Kevin Rudd’s recent petition for a Royal Commission into Murdoch’s media monopoly contains 1,000 fake signatures – according to Murdoch media.
Last month, Kevin Rudd launched a petition for a Royal Commission into Murdoch’s media monopoly, with an aim to “make recommendations to maximise media diversity ownership for the future lifeblood of our democratic system”.
The petition finished earlier this month and garnered more than half a million signatures. However, the legitimacy of the 501,876 signatures is now under contention, after certain news sources reported allegations that the petition was bolstered by bots.
According to The Australian, 0.2% of the petition – 1,000 signatures, to be accurate – were generated by a bot. Whilst the claim of fake signatures may, in fact, be real, what the article fails to mention in its headline is that they were created by a right-wing blogger who paid two overseas cybersecurity experts $58 each to spam the site with fake signatures and emails.
The Murdoch smear of our petition calling for a Royal Commission continues. #MurdochRoyalCommission pic.twitter.com/M4ZNypmjfo
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) November 18, 2020
Consequently, people like ‘Humpadink Pimpanipple’, ‘Nacho Cheese’, and ‘Bette Midler known for Wind Beneath My Wings’ signed the petition, apparently all in agreement that Murdoch’s chokehold on information in Australia is a little too tight.
Whilst the revelation of fraudulent votes is certainly important to report, 1,000 votes is also very clearly a needle in a haystack of people who are legitimately concerned about the Murdoch empire.
Earth to the Murdoch media— Every time you turn this debate into personal attacks, rather than your systematic abuse of monopoly power, it only strengthens our case for #MurdochRoyalCommission. This isn't about Malcolm or me— it's about Australians wanting a functioning democracy https://t.co/6mtd7pMicu pic.twitter.com/8IYGEH4jzP
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) November 19, 2020
The Australian is also owned by News Corp, which in itself is owned by Murdoch. This latest article appears to be mostly just an attempt to smear Rudd and delegitimise the inquiry – ironic, considering this type of behaviour is exactly what Rudd is concerned about. At the end of the day, there’s a reason why half a million people signed the petition and now two former Prime Ministers are shooting shade at the news source.