Australian Prime Minister: Social Media Is Like Electronic Graffiti
from the accelerated-and-intense dept
Here on Techdirt we’ve been reporting on a depressing stream of really bad legislative proposals coming out of Australia concerning copyright and surveillance. Much of this seems born of ignorance: some senior ministers clearly do not understand how the Internet works. Sadly, that includes Tony Abbott, Australia’s Prime Minister, as this report in The Age indicates:
“I’ll leave social media to its own devices. Social media is kind of like electronic graffiti and I think that in the media, you make a big mistake to pay too much attention to social media,” Mr Abbott said on Australia Day. “You wouldn’t report what’s sprayed up on the walls of buildings.”
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time he’s made that comparison. Here’s what he said in March last year:
“The thing about social media is that it is anonymous, so it can be much more vitriolic and extreme than normal media and yet it is there for everyone to see. It is kind of like electronic graffiti. The political process is accelerated and intense in a way that I don’t believe it ever really has been before.”
That acceleration, and the loss of control it implies, probably goes a long way to explaining the fear and loathing that many leading politicians display towards digital technologies — and not just in Australia.