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Wings Over Scotland


Towards a better, kinder 2017

Posted on December 29, 2016 by

A few people objected to this post when we first ran it a year ago, then came to regret their decision. So for their sake we’re putting it up again, in a new and updated form, in the interests of civilised and productive discourse about Scottish politics.

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It’s the most constructive contribution we can think of to make Twitter a less toxic place over the next 12 months. It’s our block list.

The Herald columnist Iain Macwhirter had some wise words to say on the subject of social media on New Year’s Day this year:

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The month before, though, he’d been even more to the point. These passages are from a column on 6 December 2015:

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That last line is key, because the fact of the matter is that Macwhirter’s first wish is never going to come true. It’s simply far too profitable for both crybaby politicians and scandal-hungry hacks to blow random Twitter and Facebook comments vastly out of proportion, knowing full well that doing so makes the problem worse.

(Because the “abused victims” get to stoke up their fake outrage in the belief it’ll bring them political gain – which invariably fails to materialise, making them angrier still – and the “culprits” are resentful of the distortions and one-sided coverage, leaving both sides more bitterly polarised than they were before.)

The only thing that will foil the media’s goal of filling easy column inches with lurid tales of vile cybernats and Corbynites – and stop everyone getting angrier and angrier the longer they stay on Twitter – is to reduce the supply at source. And the only way of achieving that is if intelligent people stop arguing with morons.

Everyone on this site who uses social media will be well aware of a slew of figures on the opposing side with whom there is no point whatsoever in attempting to have a debate, so we won’t dignify them here by listing them. No amount of persuasion or evidence will change their minds – inconvenient facts are ignored, arguments are bodyswerved with semantic hairsplitting, hours and hours are wasted with nothing to show for it but more anger and bitterness.

We all know how it works. So why not stop?

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As by far the most popular and successful non-party pro-independence voice on the internet, Wings Over Scotland is a bullet magnet for raging BritNats. We’re on Twitter all day every day, and if there’s a furious Yoon zoomer anywhere you can guarantee that at some point they’ve sent abuse in our direction.

So because we’d never get anything done if we got drawn into slanging matches with every God-Save-The-Queening numpty in the land, we have a hair-trigger blocking policy, and the main criterion is stupidity. Nobody is blocked for being a Unionist, only for being a troll or an idiot.

(A good few Yes supporters fall into the latter category and are also included. In our view you’re better off without them, but if you disagree then note that taking the steps we’re about to outline will NOT block anyone you currently follow.)

Our blocklist is thousands strong, and it massively streamlines and enhances the Twitter experience, not to mention our general quality of life. And if that sounds like a good thing, it can enhance yours too.

We call it The Official Wings Over Scotland Universal Twitter Enhancer, but it’s really an app called Block Together.

If you click the above link, it’ll take you to a page that looks like this:

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If you click on the “Block All and Subscribe” button on that page, Twitter will then block all the accounts on the list for you, except any that you’re already following.

(You may also have to authorise Block Together to access your Twitter account. It can’t read your private data and it won’t post any tweets for you.)

It will also automatically block any accounts that we might subsequently block (again, unless you’re already following them, in which case they WON’T be blocked). That’s a default setting of the app that we can’t change, but if you don’t want it to happen you can click “Subscriptions” at the top of the page, which will bring up this screen:

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…and then click on the X to unsubscribe. You’ll keep blocking the current list, but you won’t automatically block any we add to it subsequently.

(To unsubscribe, you’ll need to wait an hour or two after clicking the “Block All and Subscribe” button, or it won’t have finished the initial blocking process and will cancel it, and you’ll end up blocking nobody.)

They won’t be able to see your tweets, and if they tweet at you you won’t see theirs either. They’ll all be screaming at a soundproof brick wall, you won’t be tempted into pointless fights with them, and you can do something more productive and enjoyable instead, whether it’s going out canvassing for whichever party you support or staying in watching old episodes of Doctor Who on W from before it went rubbish.

The seriously scumbaggy end of the Unionist spectrum really hates the Wings block list, because it makes it a lot harder for them to wind up Yes voters, waste their time and provoke the sort of angry reactions that the papers love to jump on. They huff endlessly about it, and have created numerous web pages and apps bleating about how dreadful it is that people won’t listen to their abusive and destructive ranting.

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Blocking is reversible. You can unblock someone again in a single click any time you like. And there’s just a glimmer of a chance that if people who are never going to change their mind (on either side) stop yelling pointlessly and furiously at each other, the entire online tone of Scottish politics could become a bit less poisonous.

It’d upset all the lazy hacks who just go looking for abusive tweets to blow up into “news” stories, of course, but we suspect most of you could probably live with that.

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PS Some people don’t like the list. That’s absolutely fine – don’t use it, then. But its purpose is to REDUCE the amount of pointless arguing and anger on the internet, not generate more, so please don’t whinge about it in the comments. Follow your own advice by ignoring this post and walking away.

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3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 29 12 16 13:18

    Twitter blocking – Towards Indyref2…

  2. 29 12 16 13:56

    Towards a better, kinder 2017 | speymouth

  3. 12 02 17 20:50

    Upon Reflection | Young Team For Independence

91 to “Towards a better, kinder 2017”

  1. jimnarlene says:

    Cheerz Rev, I’ve just started using Twitter, I’ll be using this block, ASAP.

  2. jimnarlene says:

    App in progress, nice.

  3. ClanDonald says:

    My blood pressure has improved considerably since I downloaded the Twitter enhancer, do it now, you won’t regret it ?

  4. a sort of colonic irrigation/cleansing/flushing of the yoon on twitter?

  5. David says:

    Things that really wind up the wilder unionists:
    1: The block list!
    2: Wings lives in Bath, which is in England!!
    3: Stu says he’s a Rev, but of what church?!?!

    I love it that they waste their time and energy on these trivialities. 🙂

  6. One of the Hundred says:

    Thanks Stewart. I was blocked by that heedcase Siobahn after very limited interaction so I assume there is a similar system in play for them.

  7. Dr Ew says:

    Whaddya mean “Doctor Who before it got rubbish”? You swivel-eyed Cybernat zoomer troll swine… (etc, etc)

  8. Richardinho says:

    I’m all for the block list, and the general WoS policy of not allowing Yoons to post on news stories ( I assume that’s the policy); There’s plenty of open forums if folk really want to engage with these people, but by and large I think it’s pointless. The people we want to speak to are those who are not ‘RangersQueenUlsterForever’ types – why bother? These are people who you will never persuade anyway. (In fact they may eventually come round, but it’s more likely to be due to growing maturity and reflection than via a heated Twitter exchange)

  9. shiregirl says:

    Thanks Rev. I was on twitter a while back but soon came off due to trolling. Shame, as I enjoyed the discussions with fellow indy followers and yoons alike.

    Will be rejoining and using the list.

  10. harry mcaye says:

    What did the official Partick Thistle account do wrong?

  11. Fred says:

    If only it was also applied to site trolls! or should that be shite trolls?

  12. Bobby McPherson says:

    Genius invention – thanks Rev. This has got to be good for my mental health as I couldnae bear all the hideous abuse found it Very upsetting so I just dropped out. Thanks again. A few Bob coming your way by bank transfer. Buy yersel a few beers all the best for 2017.

  13. Peter A Bell says:

    I won’t be using The Official Wings Over Scotland Universal Twitter Enhancer. Not only because I instinctively recoil from the idea of allowing someone else to make prescriptive judgements on my behalf. There is an inherent contradiction in claiming to be able to think for oneself while delegating to some external agency the task of assessing the worth of even something so trivial as a Twitter comment – or the individual making it.

    On a more practical note, while I fully concur with Stu Campbell’s conclusion that there are some (many?) unionists with whom it is totally pointless to engage, I take the view that limited exchanges with even the worst of British nationalist ‘zoomers’ can serve a useful purpose. I believe it is right that the distortions and lies promulgated by these bigots should be challenged. I am persuaded that, because it is not only zoomers who see these challenges, there is always the possibility that some lesser zoomer might be prompted to revisit their prejudices.

    I am convinced that the way to convert No voters to Yes voters is to first provoke them to question the assumptions and preconceptions which make them No voters. In the main, unionists are people who have never seriously reflected on the nature of the political union or considered its implications for Scotland. Anything that might prompt such reflection has to benefit the independence cause.

    For this reason, I try to abide by a self-imposed ordinance limiting myself to a maximum of three responses to those unionist zoomers. The first questioning the basis of whatever claim it is they are making. The second seeking to refute that claim with facts. The last pointing out their unwillingness to accept the facts. The zoomer will invariably have descended into incoherent abuse almost immediately upon being challenged. But this is all to the good. Bigots can generally be relied upon to condemn themselves by their own words if you just let them speak.

    I cannot claim to always adhere strictly to my own rules. But I do try. And this Wings Over Scotland article has made me resolve to try harder in the coming year. But I will decide for myself when I’m done with any particular unionist zoomer. I will decide for myself at what point they cease to serve my purpose.

    I should point out that my feelings about Stu Campbell’s personal Twitter block list, as described above, is in no way influenced by the fact that I am on that list. I got over being perplexed about that a long time ago. Helped by the realisation that it IS a personal list. It reflects one person’s attitudes and preference – not to mention their temperament and ‘idiosyncrasies’. I am simply not prepared to embrace somebody else’s personal attitudes and prejudices as my own.

  14. Macart says:

    I drop in to read the odd twitter thread from links supplied now and again, but never really felt attracted to or comfortable with the twitter environment. Partly because I’m just not up to the 140 character convos and observations thing and also partly because I like talking to people. It can also, as has been highlighted on here many times, be a pretty scary place if you don’t know what you’re about.

    Having said that, it can be very productive. Its proven its worth as an awesome tool for rapid communication right enough and when used well it can have its truly inspirational moments. Taking apart media bull before it hits print or picks up traction. Bursting inflated public egos with a well timed and pointed hashtag. Reducing fear and smear headlines to satirized nonsense with bags of hilarity attached.

    For those who do use it, (and I gather it can be quite addictive), just be careful out there. 😉

  15. Greg says:

    Excellent idea. Although, most of my wasted time has been spent on Facebook. Rather than argue with them, I resorted to sharing a picture of a turnip. Is there an app for blocking Facebook unionist plonkers? 😛

  16. Jim Graham says:

    I took on board the block list last year. I saw the words of those that did not agree with the list, but I have never regretted it. Over the last year I only unblocked a couple of tweeters. In comparison, I have blocked probably a couple of hundred additional time-wasting, offensive or paid-intern unionists. Result? I spend a lot less time being angry or generally finding Twitter distasteful. I also have no desire to spend time arguing with people who obviously have an agenda and whose minds will never be changed. I will also never be influenced by those on both sides who say that it is a Wings-worship ‘sheeple’ thing. The block list is a resource. It works for me.

  17. Drew Peacock says:

    Cheers.
    I dared disagree with some abuse directed at Loki (cant remember which time as there have been plenty) and was blocked by WoS for not taking him off the conversation (which he was part of before I entered).
    I thought that was petty. Now he’s advising others block me too.

    Some man.

  18. Marcia says:

    As someone who doesn’t have a personal twitter thingy but just read certain bookmarked twitter accounts I am struck by the number of very angry people who inhabit this earth. Maybe there should be counselling by twitter for those who seem to be on it 24 hours a day.

  19. Greg says:

    By the way, did you mean when Sylvester McCoy took over or Steven Moffat?

  20. Willson, LL.B says:

    Deactivated twitter following a bizarre period of several months during 2016 when I seemingly became a tweeter of interest to what I woukd describe as a “nuisance” Tory supporting tweeter; abuse was mild and puerile eg being called “cretin”, “moron”, “sad little old chap”, no threats of violence,but a somewhat inexplicable claim in the absence of any abuse or threats on my part that my site had been reported to local cops, seemingly for some winding up and banter content; though no cops ever contacted me about the alleged complaint. That action by the “nuisance” did me a favour, I decided, after seeking advice of a cop pal and a “Rumpole” pal, to deactivate and just post on blogs occasionally, blogs seem a relatively civilised zone. Still use twitter search to catch up with some news eg scores in local rugby matches of interest or breaking news stories, because no need to be logged in.

  21. Graeme says:

    I like Peter Capaldi as the Dr and thought the Christmas episode was great. Am I the only one?

    Anyway going to add the block list now 🙂

  22. shiregirl says:

    Peter A Bell @12.52 says:

    I should point out that my feelings about Stu Campbell’s personal Twitter block list, as described above, is in no way influenced by the fact that I am on that list

    Yeah, righty oh. Still smarts, eh?

  23. Pedro says:

    I’m happy to never see any of the lunatic rantings of the many swivel-eyed BritNats on Stu’s block list. Subscribed.

  24. uno mas says:

    Is it too early to go ot?

    Hope I don´t get put on a list!!!

    In case you hadn´t noticed today´s world wide Google Doodle is Glasgow´s very own Charles Macintosh 29/12/1766 inventor of impermeable waterproofing and lots of other clever chemistry stuff.

    Of course the Telegraph are running a piece looking to cast doubt on this fact.

    You´ve got to hand it to them they´re consistent and persistent
    F.F.S.!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “and the banker never wears a mack in the pouring rain………………………………….very strange -:)

  25. Dan Huil says:

    Sounds like a good idea. It almost makes me want to have a twitter account.

  26. Dr Jim says:

    Yoons be bad for mental health

  27. Robert Peffers says:

    @Richardinho says: 29 December, 2016 at 12:23 pm:

    ” … These are people who you will never persuade anyway. (In fact they may eventually come round, but it’s more likely to be due to growing maturity and reflection than via a heated Twitter exchange)”

    More likely it would require the first working brain transplant but that would mean the body was the same but the person was changed. A healthy body does not mean the associated brain is also healthy.

  28. schrodingers cat says:

    isnt there a 3rd way, a purgatory type holding pen, a sort of naughty step?

    lol

  29. Ian McCubbin says:

    Oh wish had been on your email list last year but consider this done now. It would have saved me dealing with some idiots and near trolls. Glad you say some are within our movement as amabout to block one in Aberfeldy.

  30. johnj says:

    Peter A Bell.

    How many people do you think are going to read a post that long?

    No wonder the Rev blocked you.

  31. Robert Peffers says:

    @Gregory Beekman says: 29 December, 2016 at 2:26 pm:

    “Stu – this article is not what I want to see on Wings. I don’t care how many enemies you’ve made on Twitter, nor do I want you to tell me all their names.
    Worst article ever.
    Keep your tantrum list to yourself.”

    Strange thing is that this article has brought to the surface a parcel of protesting commenters most regular wingers don’t recognise as Wings commenters.

    Now I wonder why that might be?
    Especially as the app seems to allow a very free choice of NOT blocking anyone you would rather communicate with.

    Personally I wouldn’t touch twitter with my worst enemies bargepole but that is my personal choice. If you wish to use it then it probably keeps you out of other peoples hair for a while.

  32. Gary45% says:

    Thanks for that Stu, its all a wee bit confusing to me as I don’t use Twatter or Face Plook.
    One of the tweets?! above had the classic “That’s why all SNP hold the same views”, that is the mentality of the general Yoon, speaking for 2 of the 120 odd thousand SNP supporters, my wife and I hold different views regarding the SNP, i.e. direction of the party e.t.c.
    I suppose its one of the many reasons I would not get involved with it, and can only say thanks to yourself and other wingers for engaging with the morons who hide behind the keyboard.
    You just have to look at the comments section on the likes of MSN news? stories, the bile and diatribe that gets disseminated from certain quarters makes you embarrassed to be a human being.
    The tide is turning and the Yoons know it.
    Roll on 2017.

  33. schrodingers cat says:

    Gregory Beekman

    nor do I want you to tell me all their names.

    Keep your tantrum list to yourself.

    um… he kinda did greg, wos is the revs blog

    johnj says to Peter A Bell.

    How many people do you think are going to read a post that long?

    from Peter, lots of us actually, one of the best indy bloggers there is

  34. Christopher Whyte says:

    Peter A Bell (12:52):

    I get what you’re saying, but the point of the Wings block list is that you don’t HAVE to use it; you can choose to, and then decide on how it works for you. If there’s someone you think is worth conversing with, and who can be persuaded, then you can simply unblock them and have that conversation.

    The issue is that the overwhelming majority of these people are on the list, not for being Unionists, but for being complete, fucking idiots or arch-trolls who are looking for a rise that feeds their status as the victim.

    Hothersall is the prime example.

    Just prior to the last General Election, he posted a tweet saying that if you supported the bedroom tax, then you should vote for the Conservatives or the SNP. My response was that the Scottish Government has put in place a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to save vulnerable people from the ravages of the bedroom tax, a payment exclusive to Scots by virtue of their government at Holyrood.

    It’s absolutely obvious I thought, to anyone with a brain, that a government paying to protect people can’t support a policy that impoverishes them.

    His response was to link a parliament vote where the SNP didn’t vote against a bill about the bedroom tax, claiming that such an action proved they supported it; he completely ignored the fact that the Scottish government obviously DOESN’T support the bedroom tax by allocating funds to protect folks from it.

    Now, I might have pointed out that if we were to view party policy through the lens of abstention then the Labour Parliamentary Party are stood in a pretty shaky glass house. But because it was obvious that he wasn’t interested in a proper debate, and couldn’t be persuaded thanks to tribal hatred of the SNP, I simply named him as an arch-troll and suggested that people should simply ignore creatures of this type.

    His response summed up why the block list exists.

    He tweeted that the Scottish Greens (of whom I was a member at the time) would surely be interested in one of their members calling someone like him “a creature”, copying the Greens account into the tweet.

    He, quite literally, tried to grass me up to the teacher. His implication was that I was calling him a creature for being gay, rather than assuming I was talking about being a troll – the very thing I’d called him a mere one tweet prior. It was sheer victimhood, which he tried to rope into some weird form of homophobia to present himself as a put-upon minority. It was a pitiful response from a grown adult, and highlighted why the Wings block list exists.

    If you think you can persuade these people, then more power to your arm. But please don’t think the list exists to create a cosy echo-chamber – it’s a way to save time, energy and frustration dealing with people whose only reason to be on Twitter is to wind people up into something they can claim victimhood over.

    Don’t be that person.

  35. schrodingers cat says:

    Robert Peffers says:
    this article has brought to the surface a parcel of protesting commenters most regular wingers don’t recognise as Wings commenters.

    its good to stir the shit sometimes tho robert, its been like the fuckin waltons in here for weeks now 🙂

  36. Peter A Bell says:

    ohnj says:
    29 December, 2016 at 2:41 pm
    Peter A Bell.

    How many people do you think are going to read a post that long?

    No wonder the Rev blocked you.

    I assume an adult audience with an attention span greater than that of a gnat.

  37. Peter A Bell says:

    shiregirl says:
    29 December, 2016 at 1:31 pm
    Peter A Bell @12.52 says:

    I should point out that my feelings about Stu Campbell’s personal Twitter block list, as described above, is in no way influenced by the fact that I am on that list

    Yeah, righty oh. Still smarts, eh?

    That’s the kind of infantile, fuckwitted comment that certainly would earn you a place on my Twitter block list.

  38. Proud Cybernat says:

    “…then there are the sheeple who use the wings block list.”

    “sheeple” is soooo 20th century!

    Nice1 Rev. Still won’t be doing twatter though.

  39. schrodingers cat says:

    Gregory Beekman says:
    Your Twitter is about your interactions

    no they’re not, i run a tw account for a local YES group, i use it to publicise local events and communicate to other yes groups.

    since the tw account represents the group and its reputation, I assiduously block all unionists to avoid online arguments. stu’s list is very useful in this regard. I still follow and rt Peter bell, angela haggerty, angry salmond, but not terry kelly cos I think he’s a troll 🙂

  40. Dan Huil says:

    Aye, as Robert Peffers says above, it’s strange how “new” contributors have suddenly appeared after the Rev tells us about the block list. Very telling, and that’s before we even consider their “opinions”.

    I guess it just goes to prove how influential WOS is. Keep up the excellent work, Rev.

  41. schrodingers cat says:

    not sure if Elaine Coyle from derby is @shiregirl

    but I blocked her anyway

    #thisisfunsmileyface

  42. Peter A Bell says:

    Christopher Whyte says:
    29 December, 2016 at 3:02 pm
    Peter A Bell (12:52):

    I get what you’re saying, but the point of the Wings block list is that you don’t HAVE to use it; you can choose to…

    I’m not sure why you imagine I am unaware of this. I have better things to do than trawl through somebody else’s block list looking for individuals who don’t meet my criteria for blocking. I really can’t think why anybody would want to do that, no matter how much time they had on their hands. It strikes me as being a massively – perhaps even fatally – tedious task.

    Actually, you make my point for me. Hothersall is precisely the type of British nationalist foghorn that I WILL NOT BLOCK. For the simple reason that he so perfectly represents what passes for ‘thinking’ among ideological unionists.

    Know thine enemy!

    When I slap down wee Duncan’s drivel I do so, not in the hope of inducing an epiphany that might rid the bollard of his bigotry, but because others might just be awakened to the inane nature of the stuff he spouts.

  43. schrodingers cat says:

    Hothersall is precisely the type of British nationalist foghorn that I WILL NOT BLOCK

    fair doo’s except dunkypoos blocked my schrodingers cat account, i cant imagine why….

  44. chris kilby says:

    I cut out the middleman/troll by avoiding Twitter completely. Didn’t stop me acquiring a mad stalker on there anyway – long story.

    (Don’t block me, Rev, but I think you’re wrong about Doctor Who. Which, oddly enough, is how I acquired my mad stalker chum in the first place…)

  45. galamcennalath says:

    When you enter discussion with Unionists, on or offline, I find it best to listen, answer questions, and suggest further reading. Head to head yes-it-is-no-it-isn’t argy bargy gets nowhere.

    I’m not on twitter, but do look at some threads via the website. My blood pressure couldn’t stand getting fully involved. Similarly, that’s why I avoid the comments on MSM sites.

    I find much of what is said to be contributing nothing. It’s either already debunked nonsense or urban myth!

    Much Unionist output is basically dishonest. While it is actually motivated by self interest in the survival of a corrupt unfair system, they never admit that and dress up their utterings as patriotism to what they call Britain. Or worse, they behave like the worst kind of nationalists but say they oppose nationalism.

    Most Unionist ‘stuff’ I find negative. They never make genuine alternative proposals or positive arguments for their case. It’s just angry lashing out.

    Stu has made his Twitter list available for use, or not. No one has to adopt it. I can easily imagine how it would be useful to filter out Unionist noise on Twitter!

    It will all end soon, so we can mop the shit off the floor and begin afresh making Scotland the country is should be.

  46. Proud Cybernat says:

    You can choose to use the WoS twat blocker–or not. It’s YOUR choice. And, subsequently, it is also YOUR choice to unblock already blocked twats. It’s all about CHOICE. No one is forcing anything.

    I think Peter Bell makes some good, well qualified points about tackling Yoon arguments head-on and limiting the parameters of any discourse with them. How else will borderline Yoon loons realise their great Yoony mentors are utter twitter twatters unless a well-reasoned argument can be presented against them?

    Just sayin’.

  47. Brian Powell says:

    OT but with Brexit about, seems UK wants out of the EU but still bugger it up.

    David Cameron trying to become next Secretary General of NATO. They want to play apart in the EU security plans. So Cameron Arse General of Brexit Chaos wants to have a say in EU security.

    American un-named spokes somebody says the UK, with biggest spending on arms after the US is best placed for the role. Would that spokes gob represent the arms industry, I wonder?

    UK out of the EU would go from being in three biggest players in Europe to 100th in the world. So more piss taking from the failing UK.

  48. Christopher Whyte says:

    Peter A Bell:

    Yep, fair comment – I see what you’re saying. But I’m not arguing that you should use the Wings list and then painstakingly go through all the entries afterwards. I’m suggesting that people use it if they want a quick shortcut and are largely interested in following the Scottish independence debate from the Yes perspective.

    My personal choice is to manage my own account, being self-aware enough that I’m not at all the magnet for abuse that the @WingsScotland account is.

    Funnily enough, however, I’m going to sound a bit contradictory when discussing your next point; and that’s in debating things with idiots who cannot be persuaded.

    Social media is the most extraordinary echo-chamber. People, especially on Twitter, surround themselves with voices of a like-mind where, ultimately, they aren’t (and can’t be) challenged. The reason I say this might come across as contradictory is because it’d be strange of me to argue that you should close of dissenting voices using someone else’s list, when I appreciate that the above is true.

    But here’s the thing:

    Trying to open the minds of those who follow Hothersall and his ilk is, in my opinion, completely futile. Those who follow him and read his tweets are, almost to a man, the same ultra-hard No voters that no amount of candour, evidence or rationale can dissuade. They’re the same slight-seeking, intellectually lazy and hateful types that he is, and that means that you’re almost certain to be trying to influence people who, put simply, are beyond such influence.

    Is that really worth your time?

    That’s what makes this site, and others like it, so important. They take social media arguments OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA, and then scrutinise them appropriately. The “Some Arsehole” approach to news then becomes even more laughable than it was to start with, and people can often get a good dose of perspective and evidence-based journalism on the side.

  49. Brian MacLeod says:

    Something similar for FaceBook would be wonderful.

    I’ve noticed a lot of subversive trolls recently. Apparently supporting independence but undermining the SNP and Yes groups with false statements and SNP Baaadisms.

    None of those I have checked have any substantial prior history on FB, so are likely the paid Yoon Trolls.

  50. One_Scot says:

    Lol, Yessers arguing amongst themselves. Maybe we really are too stupid.

  51. galamcennalath says:

    Brian Powell says:

    David Cameron trying to become next Secretary General of NATO.

    WTF, when I read that I couldn’t believe it.

    Cameron has brought down the biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez about our ears. As far as I was concerned he was a failed and discredited politician now out of public service.

    But it seems to be true!

    “David Cameron could become next Nato Secretary General

    UK Government wants former prime minister to ‘bat for England’ as it steps up involvement in defence alliance

    Wait a minute, bat for England‘. Oh well, that’s different. iEngland do what it wants. Nothing to do with us, then. Phew!

    http://archive.is/7NlbZ

  52. Robert Peffers says:

    @johnj says: 29 December, 2016 at 2:41 pm:

    “Peter A Bell.
    How many people do you think are going to read a post that long?
    No wonder the Rev blocked you.”

    Most wingers would read Peter’s comments anywhere, johnj. Peter tends to make rather good points and even if we do not all agree with everything he posts he is always worth reading.

    You see this is a blog and not a tweeter’s place where wee short tweety soundbites are the norm.

    On blogs we usually all take time to consider not only what the other commenters are saying but time to consider what we are about to post in reply.

    What is more even if we do fall out with each other sometimes we do not tend to really hold grudges for long.

    Furthermore, as the rev Stu’s list seems to work in a way that anyone on the list can be allowed by any individual user who wants to interact with someone other users do not.

  53. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    A couple of comments which ignored the PS on the article have been deleted. I’m not interested in repeating the argument – as it says, if you disagree with the list nobody’s making you use it, nor am I going to explain my reasons for blocking every last individual. As it also says, if you like people enough to follow them already, the app WON’T block them even if you do sign up to it.

  54. Paula Rose says:

    If you are already using twitter you have no reason to download this – if you want to enjoy twitter as a new or previously infrequent user then OK do so.

    Just make sure you follow plenty of good accounts and you will soon find that you will be unblocking lots of people on that list as they are frequently re-tweeted by many of us or else we are in conversation with them.

  55. Clootie says:

    …I wish I was on Twitter to use the app. 🙂

  56. Truth says:

    I’m sure JK would have the “perfect response” to this idea.

    Or maybe she’s on the list as well. I’m not sure she’s stupid, but I reckon her trolling should warrant a place.

  57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’m all for the block list, and the general WoS policy of not allowing Yoons to post on news stories ( I assume that’s the policy)”

    Not at all. Anyone capable of having a civil debate is welcome here. Even the likes of sensibledave aren’t banned, because while he’s a bit snotty he’s not an abusive troll, in my view. You get banned for being a prick and for not following the rules, not for being a Unionist.

  58. shiregirl says:

    Peter A Bell 3.08pm says:

    That’s the kind of infantile, fuckwitted comment that certainly would earn you a place on my Twitter block list.

    Now, now Peter. No need to resort to profanities. Perhaps that’s why people block you – you resort to swearing in response to a bit of banter and state you would block me if I was on twitter. Tell you what, as soon as I rejoin twitter, I will tweet you just so you can put me on your list.

    And no, schrodingers cat, I’m not Elaine Coyle from Derby, whoever she is. I have supported and followed wings for years and continue to support Indy. Use the list or don’t. It shouldn’t be divisive.

    I’m finding it odd that there are many non regulars commenting and taking such offence today…

  59. Geoff Huijer says:

    I think this is a good idea. Don’t use it if you don’t think it’s the thing for you.

    I’m unlikely to use it solely because whenever a Unionist (usually Rangers ‘fan’, sad to say) spouts pish at me I just give it the response it deserves; nothing. I don’t engage with zoomers of any hue – I wouldn’t in public & don’t on Twitter.

    I’m still blocked by The Scotsman (freedom of the press) although can’t remember ever engaging with them. I couldn’t care less either – they have proven in the past with their ‘newspapers’ they have nothing of interest to me.

  60. rogerM says:

    A better idea is to add this line to your hosts file:

    127.0.0.1 twitter.com

    I just don’t see there’s much to be gained by arguing on Twitter. Why argue with those whose minds are made up?

    Also, I really wish people would stop using the term ‘yoon’. It makes the person saying it sound somewhat unhinged and will just alienate the soft no voters needed to win independence. Insulting people is never a good way to win them over to your side.

  61. Brian Powell says:

    galamcennalath

    Maybe they hope no one will notice that he is a ex-PM because he was catastrophically wrong with Brexit and was considered feeble by the EU when he tried to ‘negotiate’ a deal in Europe.

    He would carry all the weight of man down the pub. Imagine him addressing the Chinese or Russians, they would all be staring into the distance wondering when the grubs up.

    Still, would the world want to reward him for being a total dick? One can never tell, witness Tony Blair.

  62. mogabee says:

    My twitter acc. interacts with some really interesting people, some not so interesting and a few dogs!!

    If I had as many interactions as Stu. does, I’d block readily too 😀

    Anyone who thinks they can change minds on social media is entitled to try, I prefer the face to face approach and use twitter for laughing at jerks, mainly Tories and reading and passing on interesting articles.

    Don’t know why folk get het up about the famous block list, do what you want, but just quit whinging about it…

  63. Robert Peffers says:

    @Gregory Beekman says: 29 December, 2016 at 2:59 pm:

    “Not everyone rushes to post disparaging comments about Union supporters on this site.”

    Maybe that is because this is not twitter and is more focused upon considered argument.

    In any case no one on Wings rushes to reply to anyone. We do not just dismiss other than independence views out of hand. We will argue the points being made by others.

    If we get an obvious troll, and we do have regular obvious trolls who get more than their fair share of the debate.

    We recently had a fairly long session with sensibledave.
    We do not scroll past anyone who we personally believe to only want to disrupt the debate.

    It’s still a tantrum list.”,

    That’ll be in your humble opinion – of course?

    ” … Rev is judging people’s IQs and then judging how much worth that IQ has to twitter”

    Is it? It is, whatever it is, applicable to only twitter and has no effect on the posters on Wings.

    ” … power corrupts etc. This is not a good sign”.

    Pish! In the first place it is a list compiled not just by the Rev Stu but by all who install and use the app on Twitter. In the second place any user of the app can override any other user’s block on anyone on the list.

    Are you seriously attempting to claim that everyone on twitter must read and reply to everyone else on twitter?

    As to judging I.Q. it would seem your own I.Q. has failed to understand the object and workings of the app in question.

    It is an app open to any tweeter who wants to use it.
    All users can add names to the list.
    All users can exempt and blocked persons from the list,

    So it is thus NOT a personal Rev Stu list except for the Rev Stu himself.

    Nor is it any other user’s personal list except for that particular user themselves
    .
    It is list compiled by all users and any user can unblock anyone for themselves only that they consider not worth blocking.

    Yet you seem to believe it is the Rev Stu’s own personal list of abusers that every user must abide by.

  64. K1 says:

    Ah knew sensible wis yer pet…he’s a snotty prick but fair enough not an abusive troll…he’ll be along to gloat in a minute…you just patted his heid…ugh! 😉

    (ps, ta for the quick unblock…)

  65. Liz g says:

    RE. Sensible Dave.
    Mibbi no an abuser but he is a user.
    He uses this site and the people on it for an afternoon or evenings entertainment.
    That’s nasty enough for me .

  66. manandboy says:

    Venus is unusually bright this evening. Enjoy.

  67. Didn’t try it last time as I’ve got quite a long block list. But I’m seeing so many relentless trolls (are they paid, automated?) that I may use it. 2017 needs positivity and focus. Indy is so very close. As mentioned, it’s so important not to waste time being led into cul-de-sac debates by online provocateurs. Bravo.

  68. bjsalba says:

    I do not tweet, and have no desire to do so. I spend too much time time on-line as it is.

    On the other hand, I do read some academic blogsites and sometimes the 140 character limit seems mightily attractive.

  69. heedtracker says:

    You get banned for being a prick and for not following the rules, not for being a Unionist.

    I’ve not been banned yet for the first bit:D

    There’s some horrible people out there, really horrible, and some are on twitter.

  70. yesindyref2 says:

    Here’s free food for a year.

    Nope don’t want it, I might not like some of the food.

    Ah, OKAY then.

  71. Suzanne says:

    Each to their own, I say. While I may not partake of Stu’s block option, I do block those with whom it is impossible to have a sensible discussion. As soon as people start ranting and insulting they get the “pull the lever and release the sharks” approach. Some stay and talk. Some and I even part on good terms, and perhaps – PERHAPS – they have a think and challenge their own perceptions.

    I’ve always been on the side of giving people a chance, and when you’re arguing the point with someone who is entrenched, there will be others who are watching. It is they I coax in with reason and politeness, and who knows how many hearts we can win with that approach.

  72. One_Scot says:

    Alex Massie – ‘BBC ‘bias’ against independence was essential’

    http://archive.is/EAOSz

    Imagine being a supporter of Independence and paying these people.

  73. J R Tomlin says:

    If people want to copy your block of me because I dared to say one of your tweets was sexist, they should have at it. I thought it was childish and juvenile a year ago and still think so. So no. I didn’t ‘come to regret it’. Nor do I retract (as you demanded at the time) that the tweet was sexist.

  74. brian watters says:

    I was recently blocked on twitter by the Heralds David Torrance for having the audacity to reply to one of his tweets where he complained about a comma being in the wrong place in the newly released Scottish governments Brexit document.
    I replied “they probably did it on purpose David , to give you something to write about” and was promply blocked.
    It made my day

  75. Cadogan. Enright says:

    Great idea

  76. HandandShrimp says:

    I don’t twitter but I think a handy block list for everyday users that don’t want their twitter page cluttered with predictable and pointless yoonery is a handy tool to have.

    Others that relish the fray and want to engage will more likely have their own select discard list for only the particularly offensive or tediously dull.

  77. Paula Rose says:

    For what it is worth my take on all this –

    If you want to enjoy twitter as either a new or infrequent user then the Rev’s list will certainly keep the nastier elements at bay. But and this is a big but you may well miss out on some very delightful people who due to the Rev’s profile have been a bit unthinking.

    There are many that I love having a natter with who are on that list who really are lovely, so if you want to try twitter please use my follow list or any other Wings commenter that you like, to cross-reference.

    You can find me on twitter @PaulaHoneyRose and ask me about folk if that helps. The Rev’s intentions are good and any idea that he blocks on whim or without thought is far from the mark.

    We are very fortunate to have these platforms that enable Stuart Campbell, Paul Kavanagh, James Kelly and Peter Bell to be able to do what they do so well, and I haven’t even begun to mention the women xx

  78. schrodingers cat says:

    @shiregirl
    And no, schrodingers cat, I’m not Elaine Coyle from Derby, whoever she is. I have supported and followed wings for years and continue to support Indy

    dont take any notice, i’m just trolling the thread 🙂

  79. Thepnr says:

    @schrodingers cat

    You nasty cybernat. So you are.

  80. K1 says:

    Naw he’s a nasty ‘cybercat’ or is he? Shurley? 😉

  81. Smallaxe says:

    K1:

    hope you got my reply on O/T earlier.

    Peace Always

  82. K1 says:

    I did Smallaxe, thank you so much, made me smile Billy. Have a good and Peaceful to you both and yours, new year 🙂

  83. Smallaxe says:

    K1:

    Hi K1, I wanted to make sure that you saw where Nana said that we had made her day.

    I hope you have a great New Year celebration and that next year is better for us all.

    Peace Love and Happiness to You and Yours, in the coming year

    Billy 🙂

  84. shiregirl says:

    schrodingers cat @12.05 says:

    dont take any notice, i’m just trolling the thread ?

    It’s all good 😉

    But poor Elaine from Derby…blocked for nae reason

    hahaha…!

  85. Cuilean says:

    Blocked. Thanks Stu.

  86. Filip says:

    I don’t think the world needs more filter bubbles. I’d rather practice my impulse control 🙂

  87. Stoker says:

    I really don’t know much about the workings of Twitter even though my daughter has tried to explain. Suppose it helps if ones heart is in it.

    The closest i ever get to Twitter is following The Doc, GAP and WOS religiously. I would love to follow certain other Wingers but there’s simply not enough hours in the day.

    That said, reading this article and the btl comments, up crops another mischievous thought but i’ve no idea if it could work.

    Would it not be simple for someone talented enough, and with the patience of a saint, to set up a pro independence Twitter account and let the dung attract the flies, showing them up for what they truly are?

    The police would then get busy investigating those accounts, wouldn’t they? After-all, the internet etc etc is supposed to be monitored and hate speech/crimes etc etc are supposed to be illegal, are they not?

    As i said, i’ve no idea if such a project could work but just thought i’d share that with you all. 🙂

  88. Del says:

    Some people on the Rev’s list contribute to these forums. Others support Yes/Nationalism/SNP or parallel political organisations.
    You have to conclude therefore that some names represent nasty people who hate independence – while others are people who the Rev has fallen out with. Which makes the block list too much of a cudgel. IMO obviously.

  89. Alan Crerar says:

    Is anyone really surprised that the Rev and Peter are at loggerheads? Opinionated, ascerbic, egotistical, clever, erudite and informed – is it any wonder two such similar characters, personally, disagree in detail?
    I’m not a ‘regular’ commenter, usually (always?) because the Rev or Peter, or their regular commenters have said it better first. So thanks to my favourite No.1 and No.2 Indy bloggers – I’ll leave their egos to decide which is which (though they won’t care).
    As has been said (see?), the block list is voluntary, as is Twitter. Get over it or get out of it.

  90. Sensibledave says:

    The Rev wrote …

    “Not at all. Anyone capable of having a civil debate is welcome here. Even the likes of sensibledave aren’t banned, because while he’s a bit snotty he’s not an abusive troll, in my view. You get banned for being a prick and for not following the rules, not for being a Unionist.”

    Thank you Rev. I hope you and all Wingers have a very happy and prosperous new year.

    2017 is going to be a very interesting year. The elections in Europe will provide many talking points as we discover which way the wind is blowing.

    My main prediction for 2017 is that Brexit will be the biggest issue as far as our politics are concerned – but no progress will actually be made. That won’t happen until the 11th hour of the negotiations in 2 years time. However, that won’t stop both sides making grandstand speeches with respect to their positions – i.e. A phoney war.

    As people get used to the idea of us leaving (including me and the leaders in Europe) I think the subject of a fee to continue to have free trade with the single market will gather momentum. We currently pay £10 billion net to have access to free trade so, arguably, that will be our budget for the negotiations. The rest of the agreement will end up “CETA” like.

    What do you think?

  91. shug says:

    Have to thank the bbc for giving minimal cover to the Edinburgh hogmanay and focusing on London
    Good to see Donald is on the case
    Also enjoyed listening to Edwin curry on radio scotland at 1.00 talking about the English education system
    Such a refreshing change from new year shows and Scottish music



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