DDB Digital and Sky TV Bot Army

Today New Zealand saw another example of how not to do social. Dylan Reeve’s tweet alerted me to it.


Watching the video contained in it raised a number of questions. It turns out that Sky NZ, and their agency (more on them soon), thought it would be a good idea to build an army of twitter bots and make them available to users. To make use of the army all one has to do is tweet to #CommandTheUnsullied with a command and they will do your bidding. This has resulted in a number of people being bombarded with in excess of 900+ notifications, including Dylan and Jordan T. With Dylan calculating that the project has potentially sent around 138,000 tweets so far.

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Why I enjoy Twitter

So once again there seems to have been a blow up on Twitter in New Zealand in the last week. I am not totally sure what has caused it, but I think it stems from a post by Richie Hardcore on International Women’s Day. I know that Jess McAllen wrote about it on The Spinoff last week. Additionally there was discussion around the cartoon of Judith Collins that referenced the Kim Kardashian post that Richie Hardcore was also responding to. Since then there has been a number of skirmishes in the battle around how various Twitter users see how society treats woman. This has resulted in Danyl Mclauchlan leaving Twitter:


His leaving Twitter has caused a large amount of discussion as well. With sides being taken, and some less than calm exchanges occurring.


However, all of this serves as a prequel to the point of this blog post. The events of the last week or so have got me thinking about why I am on Twitter, and what keeps me here. Twitter is an evolving platform, not just the platform itself, but our own experiences of it, with new users having a very limited view that normally grows as we use it. It is what I have experienced during this growth that makes me appreciate Twitter. I may be outside of the norm, but my view of Twitter does not align that strongly with my own political views. Some of my favourite people to interact with on Twitter, come from very different backgrounds, and politics, to my own. But that is why I enjoy being here, because I get to interact with people I would be highly unlikely to come across in the real world. These people have taught me a huge amount, and I hope I have helped them learn something as well. They have taught me about things as diverse as cooking, feminism, farming, rugby league, and many other things around politics and society that I can’t put into single words.


However we have been seeing a number of issues on Twitter lately. Though I think these issues are imposed by both its own platform created limits, such as 140 characters, some are caused by  the limits of written English. Twitter can be useful as a place for both those with similar views to rally around the issues that matter to them, but also for those from differing points of view to come together and learn from each other. but, like any place of social gathering Twitter depends on people being willing and able to engage in meaningful dialogue, though this is not always going to happen. However I have learnt that Twitter has a lot more to offer me if I do my best to engage with others in a polite manner. Yes Twitters issues are big, but they are not unique to the platform, and the fact that they are causing friction should be making us think about how the platform is highlighting issues that exist else where, and not try to pin the blame for the issues on the platform. We need to stop blaming Twitter, or whatever other social media platform, for the issues that are occurring and realise that the issues are deeper seated, and we all need to do what we can to look more critically at our own, and others actions, but we also need to be kinder in how we articulate those criticisms. The power of the platform is immense, be that for good, or for bad.


I know this has been a bit of a random ramble, but I think Twitter offers to many positives for us to throw it all away! Lets all try and make NZ Twitter a nicer place, where we can all learn from each other! And have some fun and laughs at the same time!



Labour, TPPA Benefits and sources

As we all know, we woke up this morning to the news that the TPPA had been agreed in Atlanta, Georgia. It is well known that this deal does not enjoy bi-partisan support. However, for the intents of this post, that is all by the by. What I want to talk about is the graphic that Labour are using to call into question the benefits of the TPPA. They have posted the same graphic on both Facebook and Twitter:

labour dotsNew_Zealand_Labour_on_Twitter___National_promised_the_TPP_would_bring_great_economic_benefits__Really__It_will_be_worth_less_than_1__of_GDP_by_2030__http___t_co_KskCRTO6d0_

There are two, interrelated, issues that I have with the graphic. Firstly, there are no actual numbers telling you what the projected New Zealand GDP in 2030 is, nor what the projected gains, in $ terms, of the TPPA is. One user on Twitter has already called  their graphic into questions.


However, this is where the bigger issue I have with the graphic raises it’s head. Once again a political party has produced a graphic, with very specific numbers being used, and they have not cited the source of the figures or information. This means that it is impossible to know if the Labour graphic, or Goody Wuthrie’s graphic display the correct relationship.


A graphic they posted earlier today has a source for the quote they used:


So it isn’t like they never do it.


Now before anyone says I am just picking on Labour over this, I will also make the same comment about this graphic from John Key’s account this morning:


This isn’t the first time I have raised this issue either, if parties really want to lift the level of debate in New Zealand, a simple place they could start is by including the source of information in their graphics, or at least in the text that goes with them.



Goody Wuthrie has confirmed what his redo of the Labour graphic shows.


Absence of members, social media and Privileges

Early last year, before the election, there were a number of stories in the media about MPs use of social media in and around the house. This resulted in the Privileges Committee announcing a review of social media use in Parliament.  The main driver behind the discussion was the use of social media by opposition parties to attack the speaker. However, the wider debate was concerned with the question of do Speakers Rulings and Standing Orders apply to the use of social media by MPs.


Well it looks like there are still questions around that. It isn’t clear if Privileges has reported back yet, but MPs are still doing things on social media that I suspect are in breach, or very close to being in breach, of certain standing orders.


Firstly, lets take a look at Standing Orders. (p. 27)

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Young Nats, Greens and the Rugby World Cup

Young Nats Facebook page

Earlier today the Greens objected to David Seymour introducing legislation that would create a blanket allowance for pubs to open, and serve alcohol during early morning matches from the Rugby World Cup this year.


Needless to say, there are those who are trying to make political gain out of this. One of the first that I have come across, at least from part of a political party, is the Young Nats. Around 6:30pm they posted the following graphic: Young Nats Facebook page


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