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Twitter fame for daily as MP quizzes man over story comment

A regional daily became a top Twitter trend today after an MP questioned whether someone had insinuated his wife was a prostitute in a comment on the newspaper’s sister website.

‘Plymouth Herald’ became one of the top UK trends this morning after Johnny Mercer, Tory MP for Plymouth Moor View, quizzed a user of the social media site on whether he had made such an allegation.

Mr Mercer’s post referenced an abusive comment mentioning his wife, which was posted by a reader of the Herald’s Plymouth Live sister website two weeks ago.

The offending comment was swiftly deleted by Plymouth Live, but not before it came to the MP’s attention.

In a Twitter post to a man named Stephen Knight, which was published on Tuesday, Mr Mercer wrote: “I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?”

The tweet had followed an exchange between Mr Mercer and Mr Knight about the MP’s appearance on Channel 4 programme Celebrity Hunted.

Mr Knight’s posts in the exchange were subsequently deleted, leaving Mr Mercer’s tweet devoid of context and prompting other Twitter users who have since picked up on the post to make fun of it by repeating the quote with humourous pictures, videos and amendments.

There is no evidence linking Mr Knight to the original comment posted on Plymouth Live.

Plymouth Live itself has reported on the phenomenon, showcasing examples of how Twitter users had parodied Mr Mercer’s tweet:

Editor Edd Moore told HTFP: “We take moderation to comments on our website very seriously, whether about an MP or an ordinary member of the public, and we dealt with this one as swiftly as we possibly could.

“What this episode shows more than anything should be the power of social media for trolls to make the most of these situations, but also for people to have a bit of a chuckle. The fact we’ve been dragged into it is neither here nor there really.

“I’m very disappointed we’ve been referred to as the Plymouth Herald, rather than Plymouth Live after our rebrand, but I suppose you can’t please everyone.”

Twitter user Eddie Robson commented: “‘Plymouth Herald’ is now trending in the UK. You can’t buy this sort of publicity. Great to see an MP supporting local newspapers.”



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  • October 19, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Reach must be delighted that for all its rebranding efforts, everyone is referring to the Plymouth Herald, rather than Plymouth Live. An utterly pointless renaming exercise, it would appear.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 10:37 am

    An utterly pointless and expensive exercise, I think you mean, One-time sub.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    You’re not wrong, echoandthebunnymen. When I lived in Plymouth everyone knew what “the Herald” was. Why lose that brand-recognition value of your product? But no, someone in a distant head office knew best, didn’t they?

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