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How Twitter poisoned politics

The strange story of how the decline and fall of political life has been fuelled by a website that started off as a platform for sharing gossip and cat photos

By Rafael Behr   October 2018

At 3.12pm on 20th November 2014, Emily Thornberry hit tweet. The Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury, then serving as Shadow Attorney General, posted a photograph of a house in Kent, decked with three flags bearing the St George’s Cross. Her caption? “Image from #Rochester.” At 6.15pm she tweeted again, apologising for “any offence caused by the three flag picture,” adding that “people should fly the England flag with pride!” By 10.30pm she had resigned from the front bench.

The political autopsy lasted days, focusing largely on the question of…

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