1. The BBC is running this story about the Prime Minister’s online browsing habits.
The story, originally reported by The Register, is going to get a lot of readers. It’s got everything you want: sex, a politician looking stupid and that fear that we could all make a similar slip-up.
2. Phwoar, this will become a scandal faster than you can say “social media gaffe”.
Except the account is barely followed by anyone. And it has not been updated since 2009. So is Cameron spending his lonely nights browsing for luscious ladies to keep him entertained?
3. No. For once this really is the legacy of Gordon Brown.
The Prime Minister likes nothing more than to blame all the nation’s current ills on the previous Labour administration. But the relevant account – @Number10gov – is run by the civil service. And it comes with the job of Prime Minister, in the same way that he gets the keys to the real-life Number 10.
In short: it’s an outlet for dreary official press releases and the ilk. And it was originally set up during Brown’s time in office, with the picture changing when Cameron swept into Downing Street. But the followers and following lists stayed the same.
4. Look, here’s a Twitter account with David Cameron’s face on it. But it’s actually a thrilling Gordon Brown-era tweet from 2008.
UK Prime Minister
Gordon Brown calls for action on new “financial vision” following talks with Jose Manuel Barroso at the EU Council in Brussels this morning.
5. It’s fair to say that Brown’s team weren’t great at Twitter.
That’s OK, back then everyone was getting used to using the service.
But in the early years they got into the habit of automatically following almost anyone who chose to follow the Prime Minister.
This means that thousands of spammers are still followed by the Prime Minister’s official account.
And one of the spam Twitter users that followed Number 10 in the early days? And received a follow back? Carltons of London escort agency.
6. The end result is that if you’re a typical Twitter user today and stumble onto one of these spam accounts, you’ll immediately see Cameron’s face next to it.
Which, let’s face it, doesn’t look great. But perhaps the real question is why a journalist was checking out Carltons of London in the first place.
7. Still, the headline writers will have their fun.
We reckon Cameron’s Downing Street staff will be performing a mass unfollow tomorrow morning.
8. UPDATE: Cameron’s team have already unfollowed the account. But Carltons has gained followers.
Any would-be punters will probably struggle to get through to that number tonight due to the number of journalists calling for comment.
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