Screeching midgets never sleep

Captions: Social media “influencers” pretend to be giants, but they’re really just midgets on stilts.

In The Wizard of Oz, the Wizard is a truly frightening vision: a giant apparition, wreathed in smoke and flame, bellowing its commands in a voice of thunder. Yet, all it takes is a little dog pulling aside a curtain to reveal that the ?Great and Powerful? is, in fact, a common humbug: just an ordinary little man pulling the levers of a device that disguises his true nature.

Social media ?influencers? and political lobbyists are no different. A QUT study found that the 75% of ?auspol? tweets during the 2013 election were generated by just 10% of users. A single user was responsible for 15% of content alone. The immensely powerful left-wing lobbying group, GetUp! claims over half a million members. It turns out that that figure likely actually represents merely anyone who has ever contacted them.

Now, another left-wing lobby group stands exposed as just another humbug. Quote:

Social media campaigner Sleeping Giants Oz has been accused of deception by flooding Twitter with anonymous demands for advertising boycotts of media outlets that exaggerate the group?s real level of support for stopping ?hate speech in the media?.

NSW Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells told parliament last night that the anonymity of Sleeping Giants? online campaigns destroyed the group?s credibility, and its dishonesty had been recently exposed by evidence that a large number of tweets were generated by relatively few individual accounts for some of the group?s attempted boycott campaigns. End of quote.

These groups not only try to bamboozle with false claims about their true size, but they also lie through their teeth about political affiliations. GetUp!, for instance, claims to be non-party-political, yet it was not only founded with massive donations from Labor leader Bill Shorten?s union but Shorten himself was a founding board member. The group has, without fail, targeted the Coalition in its election campaigns. Its former director stood as a Greens candidate. Quote:

The Liberal senator also challenged the group?s claim to have ?no political allegiances?, singling out Sleeping Giants ?prime mover? Denise Shrivell for posting tweets that were ?fanatically pro-Labor and anti-Coalition? and ??repeatedly suggesting the country is sliding towards fascism and authoritarianism?.

Urging greater scrutiny of Sleeping Giants Oz in the lead-up to elections, Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the group already engaged in politically motivated attacks ?in an effort to censor coverage or expression of opposing political views?.

Sleeping Giants Oz is an Australian offshoot of the US-based Sleeping Giants that started operating anonymously after the 2016 presidential election. It was outed in July this year as the creation of Matt Rivitz, an advertising industry copywriter and registered member of the Democratic Party. End of quote.

Unfortunately, not just political parties, but large companies are letting themselves be ordered about by these barking midget dictators. Quote:

The Australian offshoot has made headlines for flooding Twitter with calls for advertisers to shun the Seven Network, radio station 2GB and the News Corp-owned Sky News because of media content it disliked?

?It has now emerged that less than 200 individual Twitter ?accounts were responsible for 53 per cent of Sleeping Giants? campaign against Sky News following the Blair Cottrell interview; that as few as 10 of these 200 accounts generated a total of 4500 tweets in 45 days aimed at advertisers; and that more than 70 per cent of the Twitter accounts are anonymous,? Senator Fierravanti-Wells said. ?It?s simply online ?astroturfing.? End of quote.

A few exemplary organisations have stood up to these screeching midgets-on-stilts: when the yapping chorus of Twitter bullies organised against cartoonist Mark Knight, The Herald-Sun gave them a front-page rhetorical finger.

More organisations need to learn to grow a pair, and not be bullied by political humbugs hiding behind the curtain of social media.