Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Facebook Fuddles

Hardly a week passes here in Thanet, without a political Facebook gaffe of one kind or another and I've just been passed another, made it appears, by the young Mayor of Margate, Will Scobie.

For those of you who are unaware, the role of Mayor of Margate is rigorously apolitical and even the formidable Iris Johnston, to her credit, managed to keep it that way last year.

Sadly, with the Mayor's girlfriend and choice of Margate Mayoress now running as the Labour candidate for Westgate, it seems that the bony hand of politics has reached into the Mayor of Margate's 'official' Facebook page and poked him in the eye, with young Will, in a breach of protocol, rather shamelessly promoting Jodie for the Westgate vote in a week's time.

Once again, my advice to local politicians of all flavours and colours, is to treat Facebook with caution and resist the the urge to make any political comment there.


I bet he'll have a firm telling off from Iris within minutes of this being published.

PS.. As an afterthought, here's a useful guide to safe social media habits to share with councillors, candidates, mayors, mayoresses, teenagers and readers alike, with the preface from my good friend and Labour peer, Toby Harris. Do please give it a glance to avoid future stories like this one.

71 comments:

Will Scobie said...

Nice try Simon on that one.

That is my personal facebook page which I am quite entitled to put whatever I want on.

There is in fact an entirely seperate user that is the official Mayoral one. If I had started putting pictures like that on the Mayor of Margate facebook page then you would have a point, but if you check that page it is party politics free.

It is very comforting to know how closely you follow my facebook page though!

simon moores said...

Think you may be wrong there Will...

In fact I've never seen the page before and it's distinguished from your own Will Scobie personal page

This is the Facebook page for Mayor of Margate where the screenshot was taken

http://www.facebook.com/mayor.margate

You'll see you are in full regalia and endorsing Jodie. It's causing waves around here and is now the subject of a complaint I'm told.

So tell me more...

Will Scobie said...

Slightly confused as to where you are coming from on this one I am afraid. I just followed the link you posted and it goes to the official Mayor's page with no record of that picture.

The reason for no record of the picture is because I posted that picture on my personal account that is only accessible by people who I am friends with. The screen shot you have is from my Will Scobie facebook account, and is not linked to the Mayoralty.

The official Mayor Margate page is run by the Mayor's office and has no such picture on it. Nor does it have anything party political on it because the Mayor as you rightly said is non-political.

By all means make your complaint if that is what you wish to do. However I think you will find that I am not making a statement in any official capacity, I am not promoting Jodie on any official Mayoral page, and I am just getting on with the job of being Mayor for the year while supporting my partner in a personal capacity.

I would ask you please to allow me to get on with my role, rather than attempting to imply that I am somehow doing things I am not. There has been enough mud thrown recently between politicians, and frankly Simon I know that you are better than that.

Will Scobie said...

The confusion appears to have come from the fact that both accounts use the same picture. I have now changed the picture on my personal account to help you in the future distinguish between the two.

Tom Clarke said...

Be fair, Simon, all young people have teething troubles. A bit of Steadman's gel and he will gradually learn I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

One rule for one-one rule for another. No surprise there!!!!

simon moores said...

It's further down the page Will after Clive Hart getting lost in Birmingham and the tasteful photo of 'Bella's first hand-job.'

As I said earlier, this was sent to me in protest and the entry was timed Monday @ 16:20 and "Gill Morrell, Clive Hart, Amy Simpson and 3 others like this."

If there's any doubt, then the Mayor's "About Me" entry from the same Facebook page is show below:

Much can be written of the history of the Mayoralty, and as such one would be writing the history of England. The Mayoralty provides a vital link with our heritage, the office having presided over the unfolding fabric of English Local Government. The duties and privileges of the Mayor have reflected the changes in our Society. The Mayor no longer has absolute powers; they chair the meetings of Margate Charter Trustees and act in a ceremonial role at local, state and many other functions.

They are the Town's Ambassador at large, and have many engagements during their year of office, ranging from Coffee Mornings and Theatre Visits, meeting members of the Royal Family when in Margate, to patronising local Charities and fund raising events.

Will Scobie said...

I am completely lost as to what you are talking about Simon.

If you were on my personal facebook page you would find that picture you have posted. I posted it Monday afternoon from my blackberry onto my personal page which only my facebook friends can see.

However if you follow the link you have provided then it takes you to the official Mayor Margate page which has no picture or any of the things you have just described.

Are you getting confused between the two? The official page is run by the Mayor's office and has nothing political on it as is appropriate for the role.

Anonymous said...

Whichever site it was on, it shouldn't have been with the picture as Mayor, nor should there be a picture of the Labour Offices that are accessible via The Mayor of Margate's facebook. I would have thought that should be for Mayoral stuff.
Perhaps it would be better to shut it down all together!

simon moores said...

Will.. I have given you the time and the date of the entry and the page link address of the Mayor of Margate's web page where the entry and photo is causing concern.

Short of holding your hand I really can't be of more help but read down that page, past 'Bella's hand job' and other equally exciting entries until you find it. In fact it's there twice, having been duplicated.

I think I know why it's there but I'll leave you to work it out for yourself!

Will Scobie said...

Still cannot see it so I will have to take your word for it.

The picture was posted on my personal facebook page that is accessible only to any friends. I would never post anything political on the Mayors page because it is a non-political role.

As far as I am concerned that is the end of it as I have done nothing wrong, and I look forward to seeing your complaint against me and the evidence.

Michael Child said...

Simon if it was part of a screenshot of http://www.facebook.com/mayor.margate it would say Mayor Margate next to the picture, this is the name of that facebook account.

Part of a screenshot of http://www.facebook.com/willscobie13 which is what you appear to be showing in the picture of will show William Scobie next to the photo.

Of course a full screenshot would show the url anyway.


It would be helpful all round if you could publish a full screenshot to clarify the issue.

simon moores said...

Michael just follow down the page to the entry at the time indicated. As There appears to be some confusion, I have now added a screen shot of the top of the page so you can see clearly that it is, what is says on the tin!

simon moores said...

Will, I'm not making a complaint but I understand another Councillor is.

Will Scobie said...

Simon that second screen shot is from the Mayor Margate account, but the top one is from my Will Scobie account. Hence the different names on the top of them i.e. your top picture has Will Scobie next to the picture, whereas the bottom one of Mayor Margate. The picture is the same as I said before because coincidentally I chose that picture for my profile because I liked it, as apparently did the Mayors office.

That screen shot shows you logged into the Mayor Margate facebook account, how have you managed to do that?

simon moores said...

No Will.. both are from the Mayor of Margate account shown in the second photo. I'm looking at it right now at the time and location previously referred to.

Will Scobie said...

The second screen shot shows you logged into the Mayor Margate facebook page. Only the Mayors office and myself have access to that page, so how have you managed to get that screenshot?

If you look in the top right of the screenshot it shows the Mayor Margate account and the icon. How peculiar...

simon moores said...

Ahh..proves my point I think!

It is the Mayor's Facebook page then!

Will Scobie said...

Correct you have illegally accessed the official Mayor of Margate facebook page.

simon moores said...

Good that's settled then you have conceded that you did write it and it wasn't the fabulous Mr Fox either!

As for doing anything illegal Will, be careful.

Will Scobie said...

I posted that picture on my personal account as I said before which has nothing to do with the Mayoral account. You have so far provided no evidence to the contrary because it does not exist.

I think it is absolutely despicable that someone has logged into the Mayor of Margate facebook page to send you pictures. Totally unnecessary and displays all the worst parts of politics.

simon moores said...

This is starting to resemble a Blackadder sketch.

So it's not you, just another bloke, called Will, who likes wearing robes...

Fine...!

Tim Clark said...

Not quite sure I understand why someone would want a Facebook page that no-one else can see. Still he is only young.
I also seem to remember a young Tory candidate being dropped after inappropriate remarks on his Facebook page were exposed by some political rival. Now let me try and remember who that was...

Anonymous said...

Teething troubles Tom? Most previous Margate mayors don't even have any teeth (at least not ones that they don't put in a glass at night!).

Anonymous said...

Surely, the whole point is not where this was or was not posted but the fact that the mayoral role is supposed to be apolitical.

simon moores said...

Could it have been Labour's Will Scobie who uncovered the revealed the inappropriate Facebook comments of Conservative Payam Tamiz?

Let me think?

Tim Clark said...

Have just Googled Ms Hibbert and she does seem a little confused by her surname. Is it Hibbert or Hibbert Allen or Allen or even the Persian-looking surname whose (male) owner features as one of her Twitter followers.

http://www.192.com/atoz/people/hibbert/jodie/

Tom Clarke said...

Well I have heard of people hacking into banks computers and even the Pentagon, but the Margate Mayor's secret one, well that has to be really serious. Sounds like a job for MI5 at least with long term incarceration to follow for the culprit.

Is this guy real or has he escaped from a comic somewhere.

1 o'clock Rob said...

Which page? Who cares! The images affiliate the "personal page" to the Mayorship of Margate. When you speak now Will people hear the Mayor of Margate speaking, when they see you it's the Mayor they are looking at. You may wish to maintain a seperation between who you are personally and hte role you have professionally but it isn't a reality in the minds of the vast majority.

Michael Child said...

Simon I did actually mean the full screen shot when I said the full screenshot, just to clarify the issue.

You seem to have published part of a screenshot of the page http://www.facebook.com/willscobie13

Followed by part of the page http://www.facebook.com/mayor.margate signed on as the mayor of Margate, which I think is the most impressive way you could have illustrated just how vulnerable facebook accounts are. However without the full screenshot what you are failing to do is illustrate just how vulnerable Will is.

Tim Clark said...

Rob you've hit the nail right on the head. For the next year he's Mayor of Margate so no political pronouncements in any forum. Iris managed it, as did her predecessors. Or is this concept a little old-fashioned for the Child Mayor? His "personal" Facebook page is political yet until today he still had a picture of him in Mayor's kit as his profile picture.

Anonymous said...

The two screenshots pictured are from different accounts, the first from Will Scoby the second from the Mayor of Margate,But The second has been captured by somebody Logged in as the owner of that account this you can see by the edit info icon showing in the top left hand corner.

simon moores said...

Sorry to disappoint you but it's the same account

Anonymous said...

strangely the mayor pic has now gone from will's facebook page,how very TIG like he is getting.

Michael Child said...

Simon, it is possible that you may be one of those lucky enough to unfamiliar with FaceBook, the name to the right of the profile picture is the name of the facebook account, it isn’t possible to change this name, one says “William Scobie” the other “Mayor Margate” hence the two screenshots are from two different facebook accounts.

simon moores said...

The top picture is a screen shot of the comment from the Mayor's account and the bottom picture evidences that account, signd on as the Mayor.

However, I'm waiting for at least one bright spark to grasp the process but at present you are failing quite miserably.

Furthermore, if you read the comments he's already conceded its there but doesnt understand why? I do!

'Grasping at straws' springs to mind!

Michael Child said...

Simon I think the point is that when you are signed on to FaceBook as the account holder, you see a completely different wall to the wall you see if you are not the signed on account holder.

What you see is what your friends have posted, this is not a view that anyone else can see, so obviously anything posted by any of the friends of Margate Mayor on his wall would be visible to Margate Mayor.

How you came to be signed on to the Margate Mayor account raises some interesting questions about FaceBook security.

Publishing a screenshot showing you hacking the account is certainly unusual practice, but as I said earlier it is a very effective way of highlighting security issues.

Anonymous said...

Is it that Mr. Scobie signed on to Facebook as 'William Scobie' but then posted the picture to the Wall of 'Mayor Margate'? They are, after all, "friends". Thus the post is by 'William Scobie' but it is on 'Mayor Margate' account.

Shall we call it cyber-schizophrenia?

simon moores said...

7.55 wins tonight's star prize....... !

Tim Clark said...

Michael. I'm just popping up to Tesco to see if they stock any of that humble pie stuff. Also methinks someone doth protest too much

Anonymous said...

Someone sh*t stirs too much instead of getting on with his job as a councillor.

simon moores said...

Funnily enough, my 'job' isn't a councillor. I happen to be one but like my political colleagues, that's an on-demand or part-time role.

I also happen to write a weblog, which this is.

Tim Clark said...

Stunned silence from the Mayor's Parlour. Is he contemplating what damage his support for Ms Hibbert (or Mrs Allen ?) is doing to his ambition to be President of the World?

Tom Clarke said...

Please, please can I be around when Anon 4:09 tells Iris that mayors before young Will kept their teeth in a glass.

What a lovely story this all is with secret mayoral facebook accounts, hackers, candidates of sundry aliases, a bookshop owner trying to defend the child prodigy and a bunch of toothless former mayors. Got to be a book in here somewhere.

Will, it would probably have been less stressful, and even safer at times, to join the army.

Will Scobie said...

The point now is that Simon has posted an allegation that he has so far provided no evidence of (because there is none). You have posted a picture from my personal account, and then the wall of the official Mayoral account with no evidence of any link between the two (because there is none). I find it highly amusing because it seems that Simon has no idea how facebook works.

More worrying is that Simon has posted a picture of him logged in on the Mayor of Margate's official facebook page. There are only two people who have access to that, myself and my office staff. How did Simon log on to the account? How did Simon get the picture? Why has Simon now edited the picture so it no longer shows that? Very worrying.

Anonymous said...

Ok Mr Pedantic, a part time job then. Or do you do it for free?

simon moores said...

It woz that fabulous Mr Fox again Will wot done it!
One of our readers has already explained how so the Mike Harrison Defense doesn't work

Tom Clarke said...

Will, may I suggest you are just digging the hole deeper. Most of us familiar with Facebook find the concept of a secret one for the mayor a bit hard to swallow. In any event, it does not change the fact that, as mayor and for this year, you should not be involved in political campaigning, since you cannot divorce your person from your appointment.

It is even a bit undignified for the mayor to get involved in a public squabble with another councillor so would recommend you recover your dignity and exercise your right to remain silent.

Since we have all been young once, we can recognise the desire to champion one's lady friend, but there are dangers to mixing political business with the affairs of the heart. Be wary, be very wary!

Anonymous said...

Ok boys enough of the bickering! The whole point of the matter is that we have been saddled with a mayor who as well as not being old enough to shave regularly seems to have the childish notion that he can split himself down the middle and have private life away from duties when he takes off his chains. It doesnt work like that Will - you are in the public eye and as such all your actions, remarks and photographs will be judged by the community accordingly and reflect on both you and us. You should have considered that before shamelessly promoting your partner, politics and the contents of your 'personal' Facebook account. The whole point of a Mayoral appointment was I thought that it should go to someone who is not only respected by the community but has earned the right to the position through their work in that same community! Your appointment is so clearly a labour spin doctoring exercise that you should in fact be cross that they have used you so shamelessly. This whole local political scene has descended into a joke for so many reasons recently and you should all be ashamed of yourselves - the last thing Thanet needs is more adverse publicity due to those holding office squabbling when we are trying to crawl our way back up after so many years as the dustin of the South East.

simon moores said...

I'm not squabbling but simply pointing out to the Mayor of Margate - please read the column - that for a couple of centuries the holder of the office was a respected member of the community - with some unfortunate exceptions - who always kept his politics quite separate from his or her office.

Less than two months into the youngest Mayor in our history and that goes out out of the window with what little respect that remains for the office.

Tim Clark said...

Will
I'll write this with lots of short words so that you understand, even though you are a product of the grammar school system that your Party (including presumably your Labour councillor father who sent you there) abhor.

On your personal page you had a picture of yourself and the Mayoress as your profile picture. With me so far? Ok so this says "Hello, I'm the Mayor of Margate, and everything I say on here reflects the views of the Mayor of Margate." So if you posted that Margate was looking lovely in the sunshine everyone would assume that this was the Mayor of Margate speaking. I think this is a safe assumption since you changed your personal profile picture fairly quickly once the error of your ways was pointed out. Still with me? Sorry "assumption" is three syllables.
OK, say then you tell everyone to vote for Ms Hibbert (or is it Mrs Allen, or Mrs Khademzadeh?). You've now made a political statement next to a picture of you as Mayor of Margate. Not lost me yet I hope.
Simon has explained how he was able to see a screenshot of the Margate Mayor page. Beats me why you would want that to be private anyway.
As with most career politicians, you don't seem to know when to stop wriggling. Why not admit that you've made a mistake, say sorry and get on with being an apolitical Mayor. Oh, and best not harp on too much about despicable behaviour - just remind us again who complained about comments on Payam Tamiz's Facebook page.

Tim Clark said...

Mayor.Margate has 267 "Friends" including Ms Hibbert and Will Scobie. Also included in this list is Thanet Labour, which doesn't seem appropriate.

Tim Clark said...

Messrs Worrow and Driver are also Friends so maybe your Mr Fox comment wasn't that wide of the mark. Sober Jack isn't a Friend, but then he doesn't have many friends anyway.

Anonymous said...

It is an anathema to an ambitious, wannabe career policitian to be apolitical - that is why he should never have been handed the position of mayor.

Anonymous said...

Payam's behavior was far worse than anything Will's done, just as Ken's was worse than Mike's. I think I see a pattern developing here...

Ren Wood said...

Would seem that the adage now is that those that live by the Facebook, die by the Facebook. Shame for one so young though!

stuart said...

I'm still not clear on how the facebook page screen shot from the logged in view of the margate mayor was obtained by Simon?

Can you directly answer this question Simon without deviating?

simon moores said...

Best ask that Mr Fox if you can find him!

Tom Clarke said...

Stuart,

Can you tell us how Will accessed Payam's Facebook without being one of his accepted friends. Straight answer please with no deviating.

stuart said...

So that's a no then?

I guess what Will has done is totally unacceptable and worthy of an official complaint but a councillor is well within their right to hack the mayor's facebook account?

Maybe you've gone too far this time Simon?

simon moores said...

Who said I've been hacking anyone.. it woz that fabulous Mr Fox if any skulduggery was involved.. it says so on the Facebook sidebar.. what more evidence do you need?

stuart said...

We all know that the image is edited... and can see what has happened here.

The name says Mr. Fox but the small icon next to it is still a photo of the mayor.

The screenshot of your article before editing is all the evidence he needs!

Tim Clark said...

Stuart

Pay attention and we'll try again.

Matgate Mayor has 267 Facebook Friends. Not all are particularly sympathetic to Scobie Minor and some (not Cllr Moores, who isn't a Margate Mayor Friend) are even councillors.Any one of them can see the Wall and it would not be very hard for one of them to have taken a screenshot and sent it onwards. I suspect that Cllr Moores would be unlikely to risk his professional reputation in the IT world by hacking a Facebook account.

Anonymous said...

Substitute Warrow for Stuart. Best ignore Simon.

simon moores said...

For the benefit of Thomas Brown, of the Thanet Gazette, who has just given me a 15 minute lecture on 'Damaging a candidate's reputation' and more.. here is my official comment.

'I am quite satisfied that the detail I have seen on the Mayor's webpage is correct, is conceded to be correct and as a consequence, blogged a cautionary tale on the subject of social media. Tomorrow, I may blog something completely different.'

Now call me old-fashioned and I have made a complaint to the editor of the Gazette, yet again, journalists, as I reminded Thomas this evening, are supposed to ask questions and not express their personal opinions, political or otherwise.

I'm sure I will read all about it in the Gazette....

Tim Clark said...

That'll be the Thomas Brown who is following Jodi(e) Hibbert on Twitter and is a Friend of Mayor.Margate. Maybe it was him that was Mr Fox. Always enjoy his insightful and cutting edge journalism in the IoTG; Brown Ale I think his column is called.

Anonymous said...

Having read every one of the comments left on here, I am now certain of one thing. Scobie-Doo and his sidekick Thelma (Where's Shaggie) should not be involved in local politics. He has proved to be too immature to hold the post of Mayor and has damaged the integrity of the post for all time. Perhaps we should consider abandoning the entire Mayor thing now ?

Anonymous said...

So the Mayor of Margate has a secret hideout complete with lashings of tuck, fizzy pop, copies of the Beano and a secret mayoral facebook page. This is where he confides his innermost yearnings about the political future of Thanet and his lovely girlie.... Ahhhhh

Anonymous said...

There's a thought.. Perhaps Mr Brown is the Mr Fox.!

1 o'clock Rob said...

As I said earlier it doesn't matter an iota what page the "vote for the missus" post was made on, Will Scobie is the Mayor and everything he does or says until he stands down is viewed in that light.

It is a sign of his youth that he believes he can maintain a private life whilst holding an elected postion.

simon moores said...

No...I've already told Will exactly where it was 7:48 on the Facebook news feed page and openly visible. Which is why it was bought to my attention again the first place as I have absolutely zero interest in the 'Mayor's Facebook' page and had never visited it before.

So once again we are back to the rather childish idea of some kind of 'secret' mayoral Facebook page as expressed earlier.

I'm drawing a line-under the discussion and increasingly wild speculation now so we can all move on