Twitter, anonymity and PRGuy

by | Jun 9, 2022 | What's the scam?

After having the temerity to suggest that Twitter sensation and Labor supporter @PRGuy17 should have disclosed his/her identity if raising money online, admittedly a bit purist and didactic of yours truly, we were subject to a mid-level twitter furore. Twitter and politics are very tribal.

Apparently – unless a suitable email and VPN combo were deployed by PRGuy – we will soon find out the identify of the enigmatic Twitter persona following a court action by far-right activist Avi Yemini who has demanded Twitter reveal the identity of this neo-Scarlet Pimpernel. It’s a terrific mystery and good on him or her, well played.

There is one critical point here in regards freedom of speech though, really one salient public interest point. That is, the benefit of anonymous social media, which allows the millions of people who are employed by large institutions, and subject to social media policy restraints, to have their say without fear of losing their job. Society is increasingly divided into silos, those who work for large institutions (mostly and increasingly aligned to government via donations, lobbying and corporate interest) and those who don’t.

Taking these people out of the public debate would be a big mistake, PR Guy too.

 

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Michael West established michaelwest.com.au to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. Formerly a journalist and editor at Fairfax newspapers and a columnist at News Corp, West was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences.

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