Aussies Are Hijacking A Far-Right Hashtag That’s Trying To Claim That “Australia Has Fallen”

Conspiracy theorists are using #AustraliaHasFallen to call the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility a "COVID (concentration) camp".

#AustraliaHasFallen Hijacked Hashtag Howard Springs Quarantine

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For months, high-profile conservative Americans have been sharing their unwanted opinion that Australia needs “saving” because of our COVID-19 restrictions.

Back in October, Candace Owens compared Australia’s alleged “totalitarian regime” to the Taliban and declared that the US should “invade” the country because of how “oppressed” Australians supposedly are.

Sharing similar views, Republican senator Ted Cruz called the “COVID tyranny” of the Northern Territory “disgraceful” after the Chief Minister imposed a state-wide vaccine mandate.

Hell, even podcaster Joe Rogan fell for a satirical Gruen ad while trying to slam Australia’s apparent vaccine “propaganda” after he falsely claimed that the “army” was doing “crazy shit”, like keeping people locked up in Australia over COVID restrictions.

So, it’s really no surprise that the far-right have tried to piggyback off these views with a new hashtag that was designed to show just how desperately Australians needs help from this ~COVID regime~.

Unfortunately for conservatives, Aussies have derailed their plans by hijacking the #AustralianHasFallen hashtag to share the things citizens are proud of like our subsidised healthcare, lack of gun violence, and generally chill way of life.

The #AustraliaHasFallen tag really kicked off on November 29, when one right-wing nut called the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility in the Northern Territory  “Australia’s COVID (concentration) camp”.

“This is exactly why our American forefathers gave us the right to bear arms,” the fake profile wrote, purposefully ignoring that the old mining camp had been transformed by the government into a 14-day health facility to help those with COVID — and their close contacts — isolate when doing so at home is not possible.

Immediately, the conservative was met by confused Aussies who didn’t quite understand the American’s issue with a healthcare facility that offered air-conditioned accomodation with supplied meals and medical teams on standby to help deal with those potentially infected with the virus.

Moreover, people questioned what the hell guns had to do with literally anything about getting free healthcare in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

Along with this original tweet, “hidden camera footage of forced internment camps” that showed the “conditions” Australians were living in at Howard Springs also started to circulate in right-wing circles.

Captured by Hayley Hodgson, a 26-year-old who allegedly moved to Darwin from Melbourne to “escape the never-ending lockdowns”, the video showed the wild concept of… quarantine workers simply going over the rules again with Hodgson as she was issued with an official warning for not following directives.

In the video, where the “inmate” claims she felt like she was “in prison” because “it’s inhumane what [facility staff] are doing” by making people follow rules, Hodgson can be seen with her feet kicked up as she questions why she can’t move off her allocated balcony without a mask on.

Fuelling these right-wing conspiracy theories even further, Hodgson even did an interview with UnHerd — a media company that aims to “challenge the herd with new and bold thinking in philosophy, politics, and culture” — after the footage went viral where she claimed that “investigators” found her address by running her scooter plates and looking at “footage” that placed her a COVID-positive friend.

When approached by officials before being placed in Howard Springs, Hodgson admitted she “lied to authorities” about getting tested even though she was a known close contact to a positive case. Yet, despite literally lying about getting tested only a few minutes prior, Hodgson couldn’t understand why police didn’t allow her to just “self-isolate at home like a lot of other people”.

Hodgson even claimed that the Northern Territory Centre for Disease Control (CDC) told her that she was placed in Howard Springs as “punishment” for lying.

So after basing their entire understanding of Australia’s COVID-prevention methods on Hayley Hodgson’s experience at Howard Springs, conservatives started to use #AustraliaHasFallen to criticise the country’s approach to dealing with COVID-19.

“Can you imagine the ANGER you’d feel if, as a perfectly healthy person, you’re dragged from your home and incarcerated indefinitely in a quarantine PRISON just because some idiot gave your name as a contact or the authorities just selected you?” one conspiracy theorist tweeted, completely ignoring that Hodgson was a close contact and not “randomly selected”.

In fact, right-wing pundits have even used the hashtag to claim “Australia’s human rights violations are off the charts”, that citizens need to say “goodbye freedom in Australia”, and that Australia’s alleged “massive concentration camps [have not been] seen since Nazi [Germany]”.

Thankfully, when Australians noticed this trend happening they quickly flooded the hashtag with the actual things that Australia has “fallen for” like our adorable Cape York ballerinas and the undeniably cute quokkas of Rottnest Island.

Oh, and the simple fact that we don’t live in fear of mass shootings every day and have had 784,950 less COVID deaths than America.

In reality, the only thing “Australia has fallen” into is laughing fits because of how big of a joke this baseless “Australia is running COVID concentration camps” movement started by bored conservatives actually is.


Image credit: @cafenestor / Instagram