A new article in the Medical Journal of Australia is being used to justify further attacks on free speech. According to a report in the Herald Sun:
Alcohol companies are using Twitter to plug their products to a young and potentially under age audience, prompting calls for greater regulation of social media.
In short, apparently alcohol company twitter accounts tweet about, well, alcohol. Who’d thought? And apparently twitter users are being duped into following and retweeting their propaganda through the use of all sorts of sinister tactics:
The power of “retweets”, and the use of searchable “hashtags” relating to popular sports and social events, were the main tactics used by alcohol companies to promote alcohol to a wider audience.
Pesky booze companies seem to be using twitter to, um, tweet. The response? Shut down free speech:
Victorian Cancer Council senior policy adviser Brian Vandenberg joined calls for the independent regulation of advertising through Twitter.
“The international evidence about the effects of alcohol marketing shows that the younger people are exposed to it, the more likely they are to start experimenting with alcohol,” Mr Vandenberg said.
“The younger people start drinking, the more likely they are to drink at risky levels, and have alcohol problems later in life, including the cancer risks.”
Wow. That escalated quickly: Companies are using twitter. They tweet about their products. People may drink and get cancer.
I’m surprised they didn’t use the phrase: “If you drink and tweet, you are a bloody idiot.”
Of course any proposal for regulation is absurd and an attack on free speech, especially when alcohol companies are still free to advertise.