Scram News readers will be aware by now that the Conservative Party tried (and spectacularly failed) to dupe the general public during the ITV leaders debate yesterday evening.
In short, the Conservative Campaign HQ changed the name of its account to “factcheckUK,” in an attempt to appear like an impartial, credible fact checking service.
Most people have reacted with horror and condemnation, but the Tories have tried to brush their actions aside. James Cleverly, chairman of the Conservatives, took to the BBC last night to claim that it was obvious the account was still operated by the Tories, since it still had “CCHQ” in the handle (as though the majority of people know what that means).
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also took to the airwaves this morning to defend the incident – charmingly saying that most people “don’t give a toss” about the cut and thrust of social media.
Others, however have set about demonstrating just how pernicious the Conservatives’ actions were. Take this tweet, for example:
It comes from a Boris Johnson parody account, yet in many ways it looks real. The account uses the Conservative logo, its name is “CCHQ Press”, and its handle features the name of the Prime Minister.
Many people reacting to the post say they were fooled, which seems to have been the point. It shows that political parties can’t just go around pretending to be something they are not.
If that happens, the whole concept of trust in politics will disintegrate. As Emily Maitlis pointed out last night, social media will become a misinformation “dystopia”.
It’s true that we need regulations to stop this from happening, but we also need politicians to stop manipulating and lying to win votes. Is that too much to ask?