The future of British post-EU citizenship depends on how many tweets are written and edited before the country’s exit from the European Union.
This is the story of how the rules have changed and how you can be a hero to your friends and colleagues.
The first step: make sure you’re not a fake A few days after the UK voted to leave the European bloc, we posted an article on our blog about how we were getting our hands dirty.
“We wrote a piece about how our parents were going to vote for the first time in their lives and how they were going through a difficult divorce, so that was pretty much the whole premise,” we said.
But we didn’t put any fake text on it, so it was probably a fake post.
“As the result of the Brexit vote, people started tweeting things like, ‘How do I get into the British voting system?'” says Ben Whalley, a media analyst at the University of Exeter.
“Somebody had written a piece that said how to vote in the UK.
There was one comment saying ‘If you don’t vote, you won’t get into British elections’.” The next day, the post got more than 1,000 likes.
The next morning, the same post got another 1,200.
“A lot of people just thought we were a real news site,” Whally says.
“I think a lot of them probably assumed that we were an independent news site, that it was a bit of a joke.”
So, Whalyl did what any decent journalist would have done: he asked for help.
It turns out that there was a way to get into Britain’s electoral system without voting.
Ben Whal, editor of the UK-based news site The Daily Telegraph, asks for help from Twitter’s algorithm “There were a lot more people saying ‘I’m doing it for my own reasons’, which is kind of weird,” Whinley says.
Whalley eventually received an email from Twitter saying it was reviewing his account, and he was told to “re-submit a screenshot of the tweet”.
“I was really, really surprised that Twitter had done this,” he says.
He immediately wrote back, asking for help to make sure he didn’t miss out on the chance to vote.
After that, Whilley used Twitter’s automated system to check his tweet was authentic, and found that it wasn’t.
“It’s probably not as simple as that, but it’s a good way to keep the system up-to-date and to be able to respond quickly if someone posts something that’s a little bit out of place,” he said.
Whalily has been tweeting from the UK since he was 11 years old, so his parents’ Brexit vote was definitely his first time voting.
“In the past few years, the UK’s voting system has become quite convoluted and not as accurate as it should be, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try,” he added.
And what happens if you don´t vote?
If you’ve never voted before, the process can be pretty intimidating.
In order to register to vote, citizens need to fill out an online form, which takes about five minutes to complete.
You’ll then be asked to enter your name, date of birth and a short description of yourself, which can be anything from your occupation to a funny joke.
Once registered, your name will appear on a voter list and your address, so you can vote.
If you miss your polling station, you can try again the following week, but you’ll need to do it again the next day.
Even if you are registered to vote but don’t live near your polling place, you still have to vote to stay in the country.
“If you’re in the city centre, there’s no need to vote because the poll stations are close by,” says Whalys mother.
But Whalleys job isn’t just to keep his country going.
If he can’t get to a polling station on time, he can send his message to the people of the country by posting on social media.
What to do if you’re trapped in a UK post-exit situation article Whalry says that even if he is able to vote again, he won’t be able stay in Britain if he doesn’t want to.
“Because if you vote to remain in the EU, you have to leave, but if you can’t leave, then you have no say in what happens to you,” he told Al Jazeera.
He also warns people not to post things that are “a little bit too far out of the mainstream”, such as using emoji or images that might cause offence.
As a citizen of the EU but not a resident of Britain, you are allowed to vote as a “national” in all but two of the 26 European countries that use the EU passport system, and