I have no opinions. Well, not officially, that is. Or ones that could threaten my impartiality. After nearly ten years of being paid expressly to have views in the world of newspapers and commercial talk radio, I am now actively involved in the odd art of self-censorship. But I mustn’t grumble. I’m paid by the BBC to host opinions, not hold them myself. And yet self-censorship is catching on, in a way that troubles more than it pleases.
Last August, just before I left the office for the day, I received a bomb threat on Twitter. Like you do. ‘A bomb has been placed outside your home. It will go off at exactly 10.47 on a timer and trigger destroying everything,’ it read. My reaction? A roll of the eyes, a quick block of the user and a dash to the tube to meet my mate down the pub. I tell you this story not to prove how thick my digital skin has become, more to prove my credentials to you in what I am about to advise.
Imagine being at home a week before Christmas, perhaps doing some present-wrapping with a large glass of red. Then the door goes. It’s the police. And in a split second your life changes for ever. Welcome to Simon Warr’s reality in 2012. What followed were 672 hellish days. A well-known teacher, who regularly appeared on radio and TV, he was accused of sexually abusing former pupils he says he’d never even met.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Obama AND Romney or Obama + Romney.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used.) For example, search for democrat OR republican to find results that refer to
Democrats and/or Republicans.
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".