BoJo backpedals on Twitter hijack in mayoral glory bid
@MayorofLondon renamed BorisJohnson in re-election war
Boris Johnson came under fire yesterday after his minions changed the name of the official Mayor of London Twitter account – which has around 250,000 followers – to promote his campaign to win another term at City Hall.
However, BoJo was forced into an embarrassing U-turn on what was the first day of his bid to be re-elected by Londoners by returning the Twitter handle to @MayorofLondon from @BorisJohnson.
Worse still for the Labour party, as noted by the Guardian, the Twitter account also began carrying a link to the incumbent Mayor's own campaign website, backboris2012.com. It had previously punted the URL for City Hall's site.
Naughty: BoJo sought political capital from @MayorofLondon Twitter account
Some complained that Johnson's staff were misusing the account, which was set up in May 2008 and is managed by the Greater London Authority – a publicly-funded org.
Labour took its gripe to the GLA, but late yesterday Johnson's team reinstated the @MayorofLondon handle on Twitter and deleted any reference to BoJo's campaign in response to the "hysteria" it caused.
One-time Mayor of London Ken Livingstone is also bidding to return to City Hall for another term in office as Labour's official candidate, but he is currently trailing Johnson by about 8 percentage points, according to the latest poll from YouGov.
Livingstone's campaign told the Guardian: "It stinks of the abuse of public resources for the Conservative party to appropriate the official social media of the mayor." ®
Try to understand the issue
It costs money because someone has to be paid to monitor it, respond and post information.
As a government post it means that person(s) is paid for by the taxpayer
As an individuals publicity machine to try and get themselves elected/re-elected that person(s) should be paid from the campaign funds
Using taxpayers money to fund an election campaign is fraud. Using an official information channel to promote an individuals campaign takes away the impartiality of that channel and should be classed as electoral fraud.
This is why those that actually understand what the problem is do think it is a big deal.
Re: Just for balance..
No. Let me explaim why....
If Ken Livingston was the Mayor of London and tried to do the same thing, then he would face exactly the same criticism. It's about the principle, not the person.
The key thing here is the followers.
You can reasonably assume that the intent of people who followed @MayorOfLondon was to follow the Mayor of London. To then let the incumbent mayor be able to use the same people for marketing during the election is clearly unfair to other candidates.
It's quarter of a million people, so not insignificant in voting terms.