February 12, 2009 | By Paul Mackenzie Ross | Filed in: politics.

AKA The politicisation of Twitter.

I’m not sure exactly when it started but a few weeks ago, right after the inauguration of Barack Obama, I noticed a sudden burst of followers on Twitter had the term “Conservative” and the occasional “Christian Conservative” in their bio. I noticed because I like to know who’s following me and whether or not I should be following them. No problem.

The Christian/conservative flock was rather unusual, as I don’t use Twitter for political or religious purposes. Sure, I’m most likely to have had a dig at Bush, I’ve talked about a new hope for the Obama administration and had a moan about there being religion in political processes (that boring pastor before BO’s swearing in). Since then I accidentally snapped the Atheist Bus infront of a London Cathedral and that tickled me immensely.

Then the hashtags in Twitter kept popping up. #TCOT this, #TCOT that. It was quite prevalent. At times a page of 20 tweets I received would consist of between 25% and 50% #TCOT hashtags. Looking at the profiles of those who were displaying these hashtags some Tweeters were using this hashtag on 25% of their last 20 tweets, others as much as 100%. What was going on?

A quick search and I found that #TCOT stood for “Top Conservatives On Twitter” and there was a website too. Oh, so these people were tagging themselves as “top” conservatives aye? I didn’t read too much but one guy’s bio read;

Conservative to the very core of my being! “moderate” squishes need not apply to follow!


I came to Twitter to have fun, connect with people, learn, share and see if the world would become a better place because of it. Mostly that has been true but the occasional big egos and the unwelcome propaganda have been a bit much, encroaching upon my space a little too insidiously; this is Twitter, social media, not the bloody Nuremberg Rally!

The same phenomenon happened on Facebook where fringe friends were using social media to flood the airwaves with right wing and religious messages. Spam is annoying at the best of times but when people try to tip the balanced and accuse the open-minded of being narrow-minded (because they don’t see just the “one & only” path) then there’s something very wrong going on.

So what’s the crack here?

So many people hated George Bush, and for good reasons too, so is this just cynical and unsubstantiated retaliation, simple tit-for-tat? Did Obama’s campaign utilise social media in a far more effective way and now his opponents are too daft to realise that the war is over? Or are they baying for another one? Maybe this is a pre-emptive strike, a “get them before they get you” attitude?

It’s probably all fear, the fear of “socialism”, the paranoid dogma from a time gone by that it’s the goddamn commies, that there’s still a red under the bed. Yawn.

Personally I believe it’s the National Socialism angle (sheer hypocrisy isn’t it?) The Nuremberg Rally image sounds appropriate as the dark forces gather, rallying under the same flag #TCOT.

Top Conservatives On Twitter?

Take Control Of Twitter more like.

On a completely unrelated note, I stumbled across this excellent poster the other day; “Stop racism from invading football”. Brilliant isn’t it?

Stop racism from invading football
Stop racism from invading football

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2 comments on “TCOT WTF?

  1. Yeah, VERY clever poster…but I hadn’t realized racism was becoming that much of a problem in football…yikes!

    And, goodness, TCOT, aye? Their own acronym, how special. It’s kinda nice that they’re labeling themselves….it makes it easy to identify who to avoid. 😉

  2. That poster caught my eye straight away, so simple and yet so perfect. The “kick racism out of football” campaign was a few years ago and the message still continues to be promoted at premiership games today but, most importantly, it’s not just a UK issue; Germany have only recently fielded national team players of non-Germanic descent and when England play in Eastern and parts of Southern Europe there are racist receptions to our team over there too, so that should paint a better picture of how the current climate is like at times.

    As for #TCOT, well, there’s not so much of that in my Twitter feeds any more and strangely not so much spam either.

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