Analysing the weekend’s extraordinary Twitter storm targeting LAB Deputy Leader, Tom Watson

Analysing the weekend’s extraordinary Twitter storm targeting LAB Deputy Leader, Tom Watson

One cultist alone sent 613 Tweets

There’s a great analysis published overnight on the tech site, GizmodoUK on the extraordinary effort over the weekend against Labour’s elected deputy leader, Tom Watson.

This is from the site’s analysis:

“In the hour from 7pm-8pm, including retweets, 29,844 #ResignWatson tweets were sent. Excluding retweets, there was 6149 unique tweets sent in the space of an hour.

Over the course of the entire 32-ish hour timeframe that the hashtag existed, 89,373 tweets were sent including retweets, or 74,745 once you exclude retweets.

What’s perhaps important though is the number of unique people using the hashtag: For slightly misleading context, as of January 2018, Labour reportedly had around 552,000 members.

According to our research, this tweetstorm involved 12,195 unique twitter accounts which seems… actually quite impressive. Though to be clear and tediously reiterate again, there are an absolute shedloads of health warning on comparing these two numbers: Namely that there’s no way to know how many people using the hashtag are members (Corbyn does appear to have significant support on even further left, among people who are members of the various Communist parties and the like). And of course, as previously noted, some tweets on the hashtag were supportive or neutral of Watson. So measuring the depth of feeling is pretty much impossible…”

This is how it broke down by the hour – chart from Gizmodo.

Inevitably, Russian bots became involved.

The fact that this can be achieved so quickly is now part of the social media world in which we live. So far Mr. Watson remains and as I pointed out yesterday he was elected in a members’ ballot and has a personal mandate. There is very little that Corbynistas can do about it.

The great thing is that it is possible to carry out analysis like this which allows us to put it into context.

Mike Smithson

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