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The Culture Secretary Matt Hancock Has Launched A Social Network Called "Matt Hancock" And It's Lit

"Any plans later? Just Matt Hancock me and let me know."

Originally posted on
Updated on

This is the culture secretary, Matt Hancock. He's speaking on his new app/social network: Matt Hancock.

Matt Hancock / Via Matt Hancock

A still from the video greeting new users of the Matt Hancock app.

He's inviting smartphone users to download the app – to keep up with whatever he's up to in his role as a cabinet minister and the Conservative MP for West Suffolk.

Members of Matt Hancock (the app) can share their thoughts, add friends, send private messages and even add a fun GIF to posts – pretty much all the things you can do on Facebook.

There is, as you expect, a lot of pictures of and information about – Matt Hancock.

Matt Hancock has his own Matt Hancock app where members of the public can talk about Matt Hancock on a live stream… https://t.co/GlYAxJdfxU

The press release says:

[The] community creates a 'third space' to engage constituents: a digital community designed for mobile, offering the interactivity of social media without the pitfalls.

Despite promising to avoid those pitfalls, it didn't take long for users – many of them posing as frontline politicians – to swarm the platform, with a smattering of off-colour jokes and even Nazi memes.

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It may well be ironic but there are now Nazi memes on the Matt Hancock app

The announcement adds that he's willing to make the platform available to all MPs in future.

On top of that, concerns have been raised over how stringently Hancock is adhering to data protection laws.

whoah! OMG. You’d think the Digital Minister and one responsible for data protection package would get privacy right.


However, early adopters of Matt Hancock posed several questions:

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1. Who's going to play Matt Hancock in the Matt Hancock film?

Wonder who will play Matt Hancock MP in David Fincher’s ‘The Matt Hancock MP App’.

2. How come the Matt Hancock app has better community guidelines than actual Twitter?

The Matt Hancock app has better safe space guidelines than twitter

3. How long will it take for people to start trolling the Matt Hancock app with fake accounts? (Answer: Zero minutes.)

The level of chat on this Matt Hancock app is immense

4. How hot are the memes going to get on there?

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@vrai_bonhomme @Twitter @facebook @MattHancock @youngvulgarian Matt Hancock also has all the best memes


Nothing but respect for MY culture secretary’s official app

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5. Why does the Matt Hancock app have a parental warning?

Why does Matt Hancock come with a parental warning?


6. Is the Matt Hancock app end-to-end encrypted, and therefore might home secretary Amber Rudd demand that it play a bigger role in stopping terrorists from using it?

Will my communications on Matt Hancock be protected through end-to-end encryption? I'm assuming not.

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7. Is this the first of several social networks to be launched by MPs? Will we all one day be conversing on "Diane Abbott" or "Vince Cable"?

@JamesLiamCook I lay in for an extra two hours and we're 10 years into the Matt Hancock social network lifecycle. A… https://t.co/da4caQp3Mu

8. What does it take for Matt Hancock to add you as a friend on the Matt Hancock app?

@MattHancock Hi Matt, just encountered a technical problem on the Matt Hancock App. It won’t let users add you as a… https://t.co/Jdq0q4hjja

9. Is this the future?

Love this review of Matt Hancock app on Play Store. After only joining Instagram recently I would be hesitant to jo… https://t.co/DQ5PD1tKp0

10. When will "to Hancock" become a verb?

I've joined. Please go to the Matt Hanock app and Hancock me. I've already written two fire Hancocks. https://t.co/xhN7pO1IMl

11. Why does the app apparently post images despite users not giving their permission?

Here's our test of the Matt Hancock app - I denied the app access to my photos, but it posted a picture anyway.

This helps explain:

RE: Matt Hancock's Photo Access It has access to the photos you give it, but NOT your library and with no lasting… https://t.co/7T21zAA9zz

12. Where will it end?

Tomorrow Matt Hancock will be releasing a new crypto-currency called HanCoin.



Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.

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