Jun 21, 2017

I spent 3 months in a secret Pauline Hanson supporter Facebook group, and here is what I learnt

Freelance journalist Jarni Blakkarly spent three months monitoring a Pauline Hanson forum on Facebook. He found very little about Hanson, and a whole lot about Islam.

The Pauline Hanson/One Nation Supporters and Discussion Forum is a peculiar corner of the internet. It’s a melting pot of xenophobia, anti-Islamic bigotry and conspiracy theories.

There are the people saying we should burn down mosques in response to terror attacks, calls for police to be given better guns (and "let’s hope they get to use them") and articles "proving" a link between Waleed Aly and Islamic State.

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7 thoughts on “I spent 3 months in a secret Pauline Hanson supporter Facebook group, and here is what I learnt

  1. Barbara Haan

    Brave of you Jarni. You must feel like you need a good shower to wash off the ridiculous vitriol these people churned out. The level of discussion of the Facebook PHON group is both as paranoid and ill-informed as I would expect.

  2. Laura Weyman-Jones

    Interesting read. Thanks! Facebook groups can be a great place to start when you don’t understand another person’s point of view. They can also make you want to poke your eyes out with a fork.

  3. klewso

    I’m not into S&M myself.

  4. bref

    Good old-fashioned journalism! Interested to know if you posted moderate views and was the backlash vitriol or ‘reasoned’ argument?

  5. Deborah Weisz

    Dear Jarni, it is not a secret group, it is a closed group.
    There is a major difference(look it up on Facebook).
    I post regularly on Pauline’s supporters page and encourage the swearers, those talking violence and in general spouting misinformation or fake news to desist because people like you, Jarni have a field day with it and label us bogans et al.
    I thoroughly check news before posting to make sure it’s factual and will debate with someone who thinks what they read is true when it’s not and to check for themselves before sharing it.
    There are sometimes interested people from the other ‘camps’ who ask politely what we believe in and to give evidence to back what we say.
    I am happy to do this and have won many arguments ( they are debates really) by treating them with respect.
    I do this because the other camps are also misinformed taking what the mainstream media and detractors( such as yourself) say as gospel.
    It’s clearly not.
    These people do no research either and just rinse and repeat the party line like robots, making fools of themselves.
    Many of us reply asking for more information from them but they don’t come back because they have nothing constructive to say.
    We do not tolerate trolls or idiots who have an axe to grind offering nothing but abuse.
    That doesn’t win anything for anyone.
    These people are promptly banned and rightly so.
    What I pick up from this group is the major frustration and feeling we are powerless to keep Australia the way it is.
    Thus they swear and carry on like ‘pork chops’!
    I have suggested many times for these people to take constructive action instead of venting such as become a ON candidate, volunteer, become a member and so on.
    You mention all you read is about Islam but there are many threads about the government, its bad decisions and how they waste our money.
    Islam is a problem whether you agree or not.
    Patriot groups such as Pauline’s and many others have plenty of facts, videos and pictures to support our arguments.
    We still have free speech in this country although it is being slowly eroded away as in Blair Cottrell’s case whose patriot page ‘United Patriots Front’ was shut down on Facebook and he is facing jail for doing something that muslims do in protests in this country or in their communities but nothing happens to them.
    Why would that be, do you think?
    And then there is Antifa who incite violence, perform violence disturbing the peace regularly but don’t get arrested.
    I was at a Reclaim Australia rally a couple of years ago in Martin Place and these Antifa people were primed up to cause trouble (looking very demented, I must say) but the police cut them off.
    The police had to close off Elizabeth and Market Streets as they took over these streets yelling, shouting, being threatening and scaring normal shoppers.
    I noticed a few of them were completely off their faces skipping down the streets waving their arms around wildly singing incoherently from either drugs or euphoric-inducing brain-washing.
    They looked like they should have been removed by men in white coats.
    The police got me to stand behind them so I wouldn’t be attacked from these crazies as they had seen my large sign ‘God Bless Australia’ and were heading towards me looking for trouble.
    The media reported Reclaim Australia started the violence but there was none from us.
    We just listened to the speakers with quite a few ‘Aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi’s’.
    I recorded many videos to show Antifa and the other brain-dead people were causing the trouble.
    Can you explain that?
    We don’t like the double standards in this country.

  6. AR

    It is unkind to mock the afflicted but when they are a danger it becomes necessary to at least consider them.
    Occasionally some of the braver contributors here used to report from the farthest shores of Blotland but they seem to have retired, seriously injured.
    What can society do with/about people who eagerly, fervidly, passionately spend vast amounts of their short lives on such sites?
    It has been noted amongst LEAs that officers can’t spend too long on some of the nastier cases, esp child abuse but even political extremism, without suffering themselves which makes progress and investigation very difficult indeed.

    1. Deborah Weisz

      These sites are also for educating the ignorant and the mainstream media armchair addicts who cannot think for themselves.
      It is a brave and valiant effort at normalizing society which personally, I think is a lost cause.

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