A guide to winning the online battle during this election by Jim Scott
In 2017, pro-Corbyn supporters hit Facebook en-masse like a ‘tsunami of socialism’. The right wing and Tories didn’t see coming and never expected it! Facebook and other social media platforms played a huge role in accelerating the pro-Corbyn surge and ultimately helped to convert what was an assumed Tory landslide into a crushing defeat for Theresa May and the Tories.
This time they are ready and it won’t be anywhere near so easy! Since 2017 dark forces have been at work, those dark forces are backed by vast sums of dark money too. Anyone who’s watched The Great Hack film knows that Cambridge Analytica and other similar companies have a deeply sinister way of harvesting our data and targeting specific voters in order to massively swing the outcomes of elections. This is not only illegal, but it’s deeply immoral and anti-democratic too. Yet, unchallenged, they persist. They did this in the Trump campaign by targeting swing voters within key marginals and swayed the vote just far enough to get Trump over the line. Dominic Cummings who is effectively the puppet master behind Boris Johnson’s hard right Government was involved in the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign where they did exactly the same thing.
Their methods are now battle-tested and up and fully functional, they have been gearing up to do the same thing in this election. With the full force of the US/UK extreme right behind them, they’ve got all the dark money they need to try and pull this off. This includes algorithms designed to shut down the reach of left wing web sites as well as pro-Corbyn pages, people and posts on Facebook. ‘Boris bots’ have even been discovered to be posting multiple pro-Boris comments on groups and pages when occasionally they malfunction!
So they have the money, and they have the tech, but the one thing they don’t have, is the vast numbers of actual people that we’ve got. This is where you come in!
There have been some great memes going around with tips on how to boost the reach and effectiveness of pro-Labour and pro-Corbyn content whilst limiting the reach of negative anti-Labour content. This is great, but we need to do more. Importantly, for it to have an effect so huge that with people power alone we beat their algorithms then we all need to do our bit! We will need to actively follow the advice in the video below every day until the election.
The aim here is to have so many people actively boosting pro-Corbyn and anti-Tory content on Facebook that it reaches the same people that the Dark money is targeting as we speak. Those people might well be outside our own echo chamber or friends list, they may be friends of friends, neighbours or undecided voters. As the pro-Corbyn surge infiltrates Facebook exponentially we need those exact people to experience it as it happens and come along for the ride!
I don’t need to tell anyone how vital this election is or point out the Power of Social media and Facebook. If we don’t get Corbyn into Government on Dec 12th then the Tories will unleash a Tory apocalypse like we’ve never seen before; Voter ID, Boundary changes, it could be game over for Corbyn and game over for us. That’s why it so vitally important that everyone does their bit!
And here’s how:
The general election is now set for December 12th. You want to be effective on Facebook in promoting posts that are positive to Labour, and negative for the Tories.
- Whenever you make a comment on a post in a group, it bumps that story up to the top of the page. It also makes it more likely the story will make it into the "Top Stories" list.
- Now, instinctively you feel you want to challenge the negative stories, and argue the matter. But all you succeed in doing is promoting the story and getting more people to read it. Your contradiction of false claims will only help to promote those false claims.
- You might normally let the positive stories go by with only a like. A like will help make a story into a "Top Story", but it won't bump the story back to the top of the page. So make a comment too.
- Facebook talks about “engagement”. The more reactions a post gets, whether for or against, the more they will show the post to other people.
- Create new posts that are positive for Labour. An easy way to do this is to find a news item on a news website, and link to it, with a comment to promote discussion. And if you make the comment a little controversial, you’ll encourage people of all parties to comment, driving engagement!
- If you are running a pro-Labour or anti-Tory campaign in your local area, make sure you join lots of local Facebook groups, especially political groups like the People's Assembly, and post details or press coverage of those events to local groups, encourage people to share these posts in your local area.
- It’s also worth joining the big national pro-Corbyn/pro-Labour or anti-austerity groups and posting in those groups a few times a day too. It all helps!
Start right now to drive engagement on this post, by liking, commenting and sharing it to other pro-Labour & pro-Corbyn groups and please share the video!
Jim Scott is an eco-socialist activist, writer and campaigner. He is the co-founder of Stick It To The Tories and has played an integral role in creating and building the anti-austerity and anti-war movements in West Wales. Specialising in rural and creative activism Jim is an active People’s Assembly campaigner.
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- Rural activism: tales from the sticks – part one
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