The Internet Party and Kim Dotcom have had a couple of social media slip ups this week. Examples of where they haven’t thought things through, resulting in a some taking offence. Earlier in the week Kim tweeted the following:
It was followed by this:
Then Kim deleted the first tweet, while posting:
So Kim thinks that following a period of heightened discussion, and awareness, of the issue of domestic and sexual violence that it is acceptable for the “visionary” of a political party to be posting jokes on Twitter about murdering prostitutes? This not long after the leader of the party that he has allied to had defend comments made on Back Benches:
He did make the following apology.
This tweet generated a backlash from many on Twitter, including CTU President Helen Kelly:
But the one that really highlights Kim’s lack of judgement is:
Following that display of supreme social media nouse, the Internet Party decided that the best way to outline the results of the Christchurch Party Party would be to use a modified version of Pablo Picasso’s painting Guernica.
Wikipedia details Guernica thus:
It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces on 26 April 1937 during theSpanish Civil War.
So the Internet Party feels that it is acceptable to compare the results of their Party Party to the results of bombing raid on a town that resulted in between 126 and 1654 deaths, depending on the figures used.
The Internet Party have deleted this tweet, and issued the following apology:
However this does raise questions about the foresight of those running the Internet Party account. The tweet elicited a number of responses, some pointing out the failure of the apology:
Some even drew a response from the Internet Party Social Media Manager, and candidate for Wellington Central, defending the use of the image:
Callum’s defence was quickly put down with this tweet:
And finally there is Whale Oil’s observation:
Now I suspect there are some, including those in the Internet Party social media team, whose knowledge of the Spanish Civil war is a little rusty. Spain was divided between the Republicans and the Nationalists. The Nationalists were led by General Franco, who was a Fascist. They received support from both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. This support included the deployment of Luftwaffe and German armoured units. It was German air power that was responsible for the bombing of Guernica. The Republican side was supported by the Soviet Union, along with communist and socialist organisations around the world. At least 20 New Zealanders fought for the Republican cause. NZHistory.net.nz makes the following observation:
Griff Maclaurin and Steve Yates were the first of perhaps 20 New Zealanders to serve with the Republican forces. They and four others would die in Spain. They were recognised by their comrades as our first casualties in the war against fascism that would eventually claim the lives of nearly 12,000 New Zealanders.
It also observes:
This was far more than an internal conflict. The Republican government received aid from the Communist Soviet Union while Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany gave considerable support to Franco’s Nationalist army. Other European powers like Britain and France took a non-interventionist stand. Officially New Zealand followed Britain’s lead; ‘where she didn’t go we didn’t go’. But for some New Zealanders, especially Communists, trade unionists and humanitarians, Spain was a vital cause.
Does the Internet Party really want to be sending the message to it’s trade union and socialist supporters that it’s party party coming to town is going to do to that town what the Fascists and Nazis did to a town in the Spanish Civil War? Does the Internet Party also want to draw more attention to the issues Kim Dotcom faced around his ownership of a signed copy of Mein Kampf? See here, here, here and here.
The actions people, or organisations, take on social media help to build a picture of the attitude and views of that person, or organisation. The actions on social media of those involved in organisations also help contribute to this picture, even more so when the person concerned is the “Party Visionary” and bank roller of said organisation. This is not the first time that Kim Dotcom has made jokes about questionable things, or rape. These tweets are simply adding to the picture of an organisation with questionable judgement and a lack of historical knowledge.
However, it is unlikely that many of those who vote, or will consider voting for, the Internet Party, or its Internet Mana Party union, will have any understanding of the offensive nature of these Tweets. However this does not mean that they should go uncritiqued.
I shall leave the final word to Damian Christie, who makes the point that if you screw up on social media it will be used by others to detract from your message: