By Eoin Molloy
On Wednesday the 15 of October, TD Simon Harris held a ‘Q and A’ session over on Fine Gael’s Facebook page whereby he pledged to answer any and all questions on the budget for 2015.
The vitriol and abuse were to be expected, as were digs about his ‘expensive-looking laptop’ seen in the picture (we’re looking at you, Joan Burton). However, one thing that was not expected by followers of the ‘Q and A’ session was the amount of likes it was getting.
Over two and a half thousand people liked the post. Stranger still, the majority of these accounts seemed to have Middle-Eastern and Asian names.
While Hassan Iqbal from Bangladesh might have all the interest in the world in budget 2015, I think it’s more likely that Fine Gael paid for these likes. This would not be the first time Fine Gael outsourced likes to so-called ‘click-farms’. Fine Gael made the following statement on their Facebook page.
Sean Tyrell, a local-election candidate from Ballymun saw his likes soar by over 2000 overnight over the Christmas period, leading up to the election. He denied buying the likes, and said they were the fruit of a ‘politically-orchestrated campaign’.
Vague generalisations aside, this was a complete lie. The vast majority of likes on his Facebook page came from Instanbul. No matter how ‘politically-orchestrated’ your campaign may be, buying Facebook likes hurts your credibility.
Tyrell was called out on this by online business blogger Jamie Fulham. Tyrell later backtracked and said that the fake likes could have been ‘another candidate trying to make him look bad.’ How Tyrell thought he would be elected after failing to own up to a blunder like this is beyond anyone.
And finally: the motherlode. Der Fuhrer Enda Kenny recently made his triumphant return to Twitter with the following tweet:
This strange and ambiguous tweet left poor aul Enda open game for abuse, like this:
Little does the Taoiseach know, but his first official tweet in years featured an inadvertent One Direction reference. Nice.
You never know, though, it could have been intentional. Maybe Enda has been a One Direction fan all this time. Fine Gael’s social media blunders have been the Story of His Life. Social media is just the One Thing they can’t get right.