This week on Twitter the debate surrounding next month’s SSM referendum really got going with campaigners on both sides getting a lot of publicity and making their voices heard. On a less serious note, some new movie trailers got Tweeters excited, while some social media marketing went wrong.
In Twitter related news, the US company has said that the privacy of all users outside of the US will now be regulated in Ireland under Irish privacy and data protection law. The Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon, now adds Twitter to her list of companies to monitor, which already includes Google and Facebook who have their European headquarters here in Dublin.
The Managing Director of Twitter in Ireland has also announced the company’s support for a yes vote in next month’s SSM referendum.
The Referendum Debate Heats Up #familymatters #MarRef
On Monday former President Mary McAleese was trending on Twitter after she advocated a Yes vote in next’s month’s SSM referendum. Speaking on NewsTalk’s The Right Hook, she said the referendum is a human rights issue and is about children. “We want, in the words of the proclamation: ‘The children of a nation to be cherished equally’… The adult children, the children yet unborn, the gay children yet unborn – we want them to be born into a world where if they fall in love with someone they can express that love fully,” she commented.
Dr. McAleese, who is known for her strong Catholic faith, told George Hook that she believes the church’s teaching on homosexuality will change over time.
I think Mary McAleese's call for a YES vote really articulates the empathy and sense of fairness that many Catholics in this country feel.
— Una Mullally (@UnaMullally) April 13, 2015
Following Mary McAleese’s interview with George Hook, Breda O’Brien of the Iona Institute spoke on NewsTalk’s Breakfast with Chris Donoghue the next morning. She trended on Twitter as she spoke out against same-sex marriage and criticised Mary McAleese for speaking in support of a Yes vote publicly. She also asked for Mary McAleese to clarify some of her comments. In particular, she wanted the former president to clarify that she was not implying that anyone who votes No in next month’s referendum is homophobic. Although she did not say this on The Right Hook, Ms O’Brien wanted to ensure that she did not imply it. So far Dr. McAleese has not responded.
Mothers and Fathers Matter trended today as the group launched its campaign for a No vote in May. A number of guests spoke against same-sex marriage at the launch, including Dr. Thomas Finnegan who referred to research which he could not cite. Many people were unhappy with the organisation’s launch, including some single parents as well as supporters of a Yes vote; they vented their anger through Twitter.
Dr Finnegan mentions research which shows that children have the best outcomes when raised by their married biological mother and father.
— MFM_Ireland (@MFM_Ireland) April 17, 2015
RTE news on the 'Mothers and Fathers Matter' launch: "The group could not cite the research they were quoting…" HAHAHAHA #YesEquality
— Enda Mac Nally (@endamacnally) April 17, 2015
Keith Mills, spokesman for the group, was also trending after he advocated a No vote at the launch in Dublin. He also criticised companies like Twitter for getting involved in Irish politics. The Managing Director for Twitter in Ireland publicly announced the company’s support for a Yes vote on Thursday.
— Enda Kenny (@EndaKennyTD) April 16, 2015
In reaction to the campaign launch of Mothers and Fathers Matter, the director of Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O’Gorman who is in favour of SSM, encouraged Twitter users to tweet photos of their families to support a Yes vote and to demonstrate the diversity of Irish families.
— Colm O'Gorman (@Colmogorman) April 17, 2015
#FamilyMatters was soon trending, with many Irish families openly supporting a Yes vote in next month’s referendum. Even some celebrities like Angelina Jolie took part.
— Orla (@orlabaz) April 17, 2015
— Dr Panti Bliss (@PantiBliss) April 17, 2015
— Steve Jacques (@srjacques1) April 17, 2015
Marketing on Twitter: The Good and The Bad
Irish betting shop Paddy Power came under fire on Monday after it tweeted a joke about the killing of unarmed black men in America. The tweet was deemed racist and not welcomed by its followers. A few people seemed to see the humour intended, while many others responded to the tweet calling for whoever was involved to be fired.
Newcastle have suffered more Kop beatings over the last 20 years than an unarmed African-American male. The stats: http://t.co/GOOdyAszNo
— Paddy Power Offers (@PPOffers) April 13, 2015
Paddy Power is known for its quick and witty responses to current events, but this isn’t the first time its tweets didn’t go down well with social media users. Last year, during the trial of Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his wife Reeva Steenkamp, Paddy Power took bets on the outcome of the court case. On Twitter the betting shop offered “Money Back If He Walks”, but shortly afterward apologised to followers. This week Paddy Power issued another apology demonstrating that all publicity isn’t necessarily good publicity. A spokesperson for the bookies apologised stating: “It was a joke”. However, the tweet has not been deleted yet and has received more than 2,000 retweets and 700 favourites.
@PPOffers how DARE you make light of something like that? Whoever is in charge of your social media needs to be sacked ASAP.
— Stephanie Yeboah (@NerdAboutTown) April 13, 2015
A better example of humorous tweets by a commercial business is Ryanair’s latest marketing effort to promote its new allocated seating. Tensions have heightened between the UK’s main political parties in the run up to the general election and Ryanair has used this to its advantage by featuring the Labour Party’s Ed Miliband and UKIP’s Nigel Farage in its latest advertisement.
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) April 16, 2015
Movie News #BatmanvSuperman #StarWars
The new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer was released yesterday and Twitter exploded in a flurry of Star Wars related tweets and it all seems to be overwhelmingly positive. Tears of joy seem to be a recurring theme among these tweets; its a pity fans will have to wait until December to see it in the cinema. This is the first Star Wars movie to be produced since Disney bought over Lucasfilm.
— MikeSheaAP (@MikeSheaAP) April 17, 2015
RIP my STAR WARS cynicism 1997-2014. Every single thing I’ve seen about FORCE AWAKENS looks incredible and daring and *right*.
— Lee Zachariah (@leezachariah) April 16, 2015
That Star Wars trailer, oh god, the nostalgia waves crashing over me. Are they trying to kill us with the han ending?
— Dave Rapoza (@DaveRapoza) April 16, 2015
— FlickerLab (@FlickerLab) April 16, 2015
Twitter even created Star Wars emojis to celebrate the special occasion.
— Star Wars (@starwars) April 16, 2015
Another teaser trailer was released today, superhero fans got a glimpse of next year’s movie release Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice which stars Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman. Again Tweeters seem to be happy with the trailer, even if it left them wanting more.
— Earth Prime Weekly (@earthprimewkly) April 18, 2015
— TODD SPENCE (@Todd_Spence) April 17, 2015
Although many people have been comparing Batman’s new look to another movie…
— Matt Lynch (@mattlynch_honda) April 17, 2015
Presuming that most readers will have already seem the new Star Wars trailer, I’ll leave you with this:
Photo: ‘A Mysterious Shot of Kylo Ren from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser’ via StarWars.com