In a disturbing new phenomenon, Twitter appears to be retrospectively slashing the ‘viewed’ count on videos tweeted by Jeremy Corbyn and other Labour politicians and activists.
Videos posted by Corbyn’s @jeremycorbyn account have seen the number of views shown in the bottom left of the video drop from hundreds of thousands or more down to the low thousands – in some cases even fewer than the number of retweets:
Videos with thousands of retweets would typically show view numbers many tens or hundreds of times higher than the retweet count.
Corbyn is not the only one hit. A tweet by party chair Ian Lavery, which last week showed over one hundred thousand views, now shows fewer than 2,000:
Videos by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have been similarly affected – as have those by leading Labour activists such as ‘Rachael Swindon’ and Peter Stefanovic. This tweet by Stefanovic had over 100,000 views, then dropped suddenly to 17,500 and again to just 3,500:
A viral tweet by CWU union head Dave Ward fell from 175,000 views to 69,000, then to just 12,000:
In some cases, the published view figure on highly-viewed videos has fallen to below a thousand.
Videos showing high viewing numbers are more likely to capture the attention of Twitter users scrolling a feed when those with low numbers will be skipped.
While it has not been possible to check every tweet by senior Tories, they do not seem to have been hit to the same extent or at all:
Twitter UK has been contacted for comment. A tweet by Peter Stefanovic to Twitter Support this morning had no response from the company by the time of publication.
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