There’s something in those numbers

The social media has been a frenzy of activity over the last week as people voice their disgust at the grubby antics of the Murdoch media. The Murdoch media has not only come under fire for its gutter journalism and personal attacks on Kevin Rudd, but for its ‘go soft’ approach on Tony Abbott. If only they could hold Abbott to account. And if only they could ask Abbott the questions that we of the social media would like the opportunity to do.

It’s fitting, nay deserved, that the daily sales of Murdoch’s newspapers continue to plummet. At the same time, independent media sites and blog sites continue to grow. It’s a clear message that many people seek an alternative to the traditional media. We of the new media, sadly, at this stage cannot provide news. We lack the resources in both money and personnel. But we can provide opinion – an alternate opinion – and one that represents how many people feel. You won’t find this in the Murdoch media, where only one opinion counts: Rupert’s.

The sites I am associated with, Café Whispers (CW) and the Australian Independent Media Network (The AIMN) have enjoyed record months. The AIMN recorded a huge 24,000 visitors in one day earlier this week, dwarfing the mere record of 8,700 here at CW. It is significant that these figures were achieved in the wake of Murdoch’s grubby blitzkrieg. It is also clear that people like what our authors are delivering.

I think it is safe to assume that the combined readership of the independent blogs could nationally outnumber the readership of a major city newspaper. They would easily outnumber the listeners of say, Alan Jones.

One could argue that the same people read all the individual blogs, but my statistics show otherwise. The statistics record the number of visitors to our sites and where they have visited, or ‘clicked’ from. Very rarely will they come from similar sites, suggesting that each blog, to a large extent, has its own distinct group of loyal readers.

On both CW and The AIMN the percentage of visitors from similar blogs is very small. Facebook, Twitter and Google provide 95% of our visitors while the remaining 5% is made up of a dozen or so from other blogs or media outlets.

There’s something in those numbers.

This is about as ridiculous as it gets

The biggest news story of the day isn’t the drop in interest rates – that will save those with a mortgage an estimated $65 a month – no, the biggest story is Kevin Rudd’s fringe:

IT’S starting. A groundswell of discontent is building against the greatest of Kevin Rudd’s sins – the hair flick.

The Prime Minister has perplexed and irritated us for years with his trademark habit of running a hand through his fringe at least once a minute. The rate rises to one flick every ten seconds when the PM is outdoors.

It isn’t Kevin Rudd’s only bad habit. We’ve previously documented the best of his unique gestures, including ‘the back of the farm’, ‘the Specsaver’ and a personal favourite, ‘the shot put’.

The hair flick entered public life as a lovable quirk. Now thousands of Australians shudder when Mr Rudd reaches for his hair.

Here’s the worst part. His hair barely moves. When Mr Rudd flips his fringe, his hair just returns to its original position. There is no aesthetic dividend to justify this exercise in male preening.

This morning’s press conference in Brisbane was surely the final straw for Australian voters. The wind billowed through Mr Rudd’s hair, leading him to readjust it. Again. And again. And again.

Finally, with the election campaign underway, we’re beginning to talk about the big political issues. Refreshing, isn’t it?

Update: THE FRINGE STRIKES BACK. A new Twitter account has popped up today, called @KevinsFringe. Its motto? “Flick it. Flick it real good.”

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN. Tweet #stopthehairflicks: @KRuddMP | @KevinsFringe | @Kieran_Gilbert | @brihonyspeed | @SamClench | @newscomauHQ

Oh FFS! This morning’s press conference in Brisbane was surely the final straw for Australian voters. Really, what a load of bullshit.

And isn’t it typical of to encourage mainstream media and social media debate on such a pathetic issue whilst doing naught to encourage discussion on how interest cuts could benefit you, or wait for it, if someone might actually give some credit to the Government for them? Funny too, that none of Tony Abbott’s annoying traits are ever mentioned, such as walking away from interviews

This is about as ridiculous as it gets.

But then again, it is the Murdoch media. Expect the ridiculous.

The hair flick that non-one really cares about.

The hair flick that non-one really cares about.

Open forum: is social media starting to bite?

Let’s face it, over the last two and a half years the mainstream media (MSM) have waged a relentless attack on Julia Gillard and the Labor Government whilst giving Tony Abbott and his band of buffoons a free run at every turn. Tony Abbott holds a press conference and walks away from questions so the MSM condemn the Prime Minister for wearing glasses. The Prime Minister talks about policy yet the MSM report on the ‘poor’ timing of her election call. The Prime Minister talks about important issues facing the country but the Canberra Press Gallery decide they are not worth distributing to their readership. They decide that people want to hear about Craig Thomson or where the PM’s boyfriend parked his car at the cricket five weeks ago.

The PM announces the resignation of two Ministers so the media claim they are deserting a sinking ship. And they allow the Opposition to make the same call, without bothering to inform their loyal readers that the Opposition are losing nine members after this year’s election.

I could go on, but you get my drift.

But have you noticed, that despite all of this one-sided media loyalty and sub-standard journalism that the Opposition is losing ground in the polls? Why is this so? With the daily promotion of Tony Abbott and the daily condemnation of Julia Gillard you’d expect the gap to widen. And no matter how shrill, pathetic and biased the MSM behave, they’re not turning it around.

Have you noticed too, that the counter attack on social media has been just as aggressive? Facebook, Twitter, blogs and podcasts have become the haven for left-wing voices and opinions and the fact that Labor is creeping up the polls might suggest that they are now beginning to have an influence. Their reach is enormous. Is it possible that collectively they now have a bigger audience than the MSM? As more and more people engage in social media is it possible that they are now realising the MSM has been conning them? Are they finding that social media offers something refreshing: the truth?

What do you think?


Oakes and anyone

In today’s National Times, Laurie Oakes begins his argument with a lament suggesting that he wants to be optimistic about the future of journalism, but is not as optimistic as he would like to be. A reasonable statement? Probably. But then neither are the public approaching anything resembling optimism, given the standard of journalism which presently prevails.

Oakes sets the scene:

For 111 years Australia’s federal politicians and members of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery have been matching wits. The politicians have used every trick they know to try to control what the journalists report and how they report it. Gallery members have used every trick they know to get behind the spin and try to dig out things the politicians want to keep hidden.

Photo: The Australian

Photo: The Australian

Ah the noble vocation of journalism. It was so very straightforward in those days according to Oakes; a battle of noble minds (journalists) versus those duplicitous politicians.

One might consider that via today’s current batch of media journalists, that there has been a role reversal:

The politicians journalists have used every trick they know to try to control what the journalists report is reported and how they report it.

Oakes then continues to lay the blame for this “decline” squarely at the foot of the “new” communications technology.

Oakes argues that by “making new communications technology easily and cheaply available to anyone (that) the press gallery’s role seems set to decline, which obviously has implications for the health of our political system”. Oh really?

If one looks at this opinion, the implication is that by making communications technology available to “anyone”, that the aforementioned “anyones” will, as a natural consequence result in a decline in standards. The involvement of these “anyones” has previously been lamented by professional journalists. Is it that only those directly employed by a major newspaper or who gets behind a microphone, or in front of a television camera has a valid opinion? Is an “anyone” aka “a nobody”, aka an ordinary citizen not permitted to voice an opinion; not have an opinion worthy of note?

One need to look no further than Letters to the Editor, and especially those in the Murdoch press, or attempt to have an opinion published on a Murdoch blog for it to become obvious that not just “anyone” and especially those with a contra opinion, is permitted to voice that opinion.

Oakes chooses to use Kevin Rudd as an example of pollie-power:

Rudd, he pointed out, can be sensitive about his privacy – and had the means to retaliate, if he wanted to, by publishing information that would breach the privacy of the journalist.

There’s no suggestion the former prime minister would do that. But the point is he could.

Oakes appears to be suggesting that not only are journalists now being placed in a position where they are subject to scrutiny courtesy of communication technology, but that politicians “might” also use this form of media to retaliate.

With 1.1 million Twitter, 75,000 Facebook friends, and his own YouTube channel, Rudd can get information to a substantial audience without having to rely on journalists or media organisations.

As a conclusion, Oakes provides the reason..

…to avoid the so-called gatekeepers in the press gallery and elsewhere and present their message directly to voters.

And the solution..

Rudd might be the master – the most advanced and media savvy – but any MP can do the same thing, and gradually they’re getting into it.

If there is a solution where is the problem? Oakes’ suggestion is that the “internet era” is set to cause a decline in journalism by “fragmenting the media” and as a consequence has “obvious implications” “for the health of our political system”. The logic of this argument escapes me. Surely if, for example Kevin Rudd has 75,000 Facebook friends that this equates with direct communication, communication which is able to be assessed on merit thereby enhancing the democratic process.

But yes Laurie, the days where journalists were the gatekeepers are numbered.

The shout heard ’round the world

Julia Gillard might have stopped shouting at Tony Abbott but her words reverberated around the world.

Hence this post is not about the speech by Julia Gillard or about the man it was directed to, but briefly on the impact of it.

By now most of you would have digested some of the more celebrated responses – including those linked above – so I won’t cover old ground, however, one is worth mentioning; not for Julia Gillard’s stand against misogamy but for her often overlooked performances as a gutsy politician. The New Yorker wants performances like that to enter into American politics. They write:

So why is this among the most-shared videos [the Julia Gillard attack on Tony Abbott] by my American friends today? Purely as political theatre, it’s great fun. Americans used to flipping past the droning on in empty chambers that passes for legislative debate in this country are always taken in by the rowdiness of parliamentary skirmish. It could also be that the political dynamic depicted in the clip parallels the situation in the States: a chief executive who is a “first” took power after a long period of control from the right of center, and whose signature policy achievements have at times been overshadowed by personal vitriol. Or perhaps it’s that we are right now in one of the rare periods every four years where the American political process provides actual face-to-face debate between the leaders of the two parties. After his performance last week, supporters of President Obama, watching Gillard cut through the disingenuousness and feigned moral outrage of her opponent to call him out for his own personal prejudice, hypocrisy, and aversion to facts, might be wishing their man would take a lesson from Australia.

Similarities between our two political theatres abound. Julia Gillard has found a way to evolve from it.

But her attack on misogamy has attracted more responses than her parliamentary grunt. And oh how the responses differ. In one corner we have the international media, the social media and social analysts supporting her speech while in the other corner sits the Australian mainstream media going alone in its condemnation.

Yet in the Australian media all we hear about are the opinions of the Australian media. Elsewhere it is news. Here they are purely opinions.

To hear the praise coming from Australians one has to read an overseas newspaper. For example, the Irish Times provided a better and more balanced appraisal of Julia Gillard’s speech than that dished up locally. Where, in the Australian media, will you read such honesty as this?:

When Australia’s prime minister, Julia Gillard, told the opposition leader, Tony Abbott, this week that if he wanted to know what misogyny looked like he should pick up a mirror, it was seen by many women as a defining moment for feminism in the country.

“I almost had shivers down my spine,” said Sara Charlesworth, an associate professor at the University of South Australia. “I was so relieved that she had actually named what was happening. She was so angry, so coherent and able to register that enough is enough.”

It was the first time an Australian leader – and possibly any world leader – had delivered such a forthright attack on misogyny in public life.

Prof Barbara Pini, who teaches gender studies at Griffith University in Queensland, said it was a watershed moment. “It’s incredibly significant to have a prime minister powerfully state that she has experienced sexism and even more powerfully state that she will refuse to ignore it any longer,” Pini said.

“That the sexism which is so deeply embedded in the Australian body politic was named may give some women licence to express and seek to counter the sexism they have experienced in their working lives.”

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, one in five Australian women has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. A recent study by Monash University in Melbourne showed that 57 per cent of women who worked in the media had experienced sexual harassment. It said women were badly under-represented in top levels of media management, holding 10 per cent of positions, compared with an international average of 27 per cent.

The report’s author, Louise North, said her findings might go some way to explaining why much of Australia’s mainstream media concluded that Gillard’s speech was a political disaster. “PM will rue yet another bad call,” said one comment piece.

“Gillard’s judgment was flawed. All she achieved was a serious loss of credibility,” said another.

That response was in stark contrast to much of the commentary in social media and conversations between women around the country, which were alive with praise for the prime minister’s stance.

“Leader writers are generally white, middle-aged men and they have no perception of gender bias,” North said. “They don’t want to acknowledge that it happens within their newsrooms and they certainly wouldn’t be open to challenging some of those positions and changing the public discourse either.

Tim Dunlop, in his fabulous article on The Drum, The gatekeepers of news have lost their keys takes up the fight against the Australian media – one of the few in the media to do so – as he tackles the local bias:

The authority of the media – it’s ability to shape and frame events and then present them to us as “the” news – was built upon its privileged access to information and the ability to control distribution.

Collecting, collating, packaging and transmitting information – “news” – was expensive and thus the preserve of a small number of big companies, and we were pretty much bound by the choices they made.

But those days are gone. That model is a relic, though it still dominates the way the mainstream media goes about its business, and provides the template for how journalists think about their role as reporters.

When you have the likes of Michelle Grattan, Peter Hartcher, Peter van Onselen (paywalled), Jennifer Hewett (paywalled), Geoff Kitney, Phillip Coorey, and Dennis Shanahan (paywalled) all spouting essentially the same line in attacking the Prime Minister – a line at odds with the many people’s own interpretation of events – people wonder what the point of such journalism is.

It bewilders me that our mainstream media is taking such a vociferous and concerted stand against public and international opinion. The impact of the speech is lost on them. One could be forgiven for thinking they have an agenda. Regardless of how much they condemn the Prime Minister, the world isn’t listening.

We need to talk

One of the subjects I took at uni was Knowledge, Ideology and Social Science (KISS).

This subject provided a critical analysis of the development of western knowledge structures such as modernity, and the philosophical and ideological assumptions underlying the social sciences and their impact on society. In simple terms, we looked at the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the birth of the scientific age. They were exciting times. The world was changing so fast.

One day the lecturer asked what might go through a person’s mind if they were snatched from their period and dropped into the 1990s.

The answers were fairly predictable: they would be amazed at our computers and other technology; means of travel; hearing that we’d walked Moon; our general wealth; our generally civil societies . . . all of which are probably true, of course.

But it wasn’t the answer the lecturer was looking for.

She said: “I think they’d be horrified to see that people don’t know how to communicate with each other any more”.

Over the years I’ve often mentally ridiculed her statement. Of course we know how to communicate. We have a phone attached to us wherever we go, we have email we can access at any time and we chat endlessly with people on Facebook and Twitter. But what do we do when we don’t have those luxuries at our finger tips? We feel like we’re shut off from the world. Some of us might read a newspaper or a magazine.

I bet none of us hop in a car and drive to a friend’s place for the mere pleasure of talking to them. I can’t remember the last time I did it.

My neighbour and I chat regularly . . . on Facebook. It’s so much easier than actually walking over and knocking on her door and dropping in for a chat. Goodness, life’s too busy for that! I’m too busy texting, typing, or Twittering.

The lecturer was right. The mademoiselle or gentleman from 1750 would be horrified at how we in the Age of Aquarius don’t know how to communicate any more.

What do you think?

Media Bullies

The media have put on their Batman outfit to heroically defend a public under attack from bullies (cyber or real life) and internet trolls. They are to be lauded.

I take my hat off to A Current Affair for their recent story on school-yard bullying, promoting a video which acclaims:

It’s the anti-bullying video every child parent and teacher should watch. One in three Australian kids is bullied at school, but a group of everyday school kids have made a special video begging other students to take action – and they have some serious celebrity backers.

Anti-bullying campaigns are cropping up in workplaces, schools, the defence forces and even childcare centres. But this campaign is unlike many others – because it is inspired and centred on actual bullying victims.

Inspired and performed by students from three Catholic primary and secondary schools, the video has already become a classroom staple in schools across NSW.

The message? Become an upstander, not a bystander.

Great stuff. But now I put my hat back on.

They themselves are bullies. If bullying gets them a good story, then a bullying they will go.

Who can forget their constant harassment of Craig Thomson, which in Thomson’s words were pushing him to the brink? To the brink of what? To the brink of this, perhaps:

One sordid little entrapment too many and another unremarkable example of “A Current Affair’s” mindless succession of bullying righteousness, yields a result they will say they never foresaw. A little man, caught by a cheap deception far worse than anything he was accused of doing, despairs of ever living down the shame and takes his own life.

Entrapment. Bullying. That’s not how Batman operates. It’s how the current affairs programs operate: digging up dirt on real-life citizens and pulverising them into submission. Chasing them down alley ways to a cheering audience that reminds me of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The Running Man. Here is the plot:

By 2017, the global economy has collapsed and American society has become an authoritarian police state, censoring all cultural activity. The government pacifies the populace by broadcasting a number of game shows in which convicted criminals fight for their lives, including the gladiator-style The Running Man, hosted by the ruthless Damon Killian, where “runners” attempt to evade “stalkers” and certain death for a chance to be pardoned and set free.

Very similar, isn’t it? But in real life the audience cheers on while careers, businesses and families are destroyed. Reputations shattered, many undeservedly. Lives taken.

Media bullies. How ironic that they now encourage people to be upstanders, not bystanders. Yet tomorrow they’ll be back playing The Running Man, no doubt.

Charlotte Dawson, TV presenter, has revealed that a series of death threats on Twitter sent her into severe depression and sadly, hospital. She said it was:

. . . the relentless and vicious messages that finally broke her.

“It just triggered that feeling of helplessness when the trolls got to me,” Dawson said in an interview to air on Channel  9’s 60 Minutes tonight. “They got the better of me and they won.”

Since that recent episode the word ‘trolls’ has hardly left the media’s lips as they again don the Batman outfit. We must all learn from the Charlotte Dawson saga pleads The Australian, while The Daily Telegraph asks under the headline Do not feed the trolls:

Internet bullying is rife – so why hasn’t anyone been prosecuted? Jennifer Sexton reveals Charlotte Dawson may be creating a landmark.

Online, nobody can hear you scream.

That is the cold reality for everyone who has suffered the abuse, hatred and vitriol – most of it anonymous – that is served up every day by the internet, from Facebook to Twitter and all over the blogs.

They even act like pillars of society by providing contact details for victims seeking support.

For information about cyber bullying go to or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

I commend them.

Even the Opposition joins with the stables of in taking aim at trolls while the latter has introduced something akin to ‘name a troll’:

If you know the identity of a Twitter troll email

The Herald Sun joins in with:

Twitter trolls need to be hunted down and held accountable for their evil actions.

Media saints, yes?


Media bullies.

Last month on theblogicalvoice, blog master Luke wrote of a friend and Arts student in Media and Communication (Sasha Burden) who had taken an internship at the Herald Sun. During her internship she wrote an article in the university magazine Farrago accusing the Herald Sun of homophobia, elitism, patronisation and sexism. Fair enough. She is entitled to say that. It’s her right to freedom of speech. Even the Herald Sun is a champion for freedom of speech, as we saw recently in their article Free speech is vital to society when defending Andrew Bolt’s right to say whatever he wants.

How did the Herald Sun respond to Sasha’s article? The first thing was to take off the Batman outfit. Luke fills in the rest:

Moreover, the newspaper’s response was obscenely critical and defensive given they make a living exposing secrets and invading privacy on a daily basis. Andrew Bolt took it upon himself to personally chastise Burden for her actions, thoroughly criticising the young student on his (self-proclaimed) widely read political blog. I guess none of us ever expect rational bipartisanship from Bolt, nor has he ever been known to stand up for the little guy (or girl in this instance). Still, it very much seemed like The Herald Sun had sent in the Hulk to fight one-on-one with a first-year karate apprentice – hardly a fair encounter. They could have very easily ignored Burden’s article; after all, the readers of Farrago aren’t exactly their target audience. Alas, The Herald Sun have harped on this event and very decisively turned a small disgruntled student into a big news story (in which they are certainly not the good guys).

Bolt’s article brought out the trolls; the very people espouse to wipe from the face of our media. Here’s a random comment from the link:

On the Beach replied to rossco
Thu 09 Aug 12 (10:35am)

Perhaps she would have felt more at home if someone had plunged an elbow to the midriff in an effort to get off the lift first.

Nice. Let’s promote violence.

Media bullies.

If Sasha were to read the comments from Bolt’s blog would she end up like Charlotte Dawson? The post attracted 196 comments. Read some for yourself while standing in Sasha’s shoes and ask that same question.

I hope neither her, her family or friends have bothered to read them. They are enough to destroy people.

Sasha is not alone. Look at any blog owned by and watch the trolls gather and the bullying begin. Anybody who believes in climate change or the Government is just another attack vulnerable to attack and in some instances in the recent past (before the comments were eventually removed), worthy of death.

Putting the Batman outfit back on again has called for:

A review of laws to tackle Twitter trolls who anonymously post abuse has been called for after radio host Ray Hadley and NRL star Robbie Farah became the latest high-profile cyber victims.

Poor Ray. How dare people encourage a verbal assault against him. Here’s a couple of videos of him and his workmates at radio 2GB inciting those very same trolls.


Media bullies (with glass jaws). Just like those the media want stamped out.

What do you think? Are the media bullies?


I thought we’d have a fun topic today for those who want some respite from the political shenanigans dominating our daily lives.

So . . . I heard a saying that in itself could be a great talking point, given that most of us are into social media. Here is the saying:

On the internet you can be anything you want.

It’s strange that so many people choose to be stupid.

What do you reckon? Something we can have fun with?

Go for it. 🙂

Tony Abbott and un-Social Media

Is Tony Abbott a hypocrite, or does he just have thought bubbles on any issue that makes the news?

In response to the publicity and subsequent condemnation of the Aboriginal Memes Facebook page, here is Mr Abbott’s thought bubble, for which I commend him:

Tony Abbott says regulators may need more powers to order social media sites to take down offensive material.

The suggestion follows the belated removal from Facebook of a racist page that denigrated Aborigines as alcoholics and welfare cheats.

Mr Abbott said he wanted to avoid damage to individuals as a result of cyber bullying.

He said Facebook and other social media organisations should act responsibly to prevent cyber bullying, but greater regulation could be required.

“I do think there is an issue with cyber bullying, and I think that we really ought to look at whether the regulators need more power to make takedown orders and so on,’ Mr Abbot said.

Any commendation I had for his statement evaporated when the thought bubble was displaced with blatant hypocrisy. He went on:

The Opposition Leader denied the position was inconsistent with his plan to axe Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which makes it an offence to offend or humiliate a person on the grounds of race or ethnicity.

“We’ve set up a Coalition task group to look at this whole issue of cyber bullying.

“There is no case, though, for political censorship, and that’s the problem with Section 18C of the Act.”

The link above also reminds us that ‘News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt was found guilty under Section 18C last year, after he accused some “fair-skinned Aboriginals” of choosing to identify as Indigenous for personal gain’. And let’s remind ourselves that Abbott was quick to leap to Bolt’s defense.

Yep, the hypocrisy is oozing all over the article.

By courtesy of Min, Section C18 of the Act, that being which Tony Abbott so vehemently opposes concerns offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin. That’s correct it’s offensive behaviour, with the specifics being:

For an act to be unlawful it must fulfill the following criteria:

  • that the action causes words, sounds, images or writing to be communicated to the public; or that it is done in a public place.
  • that the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people.
  • that the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.

So that’s OK by Tony Abbott.  OK, that is, if the mainstream media kick heads but let’s do something about independent journalists or people who engage with social media. You know the types, they’re the ones often critical of the current Opposition (and him) and the biased mainstream media.

Mr Abbott is right, of course, in one respect. Some social media sites have become a cesspool of hate. But has he bothered to look at the hatred or suggestions of violence that are published by commenters on the blog sites of Andrew Bolt’s or Piers Ackerman’s? Does he worry when a commenter pleads for a call to arms to rid ourselves of the Government?

And why doesn’t he have caring thought bubbles when he stands side-by-side with those same types as they hold signs calling Julia Gillard a bitch or a slut.  He rubs shoulders with hate mongerers after they’ve said on air that Julia Gillard should be dumped at sea.  He supports members of his party who suggest Julia Gillard should be kicked to death.  He also fails to reprimand those in his party who say Julia Gillard needs a bullet.

I guess it’s all free speech, which the other day he vociferously endorsed. A comment on The Political Sword by Wake Up amused me:

Don’t you just love the hypocrisy of Abbott . . . this morning in the face of the ‘Aboriginal Meme’ affair he invoked a Coalition ‘ task force’ to look at social media including ‘stronger take-down powers for the regulator’ yet only three days ago he was heroically swinging to defend ‘free speech’.

I’m worried about what Abbott might do the free speech on social media sites. It will be muted, there is nothing surer. It will be muted because they are the forums that breed – in his eyes – dissent.  They are not the forums that provide him with unqualified support, such as seen in the mainstream media. And according to Mr Abbott the laws will be changed to give the media – those pedlars of hate – the right to abuse and denigrate at will (as if it isn’t disgusting enough already).

Meanwhile, everyone else will be made to shut up.

We should all be worried.