‘Online warriors’ a problem in politics, says Salmond

The Alba Party leader said he had seen no convincing evidence of a ‘deep-seated’ Iranian plot to interfere in politics.

‘Online warriors’ a problem in politics, says Salmond PA Ready

“Online warriors” are a problem in politics and they should stop, Alex Salmond has said.

The Alba party leader said adherents of all parties had issues with “keyboard warriors”.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, he was asked about a report which accused Iran of pushing disinformation on social media in order to influence the Scottish Parliament election.

A report by the right-leaning foreign affairs think-tank the Henry Jackson Society found that “Iran’s activities in cyber space are designed to attack the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom”.

Salmond said he had not seen convincing evidence of a “deep-seated” Iranian plot to promote pro-independence parties.

He said: “I think we’ve got a real issue with online warriors, let’s call them that, both in society and in politics.

“I think people should stop doing it.

“Obviously the companies concerned who hold the online platforms, they have to reconcile freedom of speech with civic responsibility, but it’s not an attractive feature of politics.”

He said “keyboard warriors” were an issue for all parties, adding: “No doubt adherents of all political parties can be guilty of this but it doesn’t reflect the best of politics.”

He said foreign attempts to interfere in politics, like those alleged in the report, have “little or no effect on the substance of politics, indeed could well be counterproductive”.