How an army of farcical fakes ruined Turning Point UK's big day - 2019-02-06
The launch of the UK branch of American rightwing student organisation Turning Point USA has descended into a slapdash farce following the appearance of a swarm of parody Twitter accounts impersonating the organisation with varying degrees of success.
Since 2012, Turning Point USA has been active in university politics, opposing the spread of left-wing ideas on campuses, and targeting teachers who they suspect of harbouring an anti-conservative bias. The organisation is also notorious for its links to the Trump family, and for counting several Republican bigshots among its donors.
Turning Point UK's debut – greeted with delight by pro-Brexit Conservative MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel – was kick-started on February 1 when the organisation's handle @TPointUK tweeted a video lambasting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and calling young Britons to action against the left. About 24 hours later, a student and anti-fascist activist who goes by the name of Levi created a spoof of Turning Point's handle – @TurningPUK – and fired off a faux-outraged tweet about abortion. The person behind the account, who didn't give their full name, said they wanted to lampoon the group, which they worried could try and establish a presence in their university; but they didn't think that such a small Twitter prank would be anything more than that.