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Today Twitter is being bored to death by being bombarded with carbon copy tweets about the waste of time debate on HS2 in Parliament on the 13th September. Here’s a sample. In essence, the Wildlife Trusts are spamming Twitter.

Each pointless tweet contains a link to this page on the Wildlife Trusts website, which is what this cynical marketing and self-promotion exercise is really all about…

The WT’s claims in the text bear no relationship to reality of course, they’re just there to scaremonger and make people think that by responding, they’re doing ‘something’. There’s not a cat in hell’s chance of this achieving anything as the ‘debate’ is in a Committee room in Westminster Hall (not in the Commons chamber) and there’s no vote at the end of it. It’s a talking shop, nothing more. I’ve detailed how the Petitions Ctte works in this blog.

The real intent of this exercise is contained in the panel to the right. It’s merely an attempt to harvest more email addresses, website traffic and promote the Wildlife Trusts – and maybe get people to bung them a few quid in the process because once WT have got your email address you can be sure that’s what they’ll be doing! Now, all this is perfectly legal and above-board of course. Charities do this all the time. You can find the full details of the WT’s privacy policy here.

However there’s campaign’s and there’s ‘campaigns’ – and this one is pointless. It’s promoting an impossible objective – just like Packham’s petition. The only thing it’s going to achieve is to waste a lot of people’s time writing to their MPs (MPs who really do have better things to be doing right now). Mind you, there’s an interesting question over just how many MPs are getting to hear from their constituents on this matter. Oddly, an awful lot of the ‘people’ retweeting the WT are accounts like this, with follower numbers of less than 100 and no mention of who their MP is meant to be. In other words, they’re ‘Bots’ – nothing more than a retweeting machine, something that becomes obvious when you look at their timelines. The question is, who’s paying for them?

This is why I’m becoming increasingly cynical about certain charities and the soapboxes they climb on in an effort at self-promotion and acquiring donors. The truth takes a backseat…

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