01291 622598 / 07880 794127 william@williambuist.com

Infamy, Infamy…

“There’s no such thing as bad publicity”, so said P T Barnum, but then he was running a circus.

In the media circus of Brexit over the last few days some of the febrile British tabloid press chose to quote one of my tweets. Nice. Interesting too.

By way of background – I chose some time ago to use my personal twitter (@williambuist) predominantly to express my views on the Brexit debate. It’s not the only thing I tweet about there, but it is the main thing. (My other twitter account (@xtenclub) focusses on business issues) – I aim to keep my tweets polite, informative, linking to original and reliable sources and humourous. Sometimes the antics of our politicians, or those on the continent, is a source of that humour. So it was that some time ago I tweeted….

The original tweet, from 20th September.

On Monday the Daily Express… chose to quote that tweet describing it thus: “Pro-European William Buist described the post as “brilliant trolling’ by Mr Tusk.” – On Tuesday the Daily Mail…joined the fray with a similar article – Their choice of words though was different. “Anti-Brexit campaigner William Buist said that it was ‘blatant trolling’ by Mr Tusk.” The changes play to the narrative of their article. I’ve commented on the Mail online site article to link to my original tweet and correct the misquote. I thought I should, after all I prefer accuracy.

Infamy, Infamy, the media's approach to quoting from social media. #brexit, #dailyexpress, #dailymail, #theresamay, #tusk Click To Tweet

Of course, we don’t control the way that our social media commentary is used by the press, once we put it out there it is out there. Yet, I have the advantage of an usual name, and I’m easy to find, and connect to. Looking today at the flow of traffic to websites and to follower counts its clear that there has been an uptick in both (website traffic is triple a normal weekday).


The lesson is to speak up about what matters to you. Reach out, make a noise. Publicity can come from anywhere, on any topic where you put yourself into the conversation. As long as you speak with knowledge and sense, there’s always a chance that it is picked up and given wider prominence. That cannot be a bad thing.

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

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