Friday, 1 July 2016

Australian Federal Election 2016: Liberals behaving badly and being found out right to the bitter end of campaign

The Liberal Party of Australia has been caught lying to Twitter in an attempt to manipulate mention of its campaign in the Higgins electorate on that particular social media platform. Polling earlier in June 2016 suggested Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer is in danger of losing her seat.

Social media giant Twitter has launched an investigation into the Liberal Party after it faked a copyright claim to try and shut down a joke account that likened embattled assistant treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer to Sophie Mirabella.

Last week Fairfax Media reported that Ms O'Dwyer had taken the extraordinary step of forcing Twitter to dismantle the joke account @Kelly_dnuSophie, which compared her election campaign in Higgins to the disastrous 2013 loss of Indi by her friend and fellow Liberal Sophie Mirabella.

The joke account had barely more than 200 followers at the time – "a significant proportion of whom are pornbots" said one of the students who started it – but the public comparisons to Ms Mirabella's failed campaign seemingly irked Ms O'Dwyer.

As the "is Kelly the new Sophie" comparisons gained traction, an official complaint was lodged by Jennifer Freind (sic), who is described as the "social media advisor to the Victorian Liberal Party".  She issued a "Digital Millennium Copyright Act (USA) takedown notice", claiming the copyright to photographs used by the account was owned by Kelly O'Dwyer.

Twitter locked the account in response, however, most of the photographs on the site appear to be under copyright not to Ms O'Dwyer, but to Fairfax Media.

Twitter's latest determination of "Case #34662656" isn't good news for Liberal Party of Victoria or Ms O'Dwyer.

"Upon further review of the DMCA notice  . . we have determined that the notice is invalid," states the social media giant.  "The content has been restored and [the] account has not been penalised."

Twitter has also issued a please explain to the Liberal Party of Victoria, and wants to know why it faked a copyright claim over the photos in order to shut down the account. 

"We have requested additional information from the reporting party," read a statement from Twitter.

As part of the original complaint, Jennifer Freind [sic] had signed a statement declaring that "Kelly O'Dwyer" owned the copyright to the photos, and  "the information in this notification is accurate, and I state under penalty of perjury that I am authorised to act on behalf of the copyright owner"……

One senior Victorian Liberal told Fairfax Media there were real fears Higgins could be "the Indi of 2016", a reference to Sophie Mirabella's shock loss of the safe Liberal seat of Indi to independent Cathy McGowan at the 2013 federal election…..

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