27 Mar 2009

Two pictures and more than 2000 words

Author: will | Filed under: 2009, blogger, blogging, branding, Digital Right Ireland, Ireland, Irish, irish blogs, IrishElection, job search, kerfulle, legal, politics, twitter

I’m not going to write a lot on picturegate.

Partially because Dr Eoin O’Dell a Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin has a much better (but a snap shot of a moving target) list of all the Picturegate coverage from which you can find out about the reactions online as well as a legal analysis of the likely court actions.

And partially because around the time that the caricaturist, artist and t-shirt maker Allan Cavanagh was being interviewed by George Hook on Newstalk about the reaction to the Cowen/Casby scandal, I was being interviewed by Fianna Fáil (*waves at the appointment panel monitoring this blog*). I actually brought up the painting/apology and the reaction (seconds later) on Twitter and in the Irish blogging political sphere in the interview.

They were aware of it. This was 20 hours in to the anger.

Since then there has been front page coverage in the Irish newspapers, and coverage across the UK, European and American news. Anger at the apparent change in Garda resources to investigate the hanging of the paintings. Cried of state censorship and stifling of free speech. Questions attempted to in the Dáil.

It’s gone from being a (admittedly distasteful if you are in the Cowen family but) mildly amusing “And Finally…” style story to a major news story which its unlikely that RTÉ will want to touch with a bargepole.

The reaction, well I did a bit of Twitter trending and here are the results from Stream Graphs


If I could access this graph for an earlier time the graph would be scary around 21:30h on March 25th when the apology was read out. Twitter exploded for a little while then. It hasn’t stopped yet.  It looks like its easing down a bit, not going to completely die down.

The internet changes things.

Once, if this happened you would have a number of very upset people. Maybe they would ring each other. One to one. And agree in their anger. Now, they can communicate many to many. Pass the latest news to each other behind the mainstream media. React, repeat, retweet the latest information until everyone knows. Dig a story left along by the mainstream media back in to the harsh light of international news coverage.

So if you are going to react, you had better monitor and react quickly.

Things have changed. Its good to talk/type/tweet. Communication behind the scenes will ensure information gets out there, in the same way that the internet treats attempts at censorship (be it a blocked site or bad news) as damage that it routes around. This isn’t always an automatic thing. Often people keep that which they deem important alive.

And kicking.


take care,
Will Knott

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4 Responses to “Two pictures and more than 2000 words”

  1. Eolaí Says:

    Purely from observation, I notice that 3 days after the explosion there has been an easing off in the use of the hashtag #picturegate in tweets that are still directly or ultimately about the affair. But how to count them?

  2. Grannymar Says:

    BBC Radio 4 on Sunday Morning – 9am – ‘Broadcasting House’ will talk about Cowangate

  3. will Says:

    Eolai, a count is why I started looking for trending statistics. Unfortunately this trending graph above needs in-line have, so it took me a while. Counts, I suspect an api programme may be needed for that (given that other terms seem to have taken over)

    Grannymar, thanks. Don’t know if I can hear that. I know BBC Radio 5 has regular podcasts, does BBC Radio 4?

  4. cearta.ie » Cowengate follow-on: a question, and more pictures at the exhibitions Says:

    […] Whopper’s Bunker | “Why, that’s delightful!” with Graham Lenihan | Will Knott | Wkikpedia here and here (but as yet neither here nor […]

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