UK Tories under fire for Twitter name switch during debate

UK Tories under fire for Twitter name switch during debate

UK Tories under fire for Twitter name switch during debate

Twitter has threatened to take "corrective action" against Boris Johnson's Conservative Party after the party rebranded one of its official Twitter accounts as an independent fact-checking service during the first televised general election debate.

Its Twitter handle remained the same and it retained the blue tick - signalling that it is a verified account.

Black Mirror writer Charlie Brooker made a decision to mock the egregious and blatantly obvious trickery by changing his own Twitter profile, to the same Fact Check UK Branding, adding the tagline, "Fact checking and shit", while also tweeting a reference to George Orwell's 1984.

"I knock on doors every day", he said.

He noted that the words CCHQ were underneath the factcheckUK brand, and insisted: "No-one who looked at it for more than a split second would have been fooled".

Raab said the aim of the Conservative campaign was to rebut what he described as "nonsense" put out by Labour.

The account went on to make contentious statements presented as "facts" in response to things that Corbyn said during the debate.

And Mr Johnson himself has a history of allegedly lying, including in the 2016 campaign.

But a senior Labour politician said Twitter should have taken much stronger action.

He told LBC's James O'Brien: "Just been logged out of my Twitter account without explanation".

'To me, that would have been the better punishment'.

And Lib Dem education spokeswoman Layla Moran said in the "fast-moving" world of social media, many people would have been duped. "Doesn't sound to me like they like the competition". "Absolutely this needs to be reported to the Electoral Commission".

He said: 'The digital team have a remit.

An Electoral Commission spokesman said: "While we do not have a role in regulating election campaign content, we repeat our call to all campaigners to undertake their vital role responsibly and to support campaigning transparency".

A spokesperson for the watchdog said said: "Voters are entitled to transparency and integrity from campaigners in the lead up to an election, so they have the information they need to decide for themselves how to vote".

Twitter has policies regarding deceptive behaviour on the platform.

Twitter said that the Conservative Party had misled the public and warned that it would take "corrective action" if the party repeated the stunt. "Who said Full Fact is the final arbiter of what the public get to see?" he asked during his BBC interview. Will Moy, chief executive of the London-based fact-checking website Full Fact, told the BBC: "It was an attempt to mislead voters, and I think it is inappropriate and misleading for a serious political party to behave that way".

A snap YouGov poll following the debate suggested Mr Johnson came out narrowly ahead - with 51% saying they thought he had won, against 49% for Mr Corbyn.

The Conservative Party has been contacted for comment.

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