Media

Mar 19, 2018

What role does trolling and ‘fake news’ play in Australian elections?

The Tasmanian and South Australian elections raise big questions about how online campaigning and trickery increasingly affects our political discourse.

Christopher Warren

Journalist and media watcher

This year's state elections seem to have brought the misinformation and "fake news" playbook to Australian politics.

In Tasmania, we saw allegations (denied by gaming lobby Love Your Local) that pro-pokies campaigners were creating fake social media accounts to troll poker machine-free venues with misleading negative comments about food and service. Meanwhile a Liberal adviser was forced to resign after it was discovered she was targeting opponents through a fake Facebook account. 

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4 comments

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4 thoughts on “What role does trolling and ‘fake news’ play in Australian elections?

  1. Andrew Reilly

    There’s also some academic research that suggests that it’s mostly a beat-up, AKA fear of the unknown:
    https://www.cjr.org/analysis/fake-news-media-election-trump.php

    They (Watts and Rothschild) seem to make a pretty good case that for all it’s grim Orwellian premises, the social media problem is in fact tiny, especially when compared to the obvious failings of reportage and analysis by all of the “serious” traditional news outlets.

    As a non-user of social media I am not personally able to comment on the type of misinformation found there, but I am very aware of the poor standard of investigation and analysis we get through most “conventional” channels.

  2. Bobby

    Australia has had Rupert Murdoch and News Corp for decades. I fail to see how there’s any danger from other sources of fake news when Rupert has had that area tied up for decades.

  3. EG

    Eddie Woo, mathman extrordinaire tells us why fake news and general bs wins over facts and logic in a report in today’s SMH.

  4. AR

    I’m reminded of the quip, “when one thinks of the huge power of TV to educate & influence people, we should be grateful that it doesn’t“.
    For all the apparent ubiquity of unsocial meedja are those most affected really movers & shakers?

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