YesScotland rubbishes claims that site ‘massages’ numbers


By a Newsnet reporter
The creators of the YesScotland website have hit back at claims the site is misrepresenting Unionist followers after a LibDem blogger complained that her image appeared on the site.
Caron Lyndsay, who runs the blog Caron’s Musings, had complained to those behind the YesScotland website after she was alerted to the fact her image appeared beneath a banner proclaiming “Powered by people o’ Independent mind, like you …”.

Ms Lyndsay was also unhappy that the YesScotland site contained a profile page showing her recent tweets – something she insisted she was “never, ever aware that they were going to do”.

The LibDem supporter accused the YesScotland organisers of trying to “massage” their numbers by “feeding in photos of everyone who follows them on Twitter”.

Writing in her blog, Ms Lyndsay said: “The idea that I am somehow powering the independence campaign is ridiculous.  Apart from anything else, we all know it’s being financed by rich mainly men, some of whom don’t even live here.”

In a subsequent entry on her blog, the LibDem supporter says: “It takes some nerve to manipulate the intention of people who have legitimate professional or political reasons for keeping tabs on them.”

However YesScotland have rubbished the claims and insisted that people who follow the site on Twitter or simply ‘Like’ the site on Facebook will not appear as a “supporter” of Yes Scotland.

Speaking to Newsnet Scotland, a Yes Scotland spokesman said:

“People who simply follow @YesScotland on Twitter or “like” us on will not appear and never have appeared as a “supporter” on the site.  To be a supporter in the site a person has to actively sign in using their Twitter or Facebook credentials and in doing so agree to share their details with”

The spokesman explained that some people had been signing into the YesScotland website and providing their Facebook and Twitter credentials, and thus had been treated as supporters.  Anyone signing in using their Twitter credentials were even explicitly asked by Twitter security if they wished to allow access to their details.

The reason for the public profile, said the spokesman, was in order to counter claims that numbers were being manipulated.  By seeing proof of an individual’s interaction, YesScotland is able to counter any allegations that bogus or multiple identities are being counted.

The Yes Scotland spokesman added:

“It is common for websites with a Twitter or Facebook profile to publish on their site, details of those interacting with them using these social networking tools.”

However he said that the site would now remove this feature, and explained: “Following feeback from users we have now changed this so only those who are actively involved with the Yes Scotland campaign will appear on the site as a follower on Facebook or Twitter.”

The spokesman also said claims made on STV’s Scotland Tonight, that the site was trawling Facebook and Twitter, were inaccurate and explained that people had to actively give permission for their details to be handed over before anything appeared on the site.

Yes Scotland was launched last Friday as a cross party platform incorporating Scots from all walks of life and individuals from the business and artistic community.  A declaration aims to attract one million pledges of support for independence and campaign organisers are planning a community led drive for independence.