#Auspol Twitter got all excited yesterday. A user who claims to be a journalist tweeted that an "L/NP party member" had said there would be a partyroom meeting on Monday and that "reports are Peter Dutton’s staff are working numbers to take the leadership".
The fact that this was blatantly, verifiably false -- apart from anything else, parliament doesn't sit for another month (as Phil Coorey pointed out) -- didn't stop Twitter users from going berserk. The hashtag #libspill began trending. People demanded street marches to protest against a Dutton Prime Ministership. Others urged Newspoll respondents to give Turnbull a vote of confidence to head off a challenge. Youth news site Pedestrian then ran a piece on the speculation, because "as we all know with these sorts of things, the presence of smoke tends to indicate an imminent fire." BuzzFeed's Josh Taylor belted them for it, without luck. After all, the press gallery hadn't told the truth about Barnaby Joyce, so it must be hiding the truth about an imminent Dutton takeover.