Nadine With Attitude: culture secretary’s TikTok rap draws ridicule

Nadine Dorries launches explanation of government’s online safety bill in form of a 41-second clip

It was, perhaps, more straight out of The Thick of It than Compton, but Nadine Dorries seemed undeterred.

In a move that has elicited a somewhat mixed reaction, the culture secretary launched an explanation of the government’s online safety bill in the form of a 41-second rap on TikTok.

“It’s effectively a framework to protect internet users / From scams, illegal content and anonymous abusers,” rhymes Dorries about legislation that will require tech companies to protect children and adults from harmful online content.

In the clip, shot in her office and posted from her account on the streaming platform, other lines shoehorned into the rap include apparent ripostes to campaigners who have suggested that the proposals are a “recipe for censorship”.

“But is it true it will impact freedom of expression?” the minister asks, before images of sections from the bill appear as she adds: “No … we’ve put in legal protections in the 19th section.”

The clip is mild in comparison with previous social media interventions from Dorries, who has earned a reputation for taking a particularly combative approach to using Twitter.

Many though were still unprepared for the TikTok rap.

“Help, I’ve just been traumatised by online content,” was the reaction from one Twitter user, as others suggested that the minister’s own communications team might not have had her best interests at heart.

Matthew Lesh, head of public policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, reassured followers: “This ‘rap’ from Nadine Dorries is seriously emotionally distressing and lacks a reasonable excuse. Thankfully that will soon be illegal under the new harms based communications offence in the online safety bill.”

The TikTok clip appeared on Thursday as controversy continued to swirl around separate developments directly relating to the culture secretary’s brief.

Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BST

CBBC, BBC Four and Radio 4 Extra will shut down and become online-only services, the corporation said, in response to Dorries’s decision to freeze the licence fee at £159 for the next two years.

Channel 4 also responded to a tweet by Dorries, who claimed that plans to privatise the television network attempt would “setting Channel 4 free” to be able to raise investment for programming.

“A proposal was made, in response to a request from DCMS, showing how C4 could potentially raise a small amount of outside capital,” tweeted Channel 4’s press office.

Contributor

Ben Quinn

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Nadine Dorries commits to online safety reforms in memory of David Amess
Culture secretary says online hate has ‘poisoned public life’ and pledges fines for platforms that amplify hateful content

Miranda Bryant

23, Oct, 2021 @11:26 AM

Article image
Tech bosses could face criminal cases over online harm, warns UK minister
Nadine Dorries issues threat to likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg over failure to tackle harmful algorithms

Dan Milmo Global technology editor

04, Nov, 2021 @4:04 PM

Article image
Social network giants pledge to tackle abuse of women online
Facebook, Google, Twitter and TikTok commit to overhaul their platform’s moderation systems

Alex Hern UK technology editor

01, Jul, 2021 @5:00 AM

Article image
Nadine Dorries appointed culture secretary in reshuffle
First Cabinet post for MP who has accused BBC of bias and complained of ‘leftwing snowflakes’ in comedy

Peter Walker, Jim Waterson and Aubrey Allegretti

15, Sep, 2021 @5:56 PM

Article image
TikTok to tackle grooming with safeguards for young users
NSPCC welcomes changes as it says abusers are taking advantage of pandemic to target children online

Alex Hern UK techonology editor

13, Jan, 2021 @11:14 AM

Article image
Women on reality TV shows get far more abuse online than men – study
Analysis of posts on several social media platforms also reveals recurrence of gendered tropes

Rachel Hall

18, Oct, 2021 @4:54 PM

Article image
Tory MP Anna Soubry submits dossier of violent threats against her
Document given to Speaker includes dozens of examples of threats, including calls for Brexit ‘mutineer’ to be hanged

Anushka Asthana and Heather Stewart

18, Dec, 2017 @5:14 PM

Article image
Online safety bill: a messy new minefield in the culture wars
Analysis: Ofcom remains gatekeeper of big social networks, but moderators face multiple conundrums with the legislation

Alex Hern UK technology editor

12, May, 2021 @5:16 PM

Article image
Twitter not protecting women from abuse, says Amnesty
Human rights group says trolls are winning as site has become toxic place for women

Haroon Siddique

21, Mar, 2018 @6:00 AM

Article image
Sending threatening posts among offences in revised online safety bill
Proposed laws require tech firms to prevent publication of harmful content or face substantial fines

Dan Milmo Global technology editor

04, Feb, 2022 @10:30 PM