Here’s the tale of Tory group Activate Britain and all the weird goings-on with its Twitter account
Bad memes and dodgy tweets – say hello to the right wing answer to Momentum.
We’d forgive you if you missed the dramatic rise of Tory grassroots movement Activate Britain.
The group, which isn’t affiliated with the Conservative party, claim they are a “vehicle for young conservatives to get engaged”, and not a carbon copy of Labour group Momentum, which is credited with getting Jeremy Corbyn elected as Labour leader.
Although they haven’t officially launched yet, the group’s dramatic social media presence has already seen them hit the headlines, for all the wrong reasons.
The Twitter account started with some below-average pro-Conservative memes, including one (now deleted) of Star Wars’ Admiral Ackbar uttering his famous “It’s a trap!” line under a picture of Corbyn.
From innocent beginnings, things began to spiral.
First, some confusion with the URL of their website meant a parody account, barely distinguishable from the real thing, started tweeting out statements like the below.
The parody account mocked the real Activate’s twitter style.
In now-deleted tweets, the real Activate tended to used hashtags like #retweet, #rt and #meme, implying that the tweeter was not a social media natural.
Beyond the group’s slightly misjudged social media policy, Guido Fawkes claimed some members had joked about “gassing chavs” in a WhatsApp conversation.
An Activate spokesman told the blog that “none of the people included in those messages currently have any seniority with the organisation”.
Then, their Twitter account went rogue. Again, in a series of now-deleted tweets, the official Activate account started saying it now backed Jacob Rees-Mogg for Tory leader.
The group claimed on its Facebook page that their Twitter had been hacked, and tweets from the actual account were “not from us or anybody associated with Activate”.
The group spokesman, Sam Ancliff, decided to appear on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme.
Meanwhile, the supposedly hacked Twitter account started saying Ancliff did not represent the group at all.
Don’t worry, they seem to be too.
Now it seems the account is back under Activate control and they say they’ve notified the police, for whom this is definitely a priority, about the hack.
The account is now back to tweeting out a combination of tired memes, and generally apologising for its own existence.
If this is still a hack, which is pretty hard to tell following all that drama, it’s almost artistic in proportion.