How social media saved socialism

Ben Tarnoff writes in the Guardian:“Grievances alone don’t produce political movements. A pile of dry wood isn’t enough to start a fire. It needs a spark – or several.

“For the resurgent left, an essential spark is social media. In fact, it’s one of the most crucial and least understood catalysts of contemporary socialism. Since the networked uprisings of 2011 – the year of the Arab spring, Occupy Wall Street and the Spanish indignados – we’ve seen how social media can rapidly bring masses of people into the streets. But social media isn’t just a tool for mobilizing people. It’s also a tool for politicizing them. Read more

May’s deal with DUP faces legal challenge from crowdfunding campaign

From The Guardian: A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise funds for a potential legal challenge to Theresa May’s parliamentary deal with the Democratic Unionist party, on the grounds that it breaches the Good Friday agreement.

Lawyers acting for Ciaran McClean, a Green Party politician in Northern Ireland, allege that the pact between the minority Conservative government and the DUP is in breach of both the landmark 1998 Northern Ireland peace deal and the Bribery Act.

[Read full article on Guardian website…] [Crowdfunder link…]

Meet the ‘micro-Pacs’ buying political ads on Facebook

From BBC Trending: Alongside the main parties, small groups and even individuals are jockeying for political influence by buying micro-targeted ads on Facebook.

They are not-for-profit organisations, small informal groups and – in at least one case – a student with a personal mission and a bit of spare cash. They’re bypassing the political parties and buying political advertisements directly on Facebook.

BBC Trending and Newsnight have been asking people to send in examples of the political ads they have been seeing on the UK’s biggest social network. We’ve seen plenty of advertising put out by the major parties, but also ones promoting about a dozen politically themed pages unaffiliated with any official campaigns. It’s likely there are many more of what we at BBC Trending are calling “micro-Pacs” (in the US, independent campaign groups are called “political action committees”) than our survey has picked up.

Chris Henderson runs one of these groups. He’s clearly left-leaning, though some of the groups also come from the right of politics. Henderson’s Facebook page is called “Stop the Tories 2017“. Henderson is a postgraduate psychology student and a former local communications officer for the Green Party, but says that his current initiative is not endorsed by or co-ordinated with the official Green campaign.

Read more

A junior doctor is crowdfunding his own election video to spill the truth on May

From The Canary: Jez is a junior doctor who’s had enough of media bias and Conservative-inflicted austerity. With a group of his friends, he’s on a mission to expose what’s really happening to our NHS and our country through an election video of his own. But they first need the public’s support.

Jez is an A&E doctor. Along with his friends Gareth (a public sector advisor) and Sam (who works in creative arts), he is crowdfunding to create an election video that exposes the true effects of the NHS crisis. He also aims to showcase the bias of mainstream media outlets, the damage inflicted by Conservative policies, and the problem of wealth inequality and tax evasion.

[Read full article on The Canary] [Direct crowdfunder link…]