Instant Opinion

‘It’s all gravy in Deppland’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

Harriet Williamson in The Independent

Johnny Depp is dining out on his trial win in some truly distasteful ways

on online harassment 

The “global humiliation” Johnny Depp promised his ex-wife Amber Heard “is complete”, writes Harriet Williamson for The Independent. “Abuse has rained down on her on every conceivable platform”, while Depp “is busy living the good life”. The actor “did not grace the Virginia courtroom” for the verdict announcement in their case. “Perhaps he already knew he’d won where it matters – on social media.” Is it unsurprising then, asks Williamson, “that Depp has chosen now to join TikTok”, adding that the platform has been “a richly rewarding little mine of sycophancy” for him. The actor’s silence on his fans’ “harassment of Heard online and outside the courtroom is very revealing” and “Heard has been summarily destroyed” by the abuse. “But don’t worry, at least Johnny’s on TikTok now. He’ll be dancing to Harry Styles before too long, using adorable filters, giving the people what they want."

2

Neal Lawson in The Guardian

Keir Starmer, you have a golden opportunity. Now try a bit of Corbynism

on learning lessons

“Corbynism was as hopeful as it was hopeless,” says Neal Lawson in The Guardian. Whatever you think of Jeremy Corbyn, it is important to consider the result of the 2017 general election, which “happened for reasons that still pertain”. Many of those who voted for him did so “because he spoke to a moment”, he writes. Corbyn’s policies gave “generation left” a “moral and practical lifeline”. Corbyn “was never ever cut out for leadership” and “exhibited none of the skills for it”, but “people were desperate for hope and change.” Lawson says Labour’s “objective now is to seal the tomb and bury Corbynism forever” but its principles “provided some material answers to the age of perma-crisis we live in”. Labour rejects ideas “because they are associated with Corbynism”, he says. “Some want to bury it, some simply to repeat it, but the answer must be to learn from it, faults and all.”

3

Tim Culpan at Bloomberg UK

Twitter must tackle a problem far bigger than bots

on an existential crisis

“There’s an ongoing, sophisticated and coordinated campaign being waged by Chinese Communist Party-linked operatives against a core group of women who cover China,” writes Tim Culpan on Bloomberg UK. “Anyone covering China as a journalist, researcher or public policy maker has had to deal with the issue of trolls, fake accounts, copycats and harassment on social media like Facebook and Twitter”. The issue is exacerbated by “the fact that platform owners like Twitter Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. (parent of Facebook) are either unwilling or incapable of comprehensively combating the issue”. Whereas previous campaigns by bots spread disinformation on Twitter, the “latest operation is nastier because the victim here is not just the truth, but individuals who were targeted because of their gender, ethnicity and job”, he claims. Culpan writes that social media companies must “clamp down on the misuse of their platforms by actors who are allowed to remain in the shadows” and disappear temporarily. “It would be nice to get rid of the scam bots and crypto scams. But it’s crucial that we do away with anonymous malicious harassers.”

4

Roger Boyes in The Times

Climate crisis will bring on Russia’s downfall

on great miscalculations

“Putin’s political obituary will attribute his downfall to two factors. First, his complacency about the effects of global heating on Russia. Second, the bungled timing of the Ukrainian invasion,” writes Roger Boyes in The Times. Vladimir Putin believed “Russia did not have much to fear from rising sea levels,” and “the Arctic remained…a plunderable treasure trove”, says Boyes. Putin expected “even when the world achieved net zero emissions, there would still be parts of it gagging for Russian fuels.” However the Ukraine invasion has “upset the autocrat’s confident predictions” as European nations pull back from using Russian energy. “Had he not slept through the climate crisis in his own country he would have realised the way to secure geopolitical influence is to become a clean-energy superpower.” Why would Putin invade Ukraine if he “understood the truly precarious future of Russia’s fossil fuel industry”? asks Boyes. “The simple answer is that he has become not just a fossil fuel, but a fossilised, dictator.”

5

Jessica Salter in The Telegraph

Why I’ll never put my child on social media

on ‘sharenting’

“The subject of ‘sharenting’ is one that can cause anxiety among many a modern parent – and their families”, says Jessica Salter in The Telegraph. “I’m one of the many parents who have actively decided not to post pictures of my children online,” she writes, saying the decision was “fuelled by our own desire to be less present on social media – and concerns around their digital legacy”. She adds: “Even if it’s not sinister, it can be unsettling that strangers know details about your child.” Even pictures shared on private channels such as WhatsApp are an unknown: “I know that the messages are encrypted, but where they are really stored and for how long, I’ve got no idea.” Images taken by others “are out of your control”, Salter writes, asking “what can you do about friends or family members who insist (proudly, sweetly, often innocently) about posting pictures of your children online?”

Recommended

‘Police tactics are not getting worse, they are simply being filmed’
Protester demonstrates against police brutality in Ohio
Instant Opinion

‘Police tactics are not getting worse, they are simply being filmed’

‘G7 leaders missed a golden opportunity’
G7 leaders gather in Germany
Instant Opinion

‘G7 leaders missed a golden opportunity’

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin
G7 leaders
Getting to grips with . . .

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin

‘It takes some soul searching to celebrate Canada Day’
Canadian flag
Instant Opinion

‘It takes some soul searching to celebrate Canada Day’

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

What happened to Logan Mwangi?
Tributes left to Logan Mwangi
Today’s big question

What happened to Logan Mwangi?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?
Nato troops
Today’s big question

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?

The Week Footer Banner