anzac-fb-briefing_Facebook copy

UPDATE: Success! Facebook removed this page on May 15, 2015.

This briefing looks at the “Diggers are Dole Bludgers” page (ID 1008573589154801) on Facebook and provides some examples of posts and imagery present on this page. The page was created on April 17th and currently has 416 likes.

The page has received National coverage by Channel 9 News in a story reporting that Facebook has come under fire for refusing to close it. Channel 9 notes the page brands diggers as dole bludgers and calls on people to burn the Australian flag.

This briefing follows a major report which we wrote on the issue of Hate against the ANZACs and military veterans in 2013. Like then this attack appears to be the work of trolls who are mostly just out looking for attention, and now very pleased with themselves over the national news coverage.

In the lead up to the Centenary this Saturday 25th April, we are disappointed, yet unsurprised, by the attack on our Australian Veterans. Veterans may take comfort in the fact that there are very few people who would support such content, and the general community feels a high degree of outrage. On several posts to the page, we saw members of the public opposing the viewpoint of this hate page.

We are concerned at the potential for trolls, or others, to use the public outrage in order to manipulate people towards extremist views. A number of extremist pages, mostly from the far right, have been pushing for the page to be removed (which we support) but doing so in a way that tried to suggest such pages are set up by immigrants, Muslims, or other target groups. We urge the public not to be taken in by this dangerous propaganda.

In the past such pages have also been attributed to specific individuals, often by the page’s anonymous administrator claiming to be giving away their own identity then impersonating a third party. This can lead well-meaning people to action against these innocent third parties, including illegal threats. Such content can pose a real risk to the safety of members of the community.

We ask for your help in reporting the page and its content (instructions below), in sharing this briefing so that others can help as well (see the icons above), and in warning others not to be taken in as this is likely not the last such page as the ANZAC Centenary draws closed.

For more information on OHPI’s work on hate targeting the ANZACs and military personnel, please see this page.

20150422 page id 1583334281945743 fbid -1583400151939156- eg 16

Click here to see the item on Facebook and report it

Example 1:

The image is suggests that Australian soldiers are supporting a nation which is taking freedom away from its citizens. The image itself is an iconic one which has been stolen and manipulated in this way.

 

20150422 page id 1583334281945743 fbid 1583567065255798- eg 9

Click here to see the item on Facebook and report it

Example 2:

The image is encouraging the burning of the Australian Flag, supposedly as a way of protesting against what it stands for, the ANZACS and their efforts in the war. In reality this is simply trying to push people’s buttons to get a strong response.

 

20150422 page id 1583334281945743 fbid 1583790918566746- eg 8

Click here to see the item on Facebook and report it

Example 3:

Similar to other images posted on this page, the image is conveying military employees as men who carry out missions from “behind a keyboard” making them cowardly. This is again trying to raise public anger, and particularly from soldiers themselves.

 

 

20150422 page id 1583334281945743 fbid 1584918788453959- eg 6

Click here to see the item on Facebook and report it

Example 4:

This post uses a meme for Aboriginal rights with an “anti-white” comment. This is designed to stir up racism against Indigenous Australians, and anger from the non-Indigenous Australians it is disenfranchising.

 

 

20150422 page id 1583334281945743 fbid 1439614466332704 - eg 1

Click here to see the item on Facebook and report it (this is an event, to report it, click the three dots after loading it and select event)

The Event created by the page:

The page created an event calling on people to either burn an Australia Flag or Australian Defence Force Uniform on ANZAC Day. 79 of the 144 people invited said they were “attending”, therefore supporting this hate. Although this is not a large number in the world of social media it is 79 too many.

Take Action:

There are four things you can do to help:

  1. Report the page to Facebook. We have instructions to help you do this. To report an image, follow these instructions
  1. Report the content on the page. There are instructions to help with this as well.
  2. Share this briefing with others so they can report it as well

 

  1. You can also report the page to fightgainsthate.com, use the category “other hate type not listed” and then enter “ANZAC”.

If you haven’t already done so, please join us on Facebook in our efforts against all forms of online hate. As a registered charity our work is funded through donations from the public, any help to support our important work tackling online hate is also greatly appreciated.