Politicians love Twitter when Twitter loves them. When times get tough or the election is over, they disappear into the mist, leaving naught but decaying links to media appearances and retweets of party announcements. The problem with abandoning social media accounts is that there’s often nothing there that indicates they’ve been abandoned. Just because a politician has stopped listening doesn’t mean the constituency has stopped talking. Having a social media presence and ignoring it is worse than not having a presence at all; instead of looking like someone who’s out of touch (and therefore on par with every other pollie), the owner comes off as being an aloof jerk.

Which brings us to the Honorable Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration.

Like many of his peers, Scott Morrison has a Twitter account. It has a glossy headshot for a profile image and an image of Parliament House as a background. And lest anyone think his support for the Cronulla Sharks is the work of a satirist, the account is Twitter Verified. Blue ticks all around. Morrison, however, hasn’t tweeted so much as a “Let’s Go Sharks!” in almost a year, so it was surprising when he sent out a passel of messages early this morning.

The tweets encouraged each of his 20,942 followers to read an article about how a “Single Mom Makes $89,844/Yr in Her Spare Time on The Computer Without Selling Anything”. It was not a story about Paid Parental Leave. Between 1.52am and 4.44am this morning Scott Morrison’s Twitter account was hacked. Luckily for him, the attackers were amateurs sending Get-Rich-Quick spam and not people smugglers using the minister as a celebrity endorsement.

And so onto a politician with an active social presence. Shane Roberts is the ALP candidate for Mildura and doesn’t quite seem to have grasped the use of direct messages on Twitter.  He sent following tweet to a mystery recipient regarding, presumably, the Liberals’ Donna Petrovich.

The tweet was sent at 3.31pm yesterday and deleted nine minutes later.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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