Waking up to the online bullies

Caption: A Sleeping Giants activist tirelessly at work.

It?s a common tactic for activists to lie and deceive, especially about their numbers. After all, few politicians will be inclined to listen to an ‘activist group’ which consists solely of a few unemployed weirdos in dresses, squatting by a computer in their bedsits. But, if those lonely weirdos create dozens of sockpuppet social media accounts to repeat, re-tweet and re-post the same script ? presto! They have a ‘movement’.

The lie of social media campaigns has been obvious for a long time. Research conducted by the Queensland University of Technology in 2013 found that just 1% of Twitter users of the ?auspol? hashtag contributed 75% of tweets. 10% of users contributed 90% of tweets. A single user posted thousands of tweets a month.

Now we find that one of the most notorious bully groups on Twitter is an equally tiny echo-chamber. Big surprise: it?s led by leftist elites and academics. Quote:

Edith Cowan University is standing by one of its academics, Andrew Priest, after he was found to be sending out up to 100 tweets a day ? including during normal working hours ? as part of a campaign by an anonymous online activist group to denigrate media advertisers.

Mr Priest, an accounting lecturer, has been named as the most active participant in a campaign by Sleeping Giants in which companies are publicly accused of supporting ?racism, bigotry, misogyny and abuse of women? because they choose to advertise on Sky News. End of quote.

Forget ‘Russian bots’: the real automatons trying to undermine our democracy are running their bully empires from the ivory towers. Sleeping Giants Bullies was founded by a San Francisco advertising executive. Its Australian branch is also run by a media executive. Quote:

In ?recent months Mr Priest has dir?ected tweets at advertisers including Coles, Wesfarmers, Commonwealth Bank, Jetstar, Hyundai, Audi, KFC, Carlton Dry, Procter & Gamble, Industry Super and Trivago.

On Friday he tweeted dozens of times, including calling on the West Australian government to stop public transport service Transperth from broadcasting on Sky News while ?they engage in the defence of a paedophile and attempt to silence victims?. End of quote:

Like all of Sleeping Bullies? campaigns, this is based on distortion and lies. No Sky News presenters defended paedophiles or tried to silence victims. Some opined their suspicion that a miscarriage of justice had been perpetrated. Others vehemently disagreed. Sleeping Bullies? lies about ‘racism’ on Sky are even less founded in fact. Quote:

Research conducted on February 22 by Sky News using social media intelligence firm Brandwatch reveals Mr Priest?s account @Aushiker is the most engaged in Australia in relation to the Sleeping Giants campaign.

His account was responsible for about 43 per cent of activity across the top 10 most engaged accounts between January 1 and February 21.

Mr Priest is a lecturer in the School of Business and Law at ECU and serves as a member of the school?s ethics subcommittee. End of quote.

I?ll leave that to speak for itself. Quote:

But the Brandwatch report, commissioned by Sky News, also confirms the Twitter campaign is being driven by a small group of people, with only 32 individuals posting an original tweet about Sleeping Giants.

Most of the activity occurs through retweets. ?This creates the impression to advertisers when they are targeted that there is a major boycott campaign in action,? Sky News? head of digital, Tim Love, said. ?In reality this outrage has originated from less than 32 accounts throughout the duration of 2019.? End of quote.


Advertisers need to grow a pair and learn not to be intimidated by fake Twitter campaigns. Academies also need to start cracking down. Academic freedom comes with academic responsibility.