Why Are Liberal Senators Suddenly Obsessed With What ABC Staff Like On Twitter?
"The government knows who likes our tweets but doesn't know how many aged care workers have been vaccinated."
There was a strong focus on Twitter in Senate estimates this morning, as members of the LNP grilled the ABC’s manager director, David Anderson, about the behaviour of ABC journalists on Twitter.
Anderson appeared before a Senate estimates committee to discuss the legal costs and broadcaster’s statements in the wake of Christian Porter discontinuing his case against the ABC.
However, members of the committee also asked about the ABC staff’s behaviour on Twitter following the settlement, and Liberal senators began to grill Anderson about what tweets ABC journalists had liked.
The government is monitoring the 'Likes' ABC staff make on Twitter. Senator James Patterson says Neighbour liked a tweet from @TheShovel about Porter.
— amanda meade (@meadea) June 7, 2021
Senators Ben Small and James Patterson spoke about memes and tweets that referred to Christian Porter discontinuing his lawsuit that had been liked by Four Corners executive producer Sally Neighbour.
The questioning also resulted in one extremely funny moment as Small read one tweet, written by comedy writer Ben Jenkins, word for word. Jenkins was referring to the uncritical appraisal of Christian Porter from certain media outlets after the case was dropped.
— Tiger Webb (@tfswebb) June 7, 2021
This was the original tweet that Small was reading out.
I try and sue the ABC but instead my pants fall down and I try to waddle away but accidentally waddle over a balcony and land headfirst into a truck of pig manure and my legs wriggle around and everyone sees my heart-patterned boxer sorts
THE AUSTRALIAN: A masterstroke.
— Ben Jenkins (@bencjenkins) May 31, 2021
Small also questioned whether or not Leigh Sales stating that she uses the ‘like’ button on Twitter to save tweets is a breach of the ABC’s social media policy.
Despite resulting in one incredibly funny video, the line of questioning in the session also infuriated a lot of people on Twitter who pointed out that the questioning was a clear demonstration of the government’s hostility for the ABC, and that the senators must have taken a significant amount of time to rake through the Twitter likes.
The government knows who likes our tweets but doesn't know how many aged care workers have been vaccinated https://t.co/8rq6BaEYV8
— The Shovel (@TheShovel) June 7, 2021
We have government MP’s sifting through ABC staff’s Twitter likes to prosecute tedious agendas instead of, y’know, focusing on the vaccine rollout… please just do your jobs
— Joshua Badge (@joshuabadge) June 7, 2021
It’s a global pandemic and his home state is under lockdown—but James Paterson seems to have time on his hands to worry about what a random ABC journo “liked” on Twitter.
Should we suggest some activities for him? Baking sourdough is good. https://t.co/NklgBnjvc7
— Belinda Barnet (@manjusrii) June 7, 2021
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young also pointed out in the session that Minister for Health Greg Hunt was caught out liking a porn on Twitter just a few years ago.