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ACT Liberals Twitter horrors

I live in Macgregor 26 January 2012 22

ACT Liberals Twitter horrors

No doubt some of your readers may have seen the story in the Canberra Times on the collective confected horror from Zed Seselja, Steven Doyle and their friends on my use of the term “twitter troll” to describe blatant party propaganda from Liberal staffers.

I should start by reiterating for the ACT Liberals that the widely held view across ALL social media is that the term “troll” is an acceptable description for the blatant political messages and links like those being broadcast from Zed Seselja’s office. A “troll is someone who posts inflammatory messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers” (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet) )

Anyone who knows me or even takes a passing interest in my views and opinions would understand the message I sent was not meant to be in any way personal, offensive or misinterpreted as sexist. I even added an extra explanatory prefix to my tweet i.e “twitter troll” to focus the message on the twitter propaganda emanating from Zed’s office.

……

Lucky for me, Australia Day is a public holiday so I have a few spare minutes to share some amazing facts on the ACT Liberals and twitter:

1) Liberal MLAs are engaging in a social medium with reasonably open rules of behaviour and a reasonably common vocabulary that they refuse to accept or try to learn. You’d think by now they would have asked someone for advice or done some research themselves?

2) They have awoken from their summer slumber to return to what they know best: shallow negativity and no regard or interest in engaging on issues of more importance or concern than party-political matters directly related to their own purely political ambitions. Their lack of interest in real policy is mind-boggling.

3) When the Chief Minister and her colleagues have been hard at work for weeks dealing with important issues like local jobs, the local economy and important health initiatives, Zed Seselja, Brendan Smyth, Jeremy Hanson, Vicki Dunne, Alistair Coe AND ALL THEIR STAFF are still obsessing about a 30-year old relationship between the Canberra Labor Club and the ACT Branch of the ALP and, now, wait for it … commonly used language on twitter.

4) Speaking of summer slumber, I suspect the real reason Zed fired off his letter of confected horror to the Chief Minister was that he was particularly upset with me for taking the mickey out of him on Tuesday. After an extended break from work (his last tweet in 2011 was on 20 Dec at 10:30 am), he publicly re-awakened to politics and twitter with the curious revelation via twitter at 10:50am on Tuesday 24 January that he was “currently reading the Canberra Times”. This guy uses twitter to give all workers in Canberra a bad reputation! All I did was reply to Zed’s own tweet a few minutes later with “Good morning Zed. Great to see you are up and reading. Alarm clock not working? RT @ZedMLA: Currently reading Canberra Times.” Don’t most people who work in politics/communications/government departments and the corporate world read the local paper soon after it is delivered in the morning? Personally I am surprised if it’s not on the driveway by 6am each day. I suppose I should just expect more twitter trolling from Liberals and their sympathisers from now on…

5) If the ACT Liberals continue to experience twitter horror at the hands of Canberra’s articulate and educated social media users there is a strong rumour that they will ask Tim the Yowie Man to include the Assembly on his regular tours of Canberra’s macabre and haunted past. His minibus tour will include a stop in the Assembly car-park and he will point to Zed’s office window and recall the terrible day in January 2012 when the ACT Liberals discovered that people on twitter could ask questions and respond to Liberal propaganda with sarcasm and logic in consecutive tweets. Oh the horror!

Elias Hallaj

(known as ‘I live in Macgregor’ on RiotACT)

[ED – Just so we’re all on an even keel here, this is the tweet exchange in question]

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22 Responses to ACT Liberals Twitter horrors
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p1 p1 5:57 pm 27 Jan 12

I live in Macgregor said :

…(describing what I believe was a 10am announcement and doorstop at Canberra Hospital with Andrew Barr, to which I believe the local media were alerted about “a major funding announcement” at around 8.30am)

and this is Zed’s sole tweet in the past 24 hours…

@ZedMLA:heading out with @BrendanSmythMLA to enjoy some brain games at #CanCon. (timestamp 10:14am)

nuf said.

While I find the ACT Liberals to be pretty much non-existent for any meaningful purpose, I’m not sure what you expect? Should Zed have gone to the announcement and supported Kate? Should he have vocally opposed it (simply because he is in opposition, and that is what oppositions do)? Should he have supported it if he agrees with it, giving his opponent free publicity?

NoImRight NoImRight 3:32 pm 27 Jan 12

I think the Libs should call upon the Chief Minister to do something. Its why we voted them into Opposition after all.

Thumper Thumper 1:19 pm 27 Jan 12

News at 6.00.

ALP party hack bags opposition.

yawn…

I live in Macgregor I live in Macgregor 1:06 pm 27 Jan 12

Just eating some lunch and thought I should check for comments on yesterday’s post.

Seems about 50/50 in terms of interest, after JB batted off the conversation thread with a reasonably relevant comparison to other people who have made offline complaints about online “sexism” and “bullying”.

In terms of a quick response to some of the questions, I should clarify that although I’m not a regular poster to RA and many people on this site might not know me, I have never intended my twitter account to be annonymous (unlike most people on twitter, I have always actually used my real name). Am always happy (as JB knows) to come clean as the “Chief Complaints Officer” of the ACT Branch of the ALP. It’s what I get paid to do 24/7. Doesn’t mean I don’t have a life beyond work. But it does mean the job can occassionally become all-consuming if you try and do it well.

And the whole point about my post was the sanctimonious over-the-top reaction by Zed to what was really a brief exchange on twitter. Someone summed it up beautifully when they wrote “Anyone with a decent head on them would’ve looked into the term before going nuclear on it”. I don’t know how often he writes to the Chief Minister demanding apologies and immediate action but it seemed to be a bit OTP for Zed to do it about a twitter comment when there is so many more important things he could be focussed on. (ditto for his staff and the other Liberal MLAs)

Anyway, Zed just keeps on digging…

At the same time that the Chief Minister is today announcing a massive new injection of public funds into improving local health services, Zed is tweeting about visiting CanCon with his mate Brendan.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it kind of re-aligns all the previous posts into a relevant perspective, in my humble opinion. 🙂

And in case JB doesn’t have the time to cut and paste images of the tweets (for the benefit of Rioters not on twitter)….

@KatyGMLA: ACT Govt transfers money allocated for government office block into health infrastructure program #canberra

(describing what I believe was a 10am announcement and doorstop at Canberra Hospital with Andrew Barr, to which I believe the local media were alerted about “a major funding announcement” at around 8.30am)

and this is Zed’s sole tweet in the past 24 hours…

@ZedMLA:heading out with @BrendanSmythMLA to enjoy some brain games at #CanCon. (timestamp 10:14am)

nuf said.

Elias Hallaj

and for the record. I live in “old” Macgregor :)).

Chop71 Chop71 7:12 am 27 Jan 12

Maybe spent too much time in new Macgregor under the high voltage power lines.

Erg0 Erg0 7:09 am 27 Jan 12

It’s noted in the CT article that neither of the party flacks identifies themselves as such on their Twitter profiles.

stirred408 stirred408 9:11 pm 26 Jan 12

Mr Hallaj didn’t use an anonymous name. If his twitter account read “I live in Macgregor” without identifying himself, that’s one thing. But given he used his real name – one quick google search identifies who is. People who follow him would know who he is.

PS. I do not work for any party.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 7:57 pm 26 Jan 12

Party apparatchiks post sycophantic posts? Whodathunkit?

Or is this just a case of troll (Lib) vs troll (Lab)? Interesting that Mr Hallaj didn’t identify himself as a Labor flunky before firing broadsides at Liberal flunkies.

Oh the banality….

LSWCHP LSWCHP 6:54 pm 26 Jan 12

schmeah said :

LSWCHP said :

m_ratt said :

And for those (like myself) to whom the name Elias Hallaj meant nothing, it should be noted for context that he is the State Secretary of the ACT Labor Branch.
http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/labor-people/elias-hallaj/

I thought something like that would be the case. Once again, both sides of politics in the ACT manage to make themselves look like imbeciles.

I don’t know what the fuss is. All Elias has done is argue that the Australian has printed something inaccurate, sounds like a pretty reasonable guy to me.

It’s a question of appropriate disclosure of interests. It’s one thing when a private citizen starts duking it out with politicians in a public forum. That can be useful, and possibly even entertaining. But when the citizen actually turns out to be an apparatchik of another political party engaging in the usual grubby point scoring on the part of his party machine, that makes it useless, tawdry and uninteresting.

As I said originally, neither crew has covered themselves in glory.

stirred408 stirred408 6:32 pm 26 Jan 12

Mr Hallaj probably wasn’t being sexist. Looks like the ALP going to go hard on social media this election

schmeah schmeah 5:55 pm 26 Jan 12

LSWCHP said :

m_ratt said :

And for those (like myself) to whom the name Elias Hallaj meant nothing, it should be noted for context that he is the State Secretary of the ACT Labor Branch.
http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/labor-people/elias-hallaj/

I thought something like that would be the case. Once again, both sides of politics in the ACT manage to make themselves look like imbeciles.

I don’t know what the fuss is. All Elias has done is argue that the Australian has printed something inaccurate, sounds like a pretty reasonable guy to me.

LSWCHP LSWCHP 5:19 pm 26 Jan 12

m_ratt said :

And for those (like myself) to whom the name Elias Hallaj meant nothing, it should be noted for context that he is the State Secretary of the ACT Labor Branch.
http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/labor-people/elias-hallaj/

I thought something like that would be the case. Once again, both sides of politics in the ACT manage to make themselves look like imbeciles.

m_ratt m_ratt 3:14 pm 26 Jan 12

And for those (like myself) to whom the name Elias Hallaj meant nothing, it should be noted for context that he is the State Secretary of the ACT Labor Branch.
http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/labor-people/elias-hallaj/

peterh peterh 2:23 pm 26 Jan 12

Thanks for putting up the tweets, JB. Wow. Liberal staffer refers to a mainstream media article, OP doesn’t like it and calls them a troll. I also notice in the twitterstream that there is a bit of hounding by the OP. If it were me, the OP would have been blocked, reported.

RedDogInCan RedDogInCan 2:07 pm 26 Jan 12

I could easily write a social media policy for them:

“Stop wasting time and do some real work.”

Micky_P Micky_P 12:38 pm 26 Jan 12

Zed is a fool. Anyone with a decent head on them would’ve looked into the term before going nuclear on it.

I don’t really think we need policy to dictate twitter, but I do hope the Liberals stop whinging over nothing.

johnboy johnboy 12:32 pm 26 Jan 12

peterh said :

why is it only after the CT article that the Chief Minister has decided that there should be a social media policy? Why wasn’t there one established when the twitter community councils started up? There are people from both Labor and Liberal on Twitter. They behave themselves for the most part, but there are the odd comments that slip through.

“Liberal MLAs are engaging in a social medium with reasonably open rules of behaviour and a reasonably common vocabulary that they refuse to accept or try to learn. ” so is Labor. If there was a policy to set conduct guidelines… oh. wait.

One of the great things about Twitter is that it is not canberra based or australian based, it is global.

Want to self promote shamelessly? go for it. Just be aware that your tweets are read by every person who has access to them. Make a mistake on twitter and it is global, not local.

Actually unless you are very famous almost nothing you say on twitter will ever be seen by anyone.

peterh peterh 12:24 pm 26 Jan 12

why is it only after the CT article that the Chief Minister has decided that there should be a social media policy? Why wasn’t there one established when the twitter community councils started up? There are people from both Labor and Liberal on Twitter. They behave themselves for the most part, but there are the odd comments that slip through.

“Liberal MLAs are engaging in a social medium with reasonably open rules of behaviour and a reasonably common vocabulary that they refuse to accept or try to learn. ” so is Labor. If there was a policy to set conduct guidelines… oh. wait.

One of the great things about Twitter is that it is not canberra based or australian based, it is global.

Want to self promote shamelessly? go for it. Just be aware that your tweets are read by every person who has access to them. Make a mistake on twitter and it is global, not local.

Thumper Thumper 12:20 pm 26 Jan 12

So, you don’t like the ACT liberals?

LSWCHP LSWCHP 12:02 pm 26 Jan 12

johnboy said :

Generally I find those complaining in the offline world about “bullying” online do so because what they had to say was egregiously stupid and met the condemnation it deserved.

Melinda Tankard Reist springs to mind for some reason.

JB, that’s gold. You seem to be able to say more in one sentence (or two in this case) than I can manage in a page of blathering. Keep up the good work. 🙂

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