Tweet Wars: How humourless Jobcentre Plus was humiliated by bolshie bloggers

14 Feb

David Hencke

People queuing outside Jobcentre Plus. Pic courtesy: The Guardian People queuing outside Jobcentre Plus. Pic courtesy: The Guardian

For the last year an extraordinary war has been going on between the Department of Work and Pensions and some of Britain’s tweeters and bloggers.

The battle has been over the centuries old right to free speech, to send up self-seeking bureaucrats and insult and satirize government ministers and the heads of private companies profiting from public services. This example is very modern, the battleground is Twitter rather than over some pamphlet.

The row began over a year ago when the Department of Work and Pensions used Twitter’s complaint procedure to lodge a trademark complaint against @UKJCB, a satirical account attacking Jobcentre Plus.

The application came from one Jon Woodcock, calling himself brand and information manager – his actual title is senior public information publishing manager – objecting to the site using the Jobcentre Plus trademark.

What was extraordinary was his…

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