About Stop the Tories Channel

Stop the Tories Channel is a work-in-progress, unaligned, DIY and not-for-profit contribution to anti-Tory community and to the British political conversation.

Origins – #GE17

The project was started by activist-political publisher and capacity-builder Chris Henderson as a Facebook page, originally named “Stop the Tories 2017”, on a wildcat basis in April 2017 in the days after Theresa May’s snap announcement of #GE17:

  • With a total budget of under £3,000, the page acquired ~11,000 followers by polling day.
  • The page republished a steady ever-popular stream of aggregated anti-Tory news, voices, resources, memes, humour and arts from around the Internet. Chris also provided original DIY leafleting and social media resources.
  • Chris developed a set of seven Facebook paid ads, in each case combining journalistic covering text, links to credible sources, and a hashtag with proven memes, the majority of them of original psychovisual design.
  • With 162 crowdfunding donors, the ads directly reached 361,000 Facebook news feeds of ordinary voters, mostly targeted to marginal seats. With nearly 18,000 shares, the total UK-wide reach of the ad set was 1.9 million news feeds.
  • The page topped 10 million news feed impressions by polling day. At its #GE17 peak, monthly unique news feed reach topped 2 million.

The project was featured on BBC Online and BBC World Service Radio, as BBC Trending’s lead example of DIY Facebook election campaigning.

Present

Stop the Tories Channel continues to share content regularly to its Facebook page, reaching 70,000 unique news feeds per month without currently having a budget.

Future plans

Chris, still currently working solo and unfunded, is now focusing on turning the anti-Tory content aggregation on the Facebook page since April 2017 (helped by smart use of hashtags for categorisation) into this WordPress.org website, with creative use of menus and strong taxonomies. The site will be launched in early 2018 both as an anti-Tory community hub and knowledge bank, and as a credible activist journalism project which “wavering Tories” etc might read.

In the early part of 2018 Stop the Tories Channel will start seeking to bring more funding and more people into the project. The general idea is for the platform to be near infinitely scalable and increasingly open-source oriented.

Further crowdfunding will follow.

About the creator

Chris Henderson is a freelance activist-political digital creative publisher, social media trainer, capacity-builder and journalist.

Chris was comms officer for Haringey Green Party in North London, pioneering the use of crowdfunded paid social media campaigning and innovative A6 flyers. Now entirely freelance, Chris’s previous DIY publishing project was the Facebook page Memes vs Brexit. Chris has been an invited social media trainer at national activist gatherings in the Green Party and pacifist/anti-militarist movements.

Chris has a professional background as a public servant in inner-city London, including improving charity grant programmes and community communications, and has also been a charity trustee and telephone support volunteer. Chris knows what a difference decently funded public and community services make to vulnerable people. Chris’s activist days started 15 years ago in student politics in Durham, with an LGBTQ community focus. Chris was also Chief Sub-Editor of award-winning student newspaper Palatinate.

Chris is also a postgraduate psychology student, specialised in mental health but with an interest in political psychology. Chris is a fan of punk- and feminist-influenced DIY activism. Chris is a Harry Potter fan, strongly channelling the vibe of Dumbledore’s Army getting ready to fight the (Tory) Death Eaters in the Battle of Hogwarts (next General Election).