Last-minute frenzy of GDPR emails unleashes ‘torrent’ of spam and memes

Inboxes around the world are clogging up as deadline for companies to comply with new regulations nears

A last-minute flurry of emails from companies trying to retain customers ahead of the deadline for Europes new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has prompted a slew of complaints – and memes – on social media.

Friday is the last day for companies to comply with GDPR regulations and as a result, inboxes around the world are clogging up with emails warnings that the privacy policy has changed and pleas to just click here so we can stay in touch.

The whole process has inspired the internet to rope in everyone from Julian Assange to Donald Trump to Prince William in an attempt to illustrate their frustration at the electronic onslaught.

Cirque du SoLame (@_Katenip)


May 23, 2018

Mark Gillies (@5goalthriller)


May 23, 2018

Declan Cashin-Chalamet-Porowski-B.Jordan (@Tweet_Dec)


May 23, 2018

Mnrrnt & 200 others (@Mnrrnt)


May 23, 2018

Mo’ (@mocent0)

When youre the only person in Britain wishing you could receive emails about GDPR

May 23, 2018

The breadth of organisations captured by the new laws surprised some.

Gareth Milner (@mrgarethm)

Even Rage Against The Machine has to abide by GDPR.

May 23, 2018

Some admired the marketing tactics.

Alex Wickham (@WikiGuido)

Labour GDPR email. You will ruin Jeremys birthday if you dont sign up.

May 23, 2018

Hafsa (@hafsa_alrifai)

My favourite GDPR email so far

May 23, 2018

While others saw the irony in it.

Alistair Cunningham (@Cunningham_UK)

Ironic that the GDPR has almost certainly unleashed the biggest torrent of spam in the history of the internet.

May 23, 2018

Earlier this week, the term GDPR appeared to be trending higher in Google Search volume than Beyonce.

Jason Karaian (@jkaraian)

GDPR is bigger than Beyonc

May 22, 2018

The new law is a replacement for the 1995 Data Protection Directive, which has until now set the minimum standards for processing data in the EU.

GDPR will significantly strengthen a number of rights: individuals will find themselves with more power to demand companies reveal or delete the personal data they hold; regulators will be able to work in concert across the EU for the first time, rather than having to launch separate actions in each jurisdiction; and their enforcement actions will have real teeth, with the maximum fine now reaching the higher of 20m (17.5m) or 4% of the companys global turnover.

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Unlike Hillary Clinton, I have never wanted to be someones wife

After writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grilled the former US presidential candidate about why the first word on her Twitter bio is wife, Clinton said she would think about changing it. Why do women still let their domestic roles define them?

Hillary Clinton: Wife, mom, grandma, women+kids advocate, Flotus, senator, SecState, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, 2016 presidential candidate. To be clear, this is not how Wide Awoke would describe Clinton. Its her own Twitter biography and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writer, Nigerian, feminist, woman screw it, lets just go with writer, like Martin Amis does is not happy that the first woman in history to have had a shot at the US top job is leading with wife.

I have to confess that I felt just a little bit upset, Adichie admitted during an interview with Clinton at the PEN World Voices festival. And then I looked at your husbands Twitter account, and the first word was not husband. Of course, it wasnt. His bio is: Founder, Clinton Foundation and 42nd president of the United States. Because thats who he is and how he is valued. We live in a world where presidents are men and their wives are first ladies: a job so inherently sexist it demands the women sorry, ladies who acquire it to abandon professions and opinions of their own in order to further their husbands careers.

There is nothing wrong with being a wife or mother. Some of the greatest joys of being alive come from your relationships, with partners and children as opposed to, you know, acing it at an appraisal. But I have never wanted to be anyones wife. I am civilly partnered to a woman, and the mother of two children. Neither my partner nor I would dream of calling each other wife any more than we would call each other husband (to be fair, I cant stand that word). These roles define my life but they dont define me. I dont mind belonging to other people (as long as they belong to me too), but I dont want it to constitute my identity or worth.

Describing women as wives and mothers is often used as lazy, misogynistic shorthand to diminish their other achievements. Who can forget when the Associated Press referred to Amal Clooney as an actors wife instead of a world-class human rights lawyer? Consider how often the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, is called upon to provide a running commentary on her uterus. And notice, always, the double standard: while society insists on reducing women to their domestic roles, how little are we genuinely valued in the daily performing of them?

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Trump gets flamed: robot prints and burns president’s tweets

Twitter users warm to a robot that replies to presidents tweets by replying with a clip of his thoughts printed and set alight

A robot that prints out Trumps tweets and burns them has caught the imagination of Twitter users.

The account @burnedyourtweet appeared on Tuesday, first responding to a Trump tweet about Fox and Friends:

Burned Your Tweet (@burnedyourtweet)

@RealDonaldTrump I burned your tweet.

March 28, 2017

The robot prints off a tweet, cuts it and then drags the paper over to a lighter before discarding the ashes. Since it began tweeting, it has amassed almost 20,000 followers.

From yet another swipe at the New York Times

Burned Your Tweet (@burnedyourtweet)

.@RealDonaldTrump I burned your tweet.

March 30, 2017

to rants about fake news:

Burned Your Tweet (@burnedyourtweet)

.@RealDonaldTrump I burned your tweet.

March 28, 2017

No Trump tweet is safe. It has has had the seal of approval from Simone Giertz, the queen of shitty robots, who tweeted: This is the most amazing thing Ive ever seen.

Simone Giertz (@SimoneGiertz)


March 29, 2017

The jury is out on whether the robot is some sort of publicity stunt. New York magazine noted the robot followed some accounts of people working in creative and advertising agencies.

As of yet, the robots creator has not come forward. The Guardian has contacted @burnedyourtweet for comment.

The replies to Trumps tweets have become prime social media real estate. And @burnedyourtweet follows a tradition of automated accounts based on his 140-character outbursts although these tend to be Twitter bots rather than feats of mechanical engineering.

Earlier this year, an advertising company created the Trump and dump bot, which automatically trades stocks based on his negative tweets about companies.

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