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You might not know (or maybe you do) but social media works on a complicated process of actually giving more credence to something because it is given credence.

That might sound strange but in reality,  it is not a complex idea.

In a nutshell, the more something is shared or re-tweeted, the more exposure it is given on social media, as in the more prominent it is displayed to the users of social media.

This is great if it is your campaign and something you agree with, but unfortunately, it is also a serious downside when it comes to more extreme views.

You see, social media survives on advertising. More clicks me more advertising revenues. The problem with that business model is that outrage is king. A tweet or a post sent out which is contentious often means more advertising revenues, not just from supporters of that tweet or share but also from all of the people responding to it in outrage.

But the biggest problem with social media is that it not only increases exposure for the content, but it also increases exposure for the person sending out the original post or tweet.

Does it therefore not make sense, to ensure that the exposure of a controversial or nasty reactionary tweet goes to the critic rather than the bampot who sent it out in the first place?

There is a very simple method to ensure this.

This small guide will deal with Windows 10, but all mobile phones have this functionality and most browsers do as well. Just google screenshot and your own browser or operating system (phone, laptop or pc) to find out how to take screenshots.

Posting/Tweeting a screenshot

If you retweet or share an original post you give credence to the original and increase exposure for the poster. But there is a way to share a post or tweet without giving the original poster any extra exposure. Indeed, when someone puts out a contentious tweet or post, they often delete it if there is serious outrage, especially bad when it is a public figure like a member of parliament. Of course when it comes to election time, certain tweets and posts miraculously disappear and unfortunately, the electorate has a short memory (due to a large number of contentious things said by politicians in general) so having a backup is often not a bad thing, especially when they can’t delete it.

Windows 10 has built into it a very simple tool called “snipping tool” and you can search for it using the bar at the bottom left hand of windows next to the start menu button.

 

The snipping tool is extremely simple but it is also very powerful in not giving credence to the opposition. On social media.

Below, I am about to give you a small tutorial on how to actively deploy it whenever you see something contentious. Now to be clear, I am not going to choose a contentious tweet for this demonstration from a Yes perspective. I’m going to use Nicola Sturgeons twitter feed in order to just show you how its done, so some unionist outlet won’t accuse me of targetting a specific politician, although I have to admit there are a plethora of conservative politicians perpetuating a lot of myths today which I was sorely tempted to use for this demonstration.

  1. The first thing you need to do is open the snipping tool which when open will look like this: 

 

2. Next you want to open up the tweet or Facebook post you want to screenshot in your browser.

 

Sidenote: You will notice that my twitter is all in dark colours. This is a very useful little tool on twitter which actually helps to reduce eye-strain at night when using Twitter. It also looks brilliant when you do screenshots. You can set night mode on twitter by clicking on the little profile picture in the top right hand of the Twitter site next to the “tweet” button to bring up the menu, then select “night mode”. Simple!

3. Now that we have the website open, you want to bring the snipping tool back in front of the site by clicking it on the taskbar at the bottom of windows.

4. Once you are set up like this, you then want to click “New” on the snipping tool

5. The page you are viewing, in this case Nicola Sturgeons twitter feed will now go semi-translucent and your cursor for your mouse will now turn to a cross.

6. You now want to go to the top left corner of the tweet you want to screenshot and click with your left mouse button (holding it down) then scroll across the tweet with the mouse to the bottom right hand corner of the tweet and then release the mouse button like this:

 

7. As you see in the video, it has now transferred the screenshot into the snipping tool app. At this point you can either save it on your hard drive for later by clicking “File” and “Save as” in the snipping app or you can do a direct copy/paste right onto a tweet or onto facebook post. Both work in the same way but I will show you on twitter how to do it. Always remember to put a message along with your picture so people know what it is about.

 

And that’s pretty much it! By uploading a screenshot of an orginal tweet rather than retweeting the original post, you are allowing people to make comment and share it with you getting the exposure, not the individual who made the inflammatory comment in the first place. This also works with articles, tweets and other social media platforms. You can copy and paste into facebook in the same way as you do with twitter. It’s simple but it will stop political advesaries getting extra exposure AND gives you a backup copy of the post.