Read the tweets the Australian government didn’t want you to see during the Covid-19 pandemic
- The government pushed for the removal of more than 200 tweets
- A tweet slammed Victorian Prime Minister Dan Andrews
The federal government pushed for the removal of a tweet accusing Dan Andrews of being “ad*ck” because it was “potentially harmful,” according to new information released from Twitter shows.
The tweet was one of 222 messages that the Australian Home Office asked Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters to be deleted via email, according to internal documents released by Elon Musk.
The federal government sent a total of 18 emails to the social media company calling for certain posts to be removed.
The messages the government sought to remove were published during the Covid-19 pandemic and attacked Australian politicians, including state prime ministers and federal MPs.
A highly critical tweet about Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews (pictured) was deleted after pressure from the federal government, according to documents released by Twitter Files and reported in The Australian
Below that was a post with a photo of Victorian Prime Minister Dan Andrews wearing a mask with the caption, “This mask is as useless as I am.”
Another alleged that former federal health secretary Greg Hunt used “emotionally manipulative language.”
A third called Australians ‘not just clowns, but the whole circus’ for having to wait ‘seven hours in a row’ for a PCR test.
“By claiming Covid-19 vaccines are ‘experimental and untested’ while photoshopping…the faces of Gladys Berejiklian, Daniel Andrews and Annastacia Palaszczuk on the heads of Islamic State terrorists…the post undermines confidence in the Covid -19 vaccine program,” the government told Twitter in reference to a fourth tweet.
The government sent 18 emails to Twitter’s headquarters (pictured) in San Francisco, calling for the removal of 222 tweets, many of which were highly critical of politicians
A Freedom of Information request from Liberal Senator Alex Antic (pictured) revealed that the government pressured social media companies to remove or censor 4,213 posts over a three-year period
The administration pushed to censor or remove 4,213 posts across all social media platforms over a three-year period, with that figure detailed in a Freedom of Information request from Liberal Senator Alex Antic.
The requests for the removal of social media content came from the “Extremism Insights and Communication” division of the Ministry of Interior’s Social Cohesion Unit, the Twitter files show.
“It is completely unclear to me why the Home Office, a department primarily charged with overseeing things like border control, is influencing the media on things like public health through a backdoor with social media companies,” Mr Antic said.
“On what basis is the department qualified to establish the truth in relation to Covid-related matters,” he asked.