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Turning Point UK, the British offshoot of the conservative campus group Turning Point USA, officially launched on Twitter on Friday. But instead of fanfare, we got memes.
The Twitter rollout started oddly enough, by congratulating conservative pundit Candice Owens on her engagement on Jan. 21. Owens is engaged to Turning Point UK officer George Farmer, who, according to the Guardian, has ties to InfoWars senior editor Paul Joseph Watson.
The group officially launched on Feb. 1 with a video about “the left-wing hate mob” and featuring “Intellectual Dark Web” thought leader Jordan Peterson.
The Left believes they have a monopoly over young people. It's time us young people fought back. We are so excited to announce the social media launch of Turning Point UK, which will be launching across UK campuses soon. #TPUK #TimeforaTurningPoint pic.twitter.com/xb62JN539Z— Turning Point UK (@TPointUK) February 1, 2019
The account is mostly tweets that attack “leftist” thought on UK university campuses.
We are Turning Point UK and this is what we believe. WATCH! pic.twitter.com/9ZYkrbn4IW— Turning Point UK (@TPointUK) February 3, 2019
It seems we’re really triggering the left - must mean we’re doing a great job! #TheSaltInTheseTears— Turning Point UK (@TPointUK) February 2, 2019
The Left love to marginalise groups, it’s almost as if they have something to gain from exploiting the vote of the most vulnerable in society 🤔— Turning Point UK (@TPointUK) February 4, 2019
But almost immediately, spoof accounts started. Turning Point UK acknowledged the fake accounts on Feb. 2
By the way guys there’s loads of fake TPUK accounts popping up on here - we’re about to make a list of legitimate accounts but for now please only follow the accounts we follow! #DontLetTheLeftDeceiveYou #NiceTryCommies #GrowUp— Turning Point UK (@TPointUK) February 2, 2019
Since the official Twitter account is unverified, pranksters hopped on the opportunity to spoof the conservative organization.
Like “Turning Point Glasgow,” which memed Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk and his strawman argument against socialism.
Or this one, which goes after the right’s rallying cry of free speech and censorship.
Our courageous wee fuds were just trying to hand out some flyers until leftist thugs shut down our free speech! This is blatant censorship and also as bad as racism probably! pic.twitter.com/V1SEjuK1Kc— Turning Point UK Glasgow (@TPGLA1) February 3, 2019
Or “Turning Point Great Yarmouth,” which mocked the group’s design sensibility.
We paid the best graphic designer in Great Yarmouth £200 to create our beautiful background photo.— Turning Point Great Yarmouth (@TurningPGY) February 3, 2019
The left has no passion for graphic design... maybe because designing things involves coming up with ideas pic.twitter.com/6gDwS0LgD6
“Turning Point UK Devon” went after Kirk again, tying him to conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, who offered his congratulations to the group.
Let's all pull together and celebrate this enormous sacrifice by Charlie! If he can donate his actual face to Emperor Mogg then you can all be poor for him. It's time for a turning point. #SufferTogether pic.twitter.com/CT6bV1EIjn— Turning Point UK Devon (@TPUKDevon) February 4, 2019
And “Glasgow” came for conservative radio host Ben Shapiro.
Turning Point Glasgow are delighted to introduce the newest member of the young team! We realise his tracksuit is a bit big for him but please welcome Ben "mad shagger" Shapiro. pic.twitter.com/Sou4MfXKG6— Turning Point UK Glasgow (@TPGLA1) February 4, 2019
In short, as user @MikeStuchbery_ said, “There’s online savagery, then there’s what’s happening to Turning Point UK.”
There's online savagery, then there's what's happening to Turning Point UK.— Mike Stuchbery 💀🍷 (@MikeStuchbery_) February 4, 2019
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.