So far this year we have already seen a failed attempt by Kim Dot Com to launch his political party, after having it pointed out that his plans to hold a party might breach electoral law. Coming up on Thursday we have the relaunch of the Internet Party.
In preparation for this second attempt to launch the Internet Party, I was getting ready to capture tweets sent by the new InternetPartyNZ twitter account, and tweets sent to the #internetparty hashtag. The initial run of the script captured 1158 tweets, of which 580 of them were unique tweets.
What I found most interesting about the data was some of the people who appeared in the list of people most featured in the captured tweets.
But first some background. Around the time of the first attempt to launch the party it was revealed that Alastair Thompson, one of the founders and editor of scoop.co.nz, was involved as the General Secretary of the yet to be formed party. It was obvious to many that the roles of political party General Secretary and editor of a media organisation that was member of the Press Gallery were not compatible. This resulted in Alastair resigning his role resigning his role as editor and CEO of Scoop, 9 days later he resigned his role as General Secretary.
6 days after that, the NZ Herald ran a story about Alastair wanting to get involved again in the running of Scoop. In the last 10 days, he has authored at least two stories on the Scoop.co.nz website (see screen grab left).
So you might be asking why all of this background on Alastair Thompson? I will let the data do the talking. Below is a table of all the tweets from @althecat from 0800GMT 23 March till just after 0800GMT on 24 March. So in the space of just over 24 hours we have Alastair tweeting or retweeting 9 tweets to the #internetparty hashtag. Most of the tweets are either positive towards the party, or cryptic. 3 of them come from the new General Secretary of the Internet Party and 3 come from Kim Dot Com.
This raises the question around Alastair’s on going ability to function as an impartial journalist. It is already publicly known that he has been involved in the party, there is now evidence that he still sympathetic to the cause of the Internet Party. Will he be using his position at scoop to support them?
|althecat||RT @vikram_nz: Exhausted but happy that #InternetParty squared the circle for member sign-up: met NZ electoral law and Apple’s App Store ru…||Mon Mar 24 08:14:39 +0000 2014||http://twitter.com/althecat/statuses/448009986824622080|
|althecat||“A vehicle for young and disaffected NZers to storm the political institutions of Wellington” #nzpol #InternetParty http://t.co/fLKcAyacZH||Sun Mar 23 08:03:23 +0000 2014||http://twitter.com/althecat/statuses/447644764179939328|
|althecat||RT @KimDotcom: #InternetParty News: Dotcom claims first Member of Parliament http://t.co/xDcRaB00lV||Sun Mar 23 08:04:54 +0000 2014||http://twitter.com/althecat/statuses/447645147606429696|
|althecat||RT @KimDotcom: I want YOU for the #InternetParty. http://t.co/Zt94bFHLPc||Sun Mar 23 08:05:43 +0000 2014||http://twitter.com/althecat/statuses/447645350942089216|
|althecat||RT @vikram_nz: Tomorrow should be interesting #InternetParty||Sun Mar 23 08:06:33 +0000 2014||http://twitter.com/althecat/statuses/447645560275628032|
|althecat||RT @KimDotcom: Herald on Sunday editorial: Openness, not shock and awe #InternetParty http://t.co/ndj37peY6L||Sun Mar 23 08:36:53 +0000 2014||http://twitter.com/althecat/statuses/447653195636932609|
|althecat||RT @callumvalentine: Excited and proud to announce my involvement with the #InternetParty – I’m managing the SM side of things. Going to b…||Sun Mar 23 08:37:50 +0000 2014||http://twitter.com/althecat/statuses/447653433420427264|
|althecat||RT @CDeutschm: Has #johnbanks and the #internetparty struck a #deal?||Sun Mar 23 08:38:33 +0000 2014||http://twitter.com/althecat/statuses/447653616640212992|
|althecat||RT @vikram_nz: Why I’m happy working for the #InternetParty – we won’t let USA write NZ’s laws http://t.co/ZfWUvmdG10||Sun Mar 23 08:39:59 +0000 2014||http://twitter.com/althecat/statuses/447653977438425088|