Tories Fail To Silence Indy Blogger…
You know that you’ve upset the Tories when you post a message about how they “CHEERED” when they blocked a pay rise for Nurses, Teachers, Police & Firefighters and your Video account gets taken down, your Twitter account gets suspended, your Website receives an unusually high number of “Brute Force” and “Complex” attacks and your accused of posting Fake News on Social Media, all in a vain attempt to shut you up.
But this wasn’t the first time that our website had been attacked, neither was it the first time that we had lost our video account and it certainly wasn’t my first time in twitter jail. My account had been suspended once before, not that I would ever give way to conspiracy theories, but strangely enough it was back in 2017 during the run up to another snap election, on that occasion the ban came shortly after I had posted some tweets reminding people how David Mundell had consistently let his constituents down by voting with the Conservative party completely ignored the will of the people of Scotland whom he was meant to be representing.
Fast forward to 2019 and we have another snap election, another flurry of attacks on our website, another video account suspended and another twitter ban. I Knew that the Tory staffers would be out in force trolling twitter looking for any excuse to have the opposition banned and I was very careful in the wording of my tweets and replies and took great care not to post too fast so as to avoid twitters automated spam features, Sadly, after posting a number of tweets reminding the people how loudly the Conservatives cheered when they blocked a vote that would have ended the pay cap for public sector workers, I found myself serving another stint in twitter jail, the accusation this time round was that it was an automated account.
The Tories may have succeeded in slowing me down a little, but they never managed to stop me, because I had a suspicion that they would try to shut me down again and was prepared for it. We had duplicated the video on a number of platforms, beefed up website security and I had even taken the precaution of setting up a second twitter account just in case support bowed down to the political pressure of the Tories and somehow managed to come up with a plausible reason for suspending me (which they did).
Like I said, it wasn’t just my twitter account that was targeted, our website was hit by an unusually large amount of “Brute Force and Complex” attacks, they also hit our online video account and had that suspended for alleged copyright infringement*.
*An appeal to have the video account re-instated has been successfully upheld as I was able to prove that there was in fact no infringement to copyright under current UK Legislation and that all videos posted were done so, either in line with that legislation or with the performing artists permission, I am however still waiting for the account to be re-activated and may have to upload all the videos again once it has been verified.
I think the Tories may have slightly underestimated the power of social media and the strength and resolve of the Scottish Independence movement…
The video of the Tories cheering after the vote on our suspended online video account had at the time it was pulled got 47,794 plays, the same video on our YouTube channel has had over 63,000 views, (over 53,000 in the last 28 days) the new blog with the embedded video clip on this website is getting over 200 views a day and the post on Facebook has already been shared over 1500 times. So despite the Tories best efforts the message is still getting out there.
In a matter of a few days my new twitter account (@scot4indy) had over 870 followers, earned over 60.4k tweet impressions and had over 3,784 profile visits. Just to put that into perspective, my old (@scott4indy) account in the week leading up to the ban, had just over 19.2k tweet impressions and 2,000 profile views. So the Tories attempt to stop this getting out by having my account suspended actually had the opposite effect.
It took over a week to finally get my @scott4indy account back online, and this was only achieved after a number of emails to twitter support informing them that I was not an automated bot, but was in fact the victim of targeted political harassment.
We already know that pro-Indy groups and Indy bloggers have had their media content pulled over copyright infringement, even though under UK regulations there is no infringement of copyright if the video clip is posted under the rules for “Criticism, review and reporting current events”, which states:- Fair dealing for criticism, review or quotation is allowed for any type of copyright work. Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of reporting current events is allowed for any type of copyright work other than a photograph. In each of these cases, a sufficient acknowledgement will be required. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/exceptions-to-copyright#criticism-review-and-reporting-current-events.
Somebody is working really hard to have this content removed from the internet. Pages on news sites that reported on the vote at the time, have now disappeared and the list of sites coming up on search engines has gotten shorter. Luckily a few of us managed to archive some of them and there are still some sites carrying the report which can be found via google searches.
It is unbelievable the lengths at which the tories will go to try to have this content removed. On the YouTube footage I have seen comments from the same person using different accounts claiming it to be fake news (if you check the history of the people posting the comments you can see that they have all visited the same YouTube pages), they are hoping that by consistently reporting the video as fake news YouTube will pull it down. Unfortunately for them, the video is backed up with links that prove it’s source is genuine and that the report is an accurate description of events as they occurred.
The Tories are desperate to win this election so they can push through their brexit deal before they have to start enforcing the new EU Tax Avoidance Legislation, time is running out and if the Conservatives want to turn the UK into a corporate tax haven to protect their donors, then they must get brexit done fast no matter the cost to the tax payers, the economy or to our jobs.
In order to win the election the tories need to gain the votes of the public sector workers and the last thing they want is some indy blogger reminding them of how quick the Conservatives are in doing a u-turn when it comes to public sector pay, yes, they may well promise you a pay rise, but when it comes, it will not start right away and it will be spread over a number of years.
Many twitter accounts have been suspended or limited with followers mysteriously disappearing, and its not just twitter, facebook groups have also vanished and users have noticed posts getting deleted automatically for no apparent reason.
This election is crucial for the Tories and even more so in Scotland with the upcoming 2020 independence referendum, and they will use every dirty trick in the book to try to silence our voices.
The Scottish Independence movement will always rally round and give that extra bit of support where it is needed, even more so when the tories attack one of their own, like I said, they may slow us down but they will never stop us from reminding people just how low the Conservatives will go to get their own way and keep us on the poverty line.
Despite their sleekit shenanigans, we will not give up, we will continue to write our blogs, post on social media and tweet our messages to the world until we gain what is rightfully ours, an independent Scotland, Free from Westminster Rule…
Alba Gu Bràth