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A Twitterstorm of complaint (and appreciation) erupted in response to last week's Herald on Sunday Top 100 election tweeters. There were interesting critiques of the list's makeup. One complaint concerned its perceived lack of women.

Labour Party organiser Keir Leslie (@KeirLeslie) complained: "That @bryce-edwards list of tweeters to follow? 60 men, 24 women, 14 unknown, 2 who I forgot to code. That's a 2:1 men:women ratio".

More specifically, CTU President Helen Kelly (@helenkellyCTU) criticised the makeup of our "thinkers" category: "there is only 1 woman 'thinker' and 8 men. Guess they r 2 busy barefoot in the kitchen."

Another tweeter, Justine Sachs (@nerdyjewishgrrl) complained: "I feel like there was a deliberate exclusion of women and I'm pretty disgusted." Her own Top 50 list of Twitter's best female political commentators included Green candidate @MaramaDavidson.


Nicole Skews (@ColeyTangerina) - a Green Party staffer - also tweeted: "Oh no, NOW I get it, I'll never be a Bryce Edwards activist to watch because period period uterus sex woman puppy uterus sex ladyparts."

In many ways, the critiques mirror a wider "identity politics" debate on the left. Proponents believe a person's ethnicity, gender and other personal characteristics are more important than policy, ideology or even social class. Lamia (@LI-politico) focused on ethnicity when she complained the list had only "12 non white people (Cursory glance)".

Also generating heat on the list was the influence of Dirty Politics. @Whaledump, which has been tweeting raw documents obtained from the hacking of Cameron Slater, showed how Twitter can be used to set the news agenda. This account swiftly acquired 6000-plus followers. This newsmaking potential had motivated us to put Slater first on our right-wing pundits list, something that did not satisfy everyone. Unionist Stephanie Rodgers: "The TOP FOUR rightwing pundits on @nzherald's list of Tweeters are deeply implicated in #dirtypolitics. What does THAT say?" Giovanni Tiso (@gtiso), who we included as a left-wing pundit, naturally smelled a rat: "In fact numbers 1 to 4 on that f***ing ridiculous list are the stars of @DirtyPoliticsNZ. But was @DirtyPoliticsNZ's account listed? No."

Bill Ralston (@BillyRalston), who we put on our right-wing pundit list, gave up on Twitter altogether: "Right. That's it. I'm retiring from twitter until after the election. Too many left trolls. You win. And good luck to that mateys! Cheers."

• Otago University political experts Dr Bryce Edwards (@bryce-edwards) and Geoffrey Miller (@GeoffMillerNZ) are following the impact of Twitter on the election campaign.