Many politics enthusiasts who use Twitter have in the past sent nuggets of information to the EyeSpyMP account, which then broadcasts them to its 42,000-plus followers. Much of what the account Tweets out is picked up by the established press, or by blogs and online news sources. But the wisdom of paying any attention to this social media feature has been put into question after a supremely creepy display yesterday.
“Ex-MP Sarah Olney having a loud argument with her daughter in Kingston swimming pool, failing to get her to brush her hair” it trumpeted happily. Ms Olney is not an MP, and what she and her daughter discuss in their leisure time is well outside anything that could possibly have a public interest justification. And yes, it was seriously creepy.
The condemnation from other Twitter users was immediate: “All this does is make you sound like you've got people spying in changing rooms … Really inappropriate. Please delete this tweet and leave them alone … Reported to @twitter … Weird. Stop that … This is a safeguarding issue if a child is involved and you're identifying location. Please consider your motivations when tweeting … I think you should delete this tweet”.
Many were alarmed at the invasiveness: “why are you weirdos watching women and little girls at swimming pools? … This is really gross, you should take it down. A massive invasion of privacy … Who the fuck has their phone out and is tweeting in the changing room? Massive invasion of privacy … This is a horrible tweet and a horrible account. Please stop … This sounds like stalking … Parent has row with their child. So bloody what. Leave the woman alone and get a life of your own. FFS”.
Many reported the Tweet. Some unfollowed or even blocked the account. Others echoed the observations of creepiness, invasiveness, and even stalking, Who, indeed, would be a party to such behaviour? Ah well. It was not long before one Tweeter reminded us who is behind EyeSpyMp. Step forward Lloyd Jones to observe “Stay classy, Paul…”.
Wait, what? Yes, back in 2013, Political Scrapbook had posted “Eye Spy Guido Fawkes”, telling “Guido Fawkes accidentally outs himself as behind the @EyeSpyMP crowd-sourced MP-watching service with his own dialling wand moment earlier … All those lefty SW1A bag carriers (and MPs) that didn’t realise they were feeding Guido”.
Coming, if only virtually, to a swimming pool near you
The Great Guido had made the mistake of sending the same Tweet from his own account AND from EyeSpyMP within a couple of seconds. The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Fawkes blog have never shied away from calling “stalker” on others over the recent past - and now they have been caught bang to rights doing it themselves. Worse, despite being told by scores of Tweeters that this was out of order, the offending Tweet is still there, live, almost 24 hours after it was posted.
Double standards and the Fawkes massive are frequent bedfellows. To this can now be added invasive creepiness bordering on stalking. Another fine mess, once again.