With just over three days to go before the virtual polling stations open and voting begins in the 2015 LUU Leadership Race, Leeds University students have been warned to be wary about which Twitter accounts they follow after a spate of unofficial parody accounts have appeared on the social networking site.
Satire-filled accounts including ‘LeadLUU Chatty Man’ and ‘Leader Ship Race’ have becoming increasing more active in recent weeks, questioning both the candidate’s manifestos and campaigns, as well as the LUU roles themselves. ‘Leader Ship Race’, which uses the handle @leadluu, re-emerged after also being active during last year’s elections and describes itself as ‘The official antagonist of the Leeds University Union Leadership Race – here to annoy candidates and find out the truth for the voters.’
Yesterday’s LUU Leadership Race Question Time was particularly targeted by the accounts with ‘Leader Ship Race’ tweeting its followers “Need help falling back to sleep this morning? Catch the #leadluu question time here”, while LeadLUU Chatty Man tweeted “So #LeadLUU Question Time took 5h30 in total. In that time you could have reached France. #SinceQuestionTimeBegan”
Individual candidates were also taunted during the Q&A session, with ‘Leader Ship Race’ tweeting, “Apparently all policies are decided by a referendum, according to @yestojks – does he know how the union works? #leadluu” and “You talk about #fosterthepeople but what are your opinions on adoption @JonnyFoster_? #leadluu”
When asked if criticism from these parody Twitter accounts bother him, Joe Karp-Sawey, a second year politics student and Union Affairs candidate, told The Gryphon: “Sure it’s all a bit of a laugh. As far as I’m aware nothing horribly offensive or anything has been said, no one’s feelings have been hurt or anything. Where there’s politics, there’ll be satire.”