems completely unaware that the Daily Telegraph tried to promote #AskBolt on Facebook as well. Hundreds of people mocked him in commemts and shares. Whether the Daily Telegraph Facebook moderator was laughing too hard to delete any, or whether nobody actually moderates the page, who knows? But the ridicule came thick and fast there, too.

Andrew Bolt doesn't use Facebook either.


Hard Leftists control Facebook, too, presumably.

Here he is having a spit after discovering just how much of a social media disaster, and wider public spectacle, #AskBot was becoming.

This is how he reported on himself in the Herald Sun:

Just fantastic the way the link for tweeting Andrew Bolt's column onto Twitter lines up perfectly with this:

"I took a dip in Twitter this week, and understand even better how Labor got flushed away in a sewer of hate.

"How could Labor - and many journalists - disastrously mistake Twitter for the real world?"
The real world, you see, isn't millions of people in more than 100 hundred countries around the world communicating freely and sharing information, ideas and quality knowledge, without paywalls.

The Raal World, apparently, is Andrew Bolt's BlogWorld, where you have to register to "join in the debate" and where he bans commenters who hit to close the bone.
"(#AskBolt) electrified the Twittersphere. For hours the topic trended as Leftists, many anonymous, competed to ask me - the Great Satan of Conservatism - the worst, silliest or most abusive questions on the #askbolt hashtag.

"Fairfax newspapers thought this was sensational news."
It wasn't sensational, but it was idiotic enough a move to warrant media attention.

After all, Andrew Bolt is constantly demanding the rest of the media and the general Australian public pay attention to him, and exercise their right to free speech.

Clearly Bolt now has his limits, on both
"Gosh, hold the presses. No, wait, they're slowing already at Fairfax and no wonder, if recycling playground taunts by anonymous tweeters now passes for news reporting."
Miaow. Poor Andrew. He doesn't even know Murdoch's newspaper operation has lost more recently than Fairfax.
"In fact, to be attacked on Twitter is no news to a conservative.

"Twitter skews hard to the Left..."
 Twitter refused to take him seriously. 
"Twitter also seems to bring out the worst in users."
 Twitter isn't a bubble.
"Maybe it's the relative youth of tweeters, and the anonymity of many. Maybe it's because hate tends to sell best in the look-at-me Twittersphere."
He has his own TV show. About His Opinions.
"Or maybe it's because Twitter appeals to the impulsive sensation junkies eager to instantly broadcast their most idle thought..."
This a person who has often published more than a dozen blog posts in a single day.

Now onto the Great Australian Labor Twitter Conspiracy.
"But here's the bizarre thing: this is the audience Labor thought could save it.

"This is the crowd Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tried to impress by tweeting a picture of his shaving cut to his 1.4 million followers, thus confusing the magpie attention of tweeters with respect from very real and unimpressed voters.

"But Julia Gillard as prime minister had an even more fatal attraction to Twitter.

"Her infamous misogyny speech last year - falsely branding Abbott a woman-hater - was rightly seen at first by most commentators as a hate-filled rant that would appal many Australians."
What was Bolt saying before about people ranting like arseholes?
"But Gillard's communications director, John McTernan, eventually convinced press gallery journalists it was a success because it had gone viral on social media, including Twitter."
Gillard's speech was viewed by millions across the planet, within days. A political speech. Viewed by millions. That wasn't JFK, Obama or MLK.

That's pretty fucking viral. 
"And so Gillard, convinced by tweets and blog posts, doubled down on her politics of division, pitting women against men, workers against bosses."
Oh Twitter, is there nothing you can't do?
"Stirring hatred may indeed light up the Twittersphere but it makes the world outside your window feel sick."
"But it's no surprise if Twitter's culture has spilled out of the internet sewers and now floods media offices.
"No surprise, when Channel 10's Paul Bongiorno retweets Mike Carlton who retweets Rudd's daughter, Jessica, who retweets Channel 10's Charlie Pickering who retweets blogger Mia Freedman who retweets the ABC's Leigh Sales who retweets her boss, Mark Scott, who retweets his presenter, Jonathan Green, who retweets John McTernan who retweets the ABC's Mark Colvin who retweets Marieke Hardy who retweets Mike Carlton who . . .
"And on it flows, a steady stream of hate, flushing the feckless with it. Labor, too."
Andrew Bolt doesn't mention, of course, the numerous automated Twitter accounts operated by NewsCorp retweeting his every blog post intro, around the clock.

You see, mere mortal journalists have to tweet links to their own stories themselves, and try and get people to read their work. Pumping their stories on social media is expected of almost every working journalist today.

But not the Mighty Bolt.

He wouldn't lower himself to using Twitter.

He has others to do it for him.

One of the last of Murdoch's protected species.

And just because it's funny, here's Bolt flipping out at others doing what he does almost daily, taking someone's gaffe or misspeak and using it over and over and over again.

He's just so precious.

ENCORE: Andrew Bolt didn't always think Twitter was a sewer. When Rupert Murdoch dived into Twitter, Bolt called it the "coolest new medium."