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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Australian Politician Threatened to Get Facebook Users Fired

Here you get a new way of censoring satire. Andrew Nikolic, the Liberal candidate for Tasmania, seems to develop his own cunning censorship plan, which includes the threats to contact the employers of those Facebook users who “liked” one of the satirical articles about him online to get them fired.

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The New Examiner published a satirical scenario with Nikolic being caught out there, claiming to have been “heroically killed in action during services in Afghanistan”, and so on. Nikolic was quick to inform the New Examiner that if this article wasn’t removed he would (attention!) write to the employers of all users who had “liked” the article.

Nikolic explained that he hoped the employers and influencers of the satirical group would be amused by the received formal letters of complaint. However, the New Examiner refused to take down the article, and the comment was allegedly removed. When Nikolic was reached by the local media and asked what he meant, he denied leaving the comment at all.

According to Andrew Nikolic, everyone around him found the article in question very offensive, and he was alerted to the article on the same day that 3 of our soldiers were wounded in Afghanistan for real, which heightened his sensitivity to the post. However, he denied ever having threatened to contact the employers of Facebook users who “liked” or reposted the article. Though, this has been contradicted by screenshots of the comments circulated on the Internet. After being shown screenshots with proof, Nikolic said he had no personal copy of this comment thread, so he couldn’t believe to someone else’s representation.

Andrew Nikolic, who was an officer in the Australian Army, insisted that people involved in the publication subsequently contacted him and apologized for their involvement, and after this he removed his comment. No evidence exists, though, and all you have left is to take his word for it. Apparently, the move had nothing to do with the Liberal Party press office telling Nikolic to stop appearing like a tosser before elections.

Indeed, Nikolic now seems to have some troubles with social media. Today there’s a special Facebook page for people who have been blocked by him. All they do is printing their own T-shirts, though...

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