Flat White

Big tech, big target, good politics

29 November 2021

12:05 PM

29 November 2021

12:05 PM

Scott Morrison is going troll hunting. Well, there’s more in his announcement of new laws targeting social media and the loathsome culture of nastiness, narcissism and neuroses it has helped create, but that’s the main takeout.

It’s a good move. It’s a smart move.

This is politics for mums and dads, grandmas and grandpas.

They might be familiar with Facebook and maybe Instagram, but the ins and outs of Twitter, Snapchat, Tik-Tok or whatever leave them defeated. Defeated and concerned. As social media platforms multiply, so do these fears. Just what are they used for? Just what goes on on them? Will my children/grandchildren be safe?

It’s intensely practical politics. Who cares what the French President might claim or if the PM told Albo precisely where he was going before he took his family for a Christmas break two years ago? This is what interests normal people, real people in the real world, the types who don’t follow the #auspol threads all day or obsessively keep checking The Guardian Australia’s over-caffeinated politics live blog.

It’s something all the Coalition can swing very publicly behind, creating the show of unity the government very much needs after last week.

Labor is likely to be forced to support the new proposals. Why, even Jacqui Lambie will probably back it — if she can stop her own bullying and abuse for long enough.

Indeed, it shows that there might even be some clever types in the Prime Minister’s office capable of pulling rabbits out of hats.

How much more magic they can work between now and the election, though, remains in doubt.

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