#EnemiesOfThePeople; London's new night tsar, and cashing in on pro-Trump websites

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Some websites are trying to cash in on Facebook users' appetites for sensationalist news

This Friday: A tabloid headline sparks a heated discussion about "enemies of the people"; London's 'night tsar' receives a warm welcome; some Macedonians are gaming Facebook and Google; and why some in China don't want to reward a pilot who averted a crash

Who are the real #EnemiesOfThePeople?

Image caption A Daily Mail headline has raised temperatures further in the debate over how Britain should leave the European Union

A Daily Mail headline calling three judges "enemies of the people", for ruling that Theresa May could not trigger Article 50 without support from parliament, has prompted strong responses on social media in the UK. The phrase trended all morning on Twitter and tens of thousands are talking about it on Facebook.

"This is getting completely out of hand. If The Daily Mail speaks of Judges as enemies of the people, democracy is being undermined. Shame!" tweeted barrister Nigel Pascoe.

Many said they were "horrified" by the phrase. Some commentators referred to other instances when it had been used: "Robspierre, Lenin, Pol Pot..." said one.

One popular meme was a re-creation of the paper's front page, but with the pictures of Viscount Rothermere, Rupert Murdoch and the Barclay Brothers - the owners of the Mail and two other pro-Brexit papers, The Times and The Telegraph.

Feelings ran equally high for pro-Brexit accounts. The most popular post read: "RT ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE-Brits have been betrayed by the establishment. 17.4 million people overruled by unelected judges. Democracy is dead."

Before long though the phrase turned into a hashtag and some humour emerged to leaven the otherwise agitated tone of posts.

Who are the real enemies? Hang your heads in shame:

"People who blocked us naming Boaty McBoatface."

"People who write 'should of'."

"People who don't awkwardly run forward when you hold the door open for them."


Social media welcomes London's "night tsar"

Image copyright Getty Images

Some news to light up the start of the weekend: the appointment of DJ and broadcaster Amy Lamé as Mayor Sadiq Khan's 'night tsar' has been greeted with enthusiasm and approval on social media, particularly from the LGBT community, for whom she actively campaigns.

"Amy Lamé is officially queen of the night", posted the Pink News Facebook page. Attitude magazine called it "a big win for the LGBT community".

"I don't know what the Night Czar role entails but having an LGBT activist is probably a good start, given London's dying LGBT venues," said one tweet.

Ms Lamé is charged with boosting London's nightlife. Mr Khan has claimed that the capital has lost 50% of its nightclubs and 40% of its live music venues in just the past eight years.

Some questioned whether she would be able to make real changes though. "Part-time role, little to no actual power," said one comment. "Looks a good appointment as London Night Czar - assuming she is given actual, real power & influence," said another.

We're sure it's not going to be the easiest ride but we wish her the very best of luck!

Image copyright Twitter/@nightczar

Cashing in on pro-Trump and conservative websites

View of several houses in Veles Image copyright EPA
Image caption About 55,000 people live in Veles in central Macedonia - where more than a hundred pro-Trump and conservative websites are run from

Would you guess that websites with names and URLs like Donald Trump News and usconservativetoday.com were run out of Macedonia?

Well they are. A Buzzfeed investigation has learned that more than a hundred websites appealing to American conservatives and Trump supporters are being run out of the small town of Veles in Macedonia.

Why? Well people running these websites have learned that sensationalist stories that get shared a lot on Facebook can earn them a rather reasonable income - up to 277,000 denars ($5,000, £4,000) a month in one instance cited. Not bad when you consider that the average monthly salary there is less than a tenth that.

Buzzfeed spoke to some of the people running these websites and found they did not really care whether the content was sensationalist or false - in fact they were aware such stories were shared the most on Facebook.

"These sites open a window into the economic incentives behind producing misinformation specifically for the wealthiest advertising markets and specifically for Facebook... as well as within online advertising networks such as Google AdSense," Buzzfeed said.

Interested in where your news comes from? I'd read the article!


Cynical Chinese people think pilot's reward is a way of masking mistakes

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Shanghai's busy Hongqiao and Pudong airports saw 99 million passengers pass through them in 2015, according to the Shanghai Airport Authority

Should a pilot who averted a potentially disastrous crash at Shanghai airport last month be rewarded? Most commentators on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, think so.

Captain He Chao was given 3m yuan ($443,000, £355,000) yesterday for having the presence of mind to make an emergency take-off, so his plane avoided crashing into another about to taxi through the runway ahead of him. Investigations later blamed the incident on the air traffic controllers.

Tens of thousands of people praised him and the airline's decision to reward him. "Three million yuan in reward isn't that much - the hundreds of lives are priceless," said one popular comment. "The pilot really deserves this more than anyone else," said another.

But a small number have echoed what some newspapers are saying - that the move was aimed at masking the mistakes and poor judgement of the controllers.

The criticism is some indication of the cynicism with which some view the authorities in China and their ability to address systemic failures.

When firemen killed in an explosion in Tianjin last year were declared "martyrs", critics also alleged the move was just an attempt to divert attention away from issues such as the poor training given to firemen.

Additional reporting by BBC Monitoring