Following the first televised leaders’ debate between Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson, the Conservatives were accused of misleading the public when they rebranded their official Twitter account as a “fact checking” service.
The account live-tweeted the debate and took aim at several of Corbyn’s statements, before eventually (and unsurprisingly) crowning Boris Johnson the winner of the debate. But people were left uncomfortable by the clear attempt to appear like an impartial fact-checking service.
After the social media tactics caused widespread outrage, Dominic Raab went on TV to defend the move.
Yes, that’s the same Dominic Raab that forgot Britain was an Island.
In typically logical form, Raab proclaimed that people don’t care about social media.
I knock on doors every day
No one gives a toss about the social media cut and thrust. What they care about is the substance of the issues, and of course there's a huge amount of scepticism about the claims of all politicians.
Raab said the aim of the Conservative campaign was to rebut what he described as "nonsense" put out by Labour, continuing:
It matters that we have an instant rebuttal.
Because we want to make it clear that we're holding Labour to account for the nonsense that they systematically and serially put out in relation to Conservatives.
In response, Labour said what the Conservative press office had done was a "scam" that showed the party could not be trusted in government. Twitter also later issued a statement saying it would take action if the party tried a similar stunt again.
People on social media weren’t having any of Raab’s explanation either.
Disinformation has been a huge topic of concern for social media users. The deliberate spreading of fake news has been identified as a contributing factor to the election of president Trump and the result of 2016’s Brexit vote.
Raab is also known for blocking his critics on social media, so clearly at the very least he cares about the "cut and thrust" enough to do so.
But aside from that, if no one cares about social media, then why even bother having a presence there in the first place?