The limits of Twitter – trite, glib and lazy

We can expect lots of Twitter activity in the run up the UK election on May 7th. Here’s an early shot in the skirmishes:

An interesting fact

— Election HUB (@Election_HUB) March 23, 2015

Shocking, right? The problem is, it’s not true. Not in the literal sense of the words.

30% of nominees to the House of Lords contribute 97.9% of donations to political parties.

Literally, that means that the vast majority of money given to political parties comes from 30% of nominees to the House of Lords. A moment’s reflection told me this couldn’t be the case, so I went back to the source, a 33-page paper from Oxford University: Is there a Market for Peerages?. I also scanned reports on this paper in the press. Here’s how the Guardian put it:

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