From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Pauline the Pom? Does Pauline Hanson herself have questions to answer about dual citizenship? A tipster has reminded us that in 2010, Hanson used a women’s magazine to say that she was done with Australia and would emigrate to the UK.

“I’m going to be away indefinitely,” Hanson said in Women’s Day in February of that year. “It’s pretty much goodbye forever. I’ve really had enough. I want peace in my life. I want contentment, and that’s what I’m aiming for.”

“… Australia will always be my home. But I love England and Ireland. My mother’s family come from Limerick and my father’s from London. I love the culture.”

Reports at the time said she would be applying for dual citizenship, with the UK Telegraph writing, “Ms Hanson is eligible for a British passport because her grandfather was an immigrant from England in 1908”.

By November, Hanson had traveled around Europe for a few months and decided the move was off the cards — the UK was too full of migrants, she declared, with no sense of irony at all. It’s not clear if she did end up applying for the dual citizenship or not — recently she tweeted that no One Nation senators were dual citizens and that they had made sure of that — but the ever-changing accounts of Malcolm Roberts’ citizenship put that in doubt. So has Hanson cleaned up her own backyard?

No double taps for Dasher. Every social media platform has its own form of etiquette, with rules about what to share and with whom, who to follow and who to not, it can be quite hard to keep up. And now one of Australia’s most social media-savvy senators has made a faux pas. Labor Senator Sam Dastyari (who was a “junior” senator when it turned out he’d got a Chinese businessman to pay his bills) is in the middle of a huge publicity push to sell his book One Halal of a Story. The memoir, published by Melbourne University Press, is out on Monday, and is described as “unexpected and unorthodox” — Dastyari has even got the book halal-certified, just to mess with his Senate colleague Pauline Hanson.

Ms Tips has been told that Dastyari has been going on a following spree on Instagram, the social media app designed to share photos with one’s friends, with a handful of young users saying they had been followed by Dastyari, or received a request to follow their private account (like Twitter, if someone’s account is public, anyone can follow it, but if it is kept private, the user must give permission). This doesn’t mean that Dastyari or his staff have suddenly decided they need more photos of sunsets and brunches. It’s likely part of a standard ploy used by businesses that make money by promising to grow someone’s Instagram following. When an account, in this case Dastyari’s, is trying to increase its followers it can use a bot to follow of accounts that fit a certain demographic, in the hope that the user will follow back. When the person has hit follow back to Dastyari, the bot then unfollows the account — it means his feed isn’t clogged with users he doesn’t actually want to see. This is a pretty standard ploy for brands and “influencers”, but is it OK for a senator? Ms Tips wonders if people could be feeling used by the senator and not at all disposed to buy his book … or vote for him next election.

No work for you. Did Fairfax suddenly decide its outsourced subeditors were surplus to requirements? In October last year, Fairfax made 16 editorial staff at The Weekly Review redundant, cutting reporters, subeditors and production staff. As part of that decision, subediting was outsourced to editing group Pagemasters, and Pagemasters subs were given desks at The Weekly Review‘s South Melbourne offices to work alongside Fairfax staff. Pagemasters subs were hard at work at 11am on a workday last week, when we hear all the stories they were working on disappeared from their screens. Confusion reigned for a while as subs initially thought there was a computer error, but it transpired stories had been pulled deliberately. A Crikey tipster thought this was a permanent change, but we hear the incident might have been a miscommunication issue around workflow. A Fairfax spokesman tells us “there has been no change in the Weekly Review’s arrangements with Pagemasters”. With so many people on edge at Fairfax, we’re not surprised how the confusion could get to that level.  

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Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey