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. 

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

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:

    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?

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details