Posted by Daily Quail
November 2nd, 2009
In my last post I looked at the effect controversial comments under articles on MailOnline might have on the brands advertised next to them. A number of advertisers had expressed concerns that unmoderated comments on the newspaper’s website might lead to issues with ads appearing alongside offensive comments. O2’s head of online marketing commented:
There’s always the risk with user content that our brand advertising may appear next to a comment we may not agree with or like. In the Mail Online example, we would want to understand the controls the media owner is giving to users of the forum so inappropriate content can be reported. If we’re satisfied with the processes then it’s likely we would consider advertising.
Currently the majority of comment sections on MailOnline remain at least partially moderated, yet, somehow, inappropriate content still seems to be slipping through. But have things improved since the last time we looked at the issue, when a torrent of xenophobic messages were left underneath a story about Asda stocking Asian inspired clothing? To find out, let’s look at today’s article about a man who died of asphyxiation after being trapped in a cramped and airless HGV compartment (thanks to Five Chinese Crackers for highlighting this).
Bear in mind that all comments appearing under this story have been pre-moderated (i.e., checked in advance by a MailOnline employee to ensure nothing ‘defamatory, malicious, threatening, false, misleading, offensive, abusive, discriminatory, harassing, blasphemous or racist‘ gets through) . The article was published at some point before 6.30 PM, at which time these 13 comments were publicly visible. At the time of writing (11.30 PM), the following comments were the highest rated:
If these are the highest rated, and thus most visible, comments, how does that reflect upon the “controls” and “processes” used by MailOnline to prevent “inappropriate content” appearing? Other comments not shown above include:
I down, How many millions to go????
1 down and quite a few to go yet.
One less for us to worry about,
Is there a theme emerging? Yes, I think there is. This one sums it up:
One less to support for life.
while this one is more concerned about the cost of disposing of the fellow human being’s body
No doubt this country will be liable for disposing of his corpse.Dead and still costing us cash!
Even death is not enough to placate this pleasant chap’s distaste for asylum seekers.
Now seems like a good time to remind ourselves again that all of these comments ‘have been moderated in advance‘. Someone at Northcliffe House looked at the above comments and decided, ‘Yes, these are fine. Not just dismissing, or ignoring, or joking about, but celebrating the death of another human being is just fine with us. There is no conceivable way our readers and advertisers would find these comments defamatory, malicious, threatening, false, misleading, offensive, abusive, discriminatory, harassing, blasphemous or racist. They are perfectly suitable for publication.’
This also seems like an appropriate point to remember what the MD of planning and buying agency Diffiniti said before:
Advertisers need to be sure they’re in a suitable environment.
Currently, M&S, Channel 4, uSwitch, Zanussi, Kingsmill, Kaleidoscope, Barclays, Anglian Home Improvements, Axa PPP, American Express, Aviva, Job Centre Plus, Weight Watchers, O2, BMW, DFS, Virgin Media, Radisson Blu, Oral B, Kodak, Sainsburys, and RAC, all have display advertisments served to the page on which the above comments are hosted. Their brands appear alongside not just one comment reacting with glee to the death of an asylum seeker, but thirteen. In over five hours not a single comment has been published pointing out the tragedy of the case. The closest we get to sympathy is ‘Shame but I would be a hypocrit [sic] if I said I was sorry!’.
It seems unlikely, however, that not a single reader has not expressed any shred of humanity in reaction to the story. Not all Mail readers are cold-blooded bigots. Some would surely have left comments expressing horror at the miserable circumstances of the man’s death, sorrow for his passing, and shock at fellow commenters heartless remarks. So where are these comments? If thirteen frankly contemptable responses are waved through unedited, I cannot understand where the rest might have gone and how MailOnline can operate such lax controls on its own website. It almost seems as if, not only is “inappropriate content” appearing quite freely, but appropriate content is being suppressed. Whether this is because of technical or editorial reasons is unclear.
I am left wondering how many of the companies listed above, if they were aware of the lack of control MailOnline appears to have over its own readers, would be comfortable with their brand appearing alongside commenters celebrating the death of a man from asphyxiation? Would anyone regard that as a “suitable environment”?
Categories: Immigration, Media |
Posted by Merk
October 19th, 2009
The following post was orignially posted at Deeplyflawedbuttrying’s Blog and reproduced here with kind permission.
Jan Moir? Is this article really that bad?
So I read the article by Jan Moir, about the death of Stephen Gately. The thing I dont understand, is the absolute shock it appears to have caused.
Daily Mail publishes hateful, homophobic shit, callously exploiting the death of one person, to strengthen its hate towards a section of the public it despises? Its a bit like the Kate Moss ‘Supermodel does cocaine shocker’. Do the people who are shocked not read the Daily Mail?
When Rachel Ward died, Amanda Platell published one her hateful pieces. She outright stated that complete responsibility for the girls death, was with Ms.Wards friends. Before Miss Ward was buried, she outright accused Haydn Johnson, a friend of Miss Wards, of causing her death by ignoring an answering machine message(that apparently only existed in Ms.Platell’s head), pleaing for help. The only mitigation for Mr.Johnson, in her article, was the insinuation that Ms’Ward had caused her own death by engaging in immoral behaviour(well she had been drinking!). She attempted to be sympathetic to the girls grieving parents, by telling them not only was she empathetic to the plight of losing their daughter, but to their plight of losing their daughter after she dissapointed their middle class, moral upbringing, by abandoning any moral framework they had instilled, by becoming everything that was wrong with modern women. Which she helpfully illustrated with pictures of Ms.Ward, having fun, while she was alive. The story was removed from the site, after the father of her grieving friend, made a complaint to the PCC. Which did not result in apology from the Mail, but did result in removal of said article.
A Daily Mail columnist is salivating over someones death, willing to lie about them, to illustrate the breakdown of society -done before. Must be something else causing the shock? The homophobia in the article?
I instruct you to go to the Daily Mail website, read as they fight the corner of everyone who has ever been chastised for trying to mainating a status quo, where gay means ‘unnatural’. Go read Melanie Phillips tell you that gay rights, undermines marriage as an institution. Or Amanda Platell dismiss anyone who objects to not being able to pursue their life, without their sexuality used as a reason to exclude them from society, as a ‘gay zealot’. Read as they champion the people who refuse to bow down to hard won legislation, to prevent sexuality automatically meaning a presumption of immorality.
Maybe people rarely notice venom that isnt spouted at them? Are there any other groups who the Daily Mail hates? Lets look outside Jan Moirs current article- we have this recent wet dream of a Daily Mail headline. Narcissistic I may be, and therefore sensitive to the Daily Mails take on single parents. But seriously, there is no shortage of material.
Although, I was one of the Mails target ‘most wanted’ before my marriage ended, as a working mother. Helpfully told by ‘Femail’ that me choosing to work, was going to damage my child, and was ultimately responsible for the fracturing of our society into immoral little pieces. Oh wait, even before motherhood- the Mail didnt much like me. Type Rape, into the search engine of the Daily Mail, and read how they have interpreted the painfully inadequate framework of rape legislation, which has produced a 5% successful prosecution rate for rape. Lists of vitriolic stories, of girls who ‘cry rape’, and the heartbreaking consequences of women reporting such a piffling little thing.
Thank fuck am not black. The biggest bane of the Daily Mails existence is the fact that the BNP are so despised that they cant come outright and say they support them. Instead they have to treat ‘foul’ as a contested term, by placing it in inverted commas, while juxtaposing it against the revelation that the BNP have opened their membership to ‘non white members’.
With editorial about how the indigenous british people(read white, for indigenous) are constantly under threat, not just from the constant threat of immigration, but by being persecuted and not represented by british institutions. The very presence of people in the world who may have a different religion is alarming. The only time the Daily Mail champions the right of any woman, is to show how terrible those muslim types are- look at how they treat women who have children? Further evidence of this threat is shown, when we see how unfairly people who only want the right to be racist, are being treated.
So who is safe from the Daily Fail? Children? Well, children are safe if they are nice middle class children. But even then the Daily Mail isnt above causing them pain, and humiliation, in the course of a good story, as long as they can attack one of their other despised groups of people, in the process. Here is the transcript of an article the paper had to take down, where they stood a page size picture of a named eleven year old girl, alongside a feature about how her mother didnt love her. The feature was designed to illicit public reaction against her ‘unnatural mother’- the fact that an 11 year old girl was deeply humiliated, surely ok, because the end justifies the means? Feral children anyone, or maybe you just want to starve and hiss at the mothers? The Fail doesnt mind condemning children, if they are outside the nice white, heterosexual, christian, middle class dystopia they would like us to believe once existed, and will again.
Cries of ‘complain to the PCC’ have abounded, since the publication of Moirs article. Again, while admirable, am not entirely sure what people believe this will do. Have been complaining to the PCC for years about the homophobic, racist, hate mongering shit, this vile rag publishes- and it achieves nothing.
This may be the cry of a jaded left wing ranter, with an over developed sense of justice, and handwringing tendencies. But it is true, complaining to the PCC achieves nothing. The media is powerful, we know that the the editorial content of your average newspaper, affects more than the people involved in the article.-But unless its exceptional circumstances, your complaint about an article, not directly about you, will be binned. THe Chair of the PCC is Paul Dacre, for gods sake. Paul Dacre being the editor of er…The Daily Mail.
I would like to end this post, with a sense of ‘we must do something about this’- I certainly would prefer my journalists held accountable for constistently spreading vile homophobic, racist, mysogynistic shit- but there are few avenues to go down. We could do as this facebook group suggests and go straight to the advertising revenue that allows this shitrag to be published. Indeed, Marks and Spencer have withdrawn advertising on the grounds of the Moir article. But seriously, take action yourself. Stop buying this shit. Dont accept the flawed, bigoted premises, that underpin their editorial.
And for fucks sake, stop kidding yourself that this Jan Moir article is some kind of abhorration, in an otherwise lovely newspaper. Yes, the Jan Moir article really was that bad. In the context of the normal editorial line of the Daily Mail, it really wasnt that unusual.
Categories: Guest Blog, Media, Sex & Sexuality |
Posted by Esqui
October 14th, 2009
By now, we are all used to the Mail’s celebrity obsessions. From Angelina Jolie to Natalie Cassidy, the paper never seems short of bitchy non-stories to print about them, simply in order to comment on the large, or short, size of their bodies, type of clothing and who they’re with. But there’s one person who is constantly featured in stories that is quite worrying: Suri Cruise.
Now it’s quite likely, if you don’t read the Mail, that you’ll have no idea who that is – though you may recognise the surname. Suri Cruise is the three-year-old daughter of actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. She’s famous for….being the three-year-old daughter of actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. And yet the Daily Mail sees fit to print pictures of her going about her everyday life on a regular basis.
A quick check on the Mail’s website would reveal 8 stories in the last 3 weeks alone (2 on the 12th October !), featuring such newsworthy stories as Suri playing hide and seek and a downright disturbing article inviting the reader to scrutinise the child’s ‘kitten heels’. In fact, using the Mail’s own “Explore Suri Cruise” (the irony of the page name is not lost on me) reveals that in her three years, Suri has been referred to in no fewer than 81 stories.
But surely it’s all innocent fun, right? After all, she’s only a kid – isn’t the Mail simply reporting on the frivolities of the daughter of two famous actors as she tries to go about a life within the shadow of her parents’ fame? Sometimes, this is true. A number of the stories are along the lines of “Doesn’t she look like her mother?”, such as here in what is, by the Mail’s standards, a rather reserved story about the girl. But those stories are generally outnumbered by the ones that focus on what Suri is wearing, complete with an unnecessary amount of pictures, some of which are in dubious taste. For example, you can almost hear the photographer calling out to a young woman just out of her teens: “Show us a bit of inside leg!” “Now let’s see you with something all over your face”. But Suri Cruise is not that. She’s not even of schooling age yet.
This highlights another area of Mail hypocrisy. Whilst the paper, in one breath, makes a story about this particular three-year-old wearing high heels and designer dresses – note the suggestive comment: “How soon will it be before she gets her first boyfriend?” – in the other breath, they are berating Heelarious high heels for young children for turning infants into sex objects. The fact is, they are in danger of turning Suri Cruise into exactly that. One can only assume that the intensity of the articles will increase as she gets older and closer to adulthood, when the stories will lose a little more reserve. Take a look at this story about Emma Watson published when she was just 17, or this article about Mick Jagger’s daughter, Gerorgia – again, 17.
And then there are sometimes stories which are inexcusable. Take a look at this. Is it really necessary to publish a story about a three year old girl bursting in to tears because she’s bored? To me, making ‘news’ out of pictures of a child in distress is far beyond what the Mail should be publishing.
But how much blame lies with the Mail itself? After all, do parents not have to give permission to have pictures of their children published? The Mail itself decries such a rule, presumably for this very reason. So, surely it would seem that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes would have to agree to the publication? Maybe so, but let’s not forget that the Mail is not taking these pictures, but merely buying them from an agency. In most cases, this is BigPicturesPhoto, a company that specialises in paparazzi photos. So while Cruise and Holmes may agree to allow them to use a certain set of photos about Suri, they’ve got no way of knowing what stories will pop up surrounding them. But it would seem that they don’t mind at all. Tom Cruise was quoted as saying, to the Australian Grazia magazine:
“’I have to say some of those paparazzi shots of my daughter are incredible. As a parent you protect your children but Suri is a very open and warm child and she will just wave to people on the street. She is such happy, fun girl. It is certainly different these days with the media, but people have been very good to us and do give us space so I am not going to be difficult”
Maybe it’s because I’m not used to a level of fame like Tom Cruise, but the level of material published about his child doesn’t strike me as the media being good to them and giving them space.
I suppose we should pay heed to the PCC code of conduct, which has guidelines on involving children in published material. Clause 6 (excluding paragraphs which refer exclusively to school pupils) states:
ii) A child under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents.
iv) Minors must not be paid for material involving children’s welfare, nor parents or guardians for material about their children or wards, unless it is clearly in the child’s interest.
v) Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life.
And under the section on privacy:
i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications. Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual’s private life without consent.
ii) It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in a private place without their consent.
Taking these as they’re written (and the commission, being mostly made up of those involved in the printed media would do exactly that), the Mail is technically doing nothing wrong. Clearly, they’ve managed to wedge themselves in a place where what they are doing is morally on rocky ground, but legally and under the PCC code of conduct, absolutely fine.
It seems even the readers are getting wise to it. Looking at the comments on the story about Suri bursting into tears, we have:
“maybe shes sick & tired of having her photograph taken for newspapers everyday !!!!!
- zoe, uk, 3/10/2009 14:43”
“This is getting weird, why is this family in the news virtually every day? Leave this little girl alone to have a childhood!
- Jenny, Dorset, 3/10/2009 13:00”
“PLEASE TAKE YOUR CAMERAS OUT OF HER FACE AND LEAVE THIS CHILD BE.
WHY ARE YOU STALKING HER?
- mark, Manchester, 3/10/2009 13:50”
But while the Mail publishes stories like this, they will get comments like this:
“If you don’t like Suri or don’t want to read about her, just don’t open this page and don’t comment on it, it’s just simple! no one force you to read. I want to see her picture because she’s the cute one delight me, nothing to do with her parents, and my friends like her too…that’s why i read about her all the time.
- wantMOREofSuri, Melbourne, 14/10/2009 15:17”
A spoof? Maybe. But is that likely to stop the Mail’s continuing search for ever-more-creepy stories about Suri Cruise? She may be the offspring of famous people, but she is still a three-year-old child having pictures of herself being printed almost daily, many of which invite readers to scrutinise her clothing and appearance. If this is the case, you have to fear for the kid’s future.
Categories: Media, News |
Posted by Daily Quail
September 14th, 2009
Last month, the Mail created a minor stir in the media industry by announcing that it would soon be introducing unmoderated comments under articles published on MailOnline. Most newspaper websites employ comment moderation in some form or another, checking comments before or after publication to weed out defamatory or libellous scribblings from armchair sages to protect both their own and their advertisers’ brand identities. Discriminatory, offensive, and inaccurate comments reflect badly on the content provider, regardless of whether or not the provider actually wrote them themself.
The announcement caused a bit of a fuss. Mark Trustum, director of e-commerce for Specsavers which advertises on MailOnline, said the firm would not continue to pay for advertising next to unmoderated, contraversial or offensive comments:
Unmoderated user content falls into this category and is a grey area for advertisers. It’s vitally important for us to protect our brand reputation and, therefore, as soon as we were made aware of any such content being present alongside our advertising we would immediately ask for our ad to be withdrawn.
Ben Wood, Managing Director of digital planning and buying agency (the guys who actually spend the money and buy advertising space for companies) Diffiniti agreed, saying he wouldn’t buy space for clients alongisde unmoderated comments. He explained succinctly:
Advertisers need to be sure they’re in a suitable environment.
A chorus of other media and advertising types (the people the Mail really cares about) echoed this sentiment; ad placement is a major issue in protecting brand identity. In May, Tesco and Vodafone pulled advertising from Facebook after ads were served on Holocaust denial and BNP group pages. More recently, advertisers deserted Glenn Beck’s rabid paranoid Fox News screamshow after he claimed Obama was ‘racist’. Why would any brand pay to associate itself with racism, xenophobia, and intolerance?
Why would, say, Marks & Spencer wish to advertise its Autograph Cotton Blend Trench Coat on a page that contains comments like ‘The islamic colonization of our country shows no sign of slowing down, infact [sic] it’s gathering pace as the tipping point approaches‘? Would uSwitch or Cotton Traders be happy to promote their services alongside bigoted rants such as this:
So, no patriotism allowed, no free-speech allowed, don’t mention the BNP, don’t complain about green-belt building to accommodate the influx, don’t dare say you’re a Christian, don’t complain that your local church is now a mosque, don’t be alarmed if your local town now looks like Islamabad. For Gawd’s sake, is there no end to the destruction of Englishness? When I shop in an English shop, I want to see English things ?
Unless their target market consists solely of angry xenopbobic white people, I doubt they’d be too pleased to see their brand on the same page as such bizarre outpourings of racially motivated bile.
Aside from advertising, another distinct part of the marketing mix is public relations. PR companies often send press releases to newspapers and magazines announcing new products or services in the hope of some free publicity. For example, Asda have just launched a new Asian inspired clothes range in selected stores, and you can see the resulting PR trail here. It’s not a hugely interesting story, so most newspapers have limited their articles to a few lines, rewritten from the original press release. Here’s the Guardian’s piece and here is the BBC’s version. You can tell when an article is based on a press release because all of the quotes are the same, from the same people, and it mentions specific products like the ’sequinned embellished Salwaar Kameez (or traditional suit) along with pricing. Press releases are what’s known in industry circles as dull.
Things are a little different when it comes to the Mail, however. The article itself is nearly identical to all of the others, but the major difference is found in the comments. While most other versions of this press release found on other news sites either haven’t received any user comments or don’t even have a comment section available (because it’s a boring press release, what’s to say?), the Mail has notched up 120 comments at the time of writing – two of which I’ve already mentioned above.
120 comments on an article about some new trousers and a couple of dresses.
Now, bearing in mind that Asda’s own PR company have issued this press release to newspapers to generate a bit of interest and publicity around their new clothing range, and also remembering that comments on this particular article’s are premoderated, do you think Asda would be happy to promote their brand alongside comments such as:
Roll up roll up. !! Get your Prayer mats and korans here. Britainistan 2009.
why? there are enough asian clothes shops in the asian no go ghettos
Would a supermarket chain in Pakistan start stocking levi’s and wonderbras if it was the other way around? I wonder whether in a few years’ time we’ll be seeing people putting burkas in their shopping trolleys?
Why? When our local Asda often cannot supply organic milk and free-range chicken for their regular customers!
Notice especially ‘Britainistan’, apparently a witty reinterpretation of Mail columnist Melanie Phillips’ own creation ‘Londonistan’, the association of ‘asians’ and ‘ghettos’, that symbol of tyrannical Islamic oppression the burkha, and the lament for ‘regular customers’, which presumably excludes anyone from Asia and the Indian sub-continent. More, you say? Ok:
I have no objection to ethnic fashion, except on those streets of some of our major cities that have gone completely to the other extreme, stocking little with any appeal to the indigenous population. Wiltshire Resident [another, pro-Asda commenter]should try Bradford if she loves Asian Fashion. She may even feel completely at home there, apart from the fact that large parts look and feel like a foreign country.
Excellent use of the ‘If you love it so much, why don’t you go live there’ argument, alongside a swipe at multiculturalism, and (bingo!) inclusion of BNP buzzword ‘indigenous’. Ok, ok, one more:
Sorry, but isn’t ASDA aware of the existing social problem of Asians failing to integrate ? I believe that this is an ill conceived idea, as our Asian residents should be adopting western clothing as the norm whilst living in the UK.
Ah, the imaginary bugbear of any self-respecting racist, social integration. Because Asians are clearly a problem group when it comes to integrating into British culture as, say, Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara), Konnie Huq, Dev Patel, Amir Khan, Melanie Sykes, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Meera Syal, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Cliff Richard (really!), James Caan (previously Khan), Sanjeev Bhaskar, Monty Panesar, Parminder Nagra, Nasser Hussein, Shobna Gulati, and several million more could testify (apologies to those I may have missed). Bonus points given for calling for ultra authoritarian legislation on foreign residents’ clothing – Asian residents should be forced to wear ‘Western clothing’, whatever that might be precisely. Jeans, probably. Very British.
To their (perhaps dubious) credit, the Mail did simply rehash Asda’s press release just like all the other newspapers, without adding any of their own editorial bias. But to vet, approve and publish comments such as the above is irresponsible at best, and must surely worry companies such as Asda, M&S, and uSwitch, whose brands appear next to poorly informed readers’ bile. Asda, especially, must be worried that a perfectly innocuous press release could be so utterly twisted by commenters, not only to be used as an excuse to express vile, reactionary comments about indigenous this and integration that, but also a reason for a number of commenters to announce an immediate boycott of the store altogether.
Bloggers are all too aware of the onorous responsibility they bear not just for their own posts, but for the comments that appear beneath them. Anyone who writes on the web must accept that, thanks to British libel laws, what’s written by others but hosted by you is your responsibility. If some anonymous commenter libels somebody else, and the target is of a litigious nature, they won’t go after the commenter, they’ll probably sue you.
Most newspapers are aware of this too, and take care to add clauses such as ‘The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.‘ The Mail also have two whole pages of House Rules and Terms & Conditions, forbidding ‘defamatory, malicious, threatening, false, misleading, offensive, abusive, discriminatory, harassing, blasphemous or racist‘ comments. Presumably, then, the comments quoted previously are none of the above, and are perfectly acceptable. But, while they may not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline, I can’t help but wonder whether or not advertisers feel that they create a ’suitable environment’ for brand building.
Categories: Immigration, Media |
Posted by Tim Ireland
September 10th, 2009
Hi, folks! I’m quietly readying myself for a return to the blogosphere, but I just got this wind of this via an anonymous tip, and it seemed to be an ideal warm-up exercise:
Do you remember Julie Moult? You should; it was her idiocy that finally got me fired up enough to get our little group of Daily Mail watchers together here at Daily Mail Watch.
Here’s Our Julie’s latest scoop, and it’s whopper.
Demi snubs Sarah the Twitter fan and ignores her message
By Julie Moult
Her contacts book may be bursting at the seams, but it appears not everybody wants to get to know Sarah Brown. The Prime Minister’s wife has successfully wooed U.S. socialite Paris Hilton, supermodel Naomi Campbell and America’s First Lady Michelle Obama. However, Demi Moore seems rather less interested. In fact, the Hollywood actress has just delivered the internet equivalent of the cold shoulder…
Miss Moore and her husband Anton Kutcher were among the first celebrities to help make Twittering an international craze. So who better to help Mrs Brown publicise a book documenting the plight of women in the developing world? On Tuesday afternoon a series of Tweets popped up on Miss Moore’s page from Mrs Brown’s Twitter account telling the actress to ‘Spread the word (in the U.S.A)!’ that ‘Half The Sky by Nicholas Kristoff & Sheryl WuDunn comes out 2day’. The response from Miss Moore? Very little, apart from a nonplussed silence. In terms of Twitter etiquette, it’s rather like being ignored at a social function.
(read full article)
This absurd and pointless pop at the PM’s wife would have earned a place on Daily Mail Watch regardless of what I’m about to reveal, as Demi Moore (mrskutcher) has just under TWO MILLION followers on Twitter, and it absurd to suggest that any failure to respond to any tweet sent her way is a ’snub’, as anyone with over a few hundred followers (*cough*) will readily tell you.
But it gets better… hold onto your sides:
Sarah Brown (SarahBrown10) did not tweet an RT (re-tweet) appeal at Demi Moore; quite the opposite, in fact.
It all started when Demi Moore posted the original message:
Half The Sky by Nicholas Kristoff & Sheryl WuDunn comes out 2day- http://bit.ly/AaNkX Amazing & inspiring book !
(mrskutcher: 11:25 AM Sep 8th from TweetDeck )
About half an hour later, Demi Moore then RTed this response after being alerted to the idea that she should include some sort of RT appeal in her message:
Spread the word! RT @GTproductions: Just bot it! RT Half The Sky by Nicholas Kristoff & Sheryl WuDunn comes out 2day- http://bit.ly/AaNkX
(mrskutcher: 11:40 AM Sep 8th from TweetDeck )
Then Sarah Brown kindly responded to that appeal, with this, which is clearly an RT of Demi Moore’s second tweet on the subject:
RT @mrskutcher Spread the word (in the USA)! RT @GTproductions: RT Half The Sky by Nicholas Kristoff & Sheryl WuDunn comes out 2day-
(SarahBrown10: 1:51 PM Sep 8th from web)
She has added “in the USA!”, but this is in brackets (standard etiquette for comments in RTs) and either way the message begins with a dirty great ‘RT’ followed Demi Moore’s account name. Even if Julie Moult had only seen this single tweet by Sarah Brown, if she knew anything about Twitter she should have immediately recognised it as an RT by Sarah Brown in response to an appeal from Demi Moore.
Further, while she actually managed/bothered to conduct enough research to scan Demi Moore’s Twitter page for any ‘response’ to Sarah Brown’s ‘appeal’, she failed to recognise that what she was looking at was the original tweet and appeal:
On Tuesday afternoon a series of Tweets popped up on Miss Moore’s page from Mrs Brown’s Twitter account telling the actress to ‘Spread the word (in the U.S.A)!’ that ‘Half The Sky by Nicholas Kristoff & Sheryl WuDunn comes out 2day’.
You could tweet a million messages at Demi Moore, but nothing would not turn up on her Twitter page unless she tweeted it herself. There’s also the minor matter of Sarah Brown’s tweet being published some three hours after Demi Moore’s, but a certain someone had difficulty wrapping her brain around that, too. And yet here she is writing as if she’s some sort of authority on Twitter, while portraying Sarah Brown as an outcast and wannabe.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call an Epic Iain Dale.
To paraphrase Our Julie, in terms of Twitter etiquette, it’s rather like grabbing the wrong end of the foot and sticking it in your mouth. Or something like that.
Julie Moult is an idiot. Fact.
If the Daily Mail are going to continue to employ her, they should probably go back to checking her work.
Postscript: The only ‘Julie Moult’ on Twitter is jem1973, who currently has 6 followers and only follows this feed from a rival newspaper. (Not that I’m judging anyone… over anything but their idiocy.)
Categories: Media |
Posted by Daily Quail
July 21st, 2009
The Daily Mail resides in a terrifying alternate reality. In this dark and hopeless place, decent middle-class folk are surrounded by pernicious subliminal messages of hate designed to brainwash them into murdering, maiming, pillaging and setting fire to each other. The inhabitants of this world have no control over their actions; sinister forces fill their tiny minds with sex and violence and, inevitably, they succumb to the evils of the media induced orgy of societal destruction.
With predictable regularity, The Mail has clutched at its pearls and warned readers of the impending apocalypse every time a new movie, video game or book is released that contains depictions of sex and violence. A few years ago, Chris Tookey, the Mail’s resident film critic (who, bizarrely, appears to despise almost every movie ever made) described Eli Roth’s Hostel as ‘the most revoltingly violent pornography ever to have polluted mainstream cinema’ under a headline that hooted ‘Disgusting! Dangerous! Degrading!‘ from behind its chintz covered sofa.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but for The Mail it isn’t enough to simply dislike something. If The Mail doesn’t get on with something, be it immigrants, the BBC, teh gays, or that Twitter, it must be presented as harmful, or at the very least, a symbol of moral decay. Think what you will of Hostel (and I, for the record, don’t particularly like it), but blaming any film for creating ‘a desensitised generation’ that ’sees nothing wrong with torture and mutilation’ is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps I’m too jaded to be affected by it, but Psycho doesn’t make me want to murder hotel guests in the shower and Goodfellas didn’t convince me that it’s acceptable to shoot barmen who ignore me.
The Mail’s alternate reality was similarly shaken by the Grand Theft Auto franchise which was blamed variously for stabbings, arson and even sexual assault – despite being lauded by the very same newspaper as a 5-star ‘epic’. The Dark Knight was linked to knife crime and the corruption of Britain’s children, while Korean cult classic Oldboy, it was decided, was entirely to blame for the Virginia Tech massacre. The fact that the gunman was a twisted, gun-obsessed maniac before seeing the film had nothing to do with it, naturally.
All of the above cases shared one common element: you had to actually see the offending films or games before your mind exploded in a fit of sick filth induced spasmic doublethink. Now, it seems it is not necessary to actually experience the gratuitous screen sin for your soul to be defiled, as broad-minded Christopher Hart explains in The Mail’s newest jolt of celluloid condemnation:
You do not need to see Lars von Trier’s Antichrist to know how revolting it is.
I haven’t seen it myself, nor shall I…merely reading about Antichrist is stomach-turning, and enough to form a judgment.
As Ernest Hemingway said of obscenity in a justifiably disgusting image, you don’t need to eat a whole bowl of scabs to know they’re scabs.
Hart finds himself able to discuss a film he hasn’t even seen, moved presumably by the sheer potency of the vile images contained in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist to a shamanic state of higher consciousness where he…just…knows…things. Nightmarish things.
After ruining the plot by revealing the beginning, middle and end of the film (just so even if you did want to go see it, there’s no point), he lambasts the British Board of Film Classification for giving Antichrist an 18 certificate, thereby granting it a release in this country. ‘As we all know’, he intones, ‘this is meaningless in the age of the DVD because sooner or later any film that is given general release will be seen by children.’ For Hart, this film he hasn’t even seen should never be seen, by anyone, anywhere, because he’s heard it’s wrong. Hilariously, his article is shrilly titled: ‘What DOES it take for a film to get banned these days?’. Well, I would assume actually watching it would be a good first step Mr. Hart.
Hart, who describes himself as a ‘libertarian’, goes on to implicate the unseen horrors of Antichrist in Islamic extremism:
It doesn’t shock or surprise me in the slightest that Europe now produces such pieces of sick, pretentious trash, fully confirming our jihadist enemies’ view of us as a society in the last stages of corruption and decay.
Before adding wearily that it’s all the fault of those bladdy Danes wot live where that von Trier sicko comes from:
It doesn’t surprise me that Antichrist was heavily subsidised by the Danish Film Institute to the tune of 1.5 million euros.
Can you see where this is going? Sick film that will break Britain, made by a Danish director with Danish money, Denmark is a European country, we pay taxes that go to Europe…ohmigod, this disgusting movie is being forced upon us by that great Satan, the EU!!1!
I tried to find out more from the Institute, but to my small surprise they disdained to reply. But you can be sure that they in turn are funded by the EU and so by my taxes – and yours.
Yes, you can be sure that your tax pennies are funding this sort of abomination because of the EU, and because Christopher Hart rang the Danish film institute because he’s a real journalist and stuff. He may not have been able to find the time or inclination to watch Antichrist but at least he did some background research, right?
Well, perhaps not quite right. We contacted the Danish Film Institute and asked whether they had any record of a Christopher Hart attempting ‘to find out more’. The DFI said that they have no record of any email enquiries from Christopher Hart to their enquiries address and no record of any member of staff speaking to him. They did acknowledge that they are large organisation of over 100 employees, many of whom are currently on summer vacation, so there is a chance his correspondence was missed – but then, if we could get hold of someone there, it can’t be that difficult.
The very pleasant and helpful member of staff (who replied to us only a couple of hours after we asked for exactly the same information Hart claims he requested) also cleared up some issues regarding the DFI’s funding. The DFI is in fact funded by the Danish government through the Ministry of Culture as regulated by the Film Act 1997. Not the EU. They were even so kind as to provide documentation detailing exactly where the money comes from and how it is used (PDF)
An interesting figure worth noting is on page 8 which reveals that, in fact, the DFI only contributed 13.9% of Antichrist’s budget. The DFI also gave us a link to the Film Act of 1997 that sets out the framework for funding Danish film. For those of you interested in the finer legal details of the Danish Ministry of Culture’s working, it’s here.
Following Hart’s tirade against the big bad EU giving money to big bad Danish directors to make depraved violent pornography, he asks plaintively:
How do you feel about that? If not shocked, then weary, furious, disgusted? Well you can complain all you like, but no one is listening. Our arts mandarins, along with the rest of our lofty liberal elite, don’t work like that.
Quite. Here’s another question: How do you feel about a journalist pontificating on the evils of a film he hasn’t seen, making inaccurate claims about its funding, conducting zero research, and laying blame for his lack of evidence at the feet of what is actually a very open, helpful organisation? Does it shock, weary, infuriate and disgust you? Well? Does it? You can complain all you like, but chances are the editor isn’t listening.
Some bonus Antichrist links, courtesy of the good people at the DFI:
DFI Film Magazine
DFI Web Magazine
Categories: Media |
Tags: antichrist, film, openly ignorant, review | 44 Comments