Josh Butler Political Editor
A dozen Victorian politicians are at the centre of an “unprecedented” social media pile-on, each being flooded with thousands of abusive emails, calls and messages from anti-lockdown conspiracy theorists opposed to the state government’s COVID response.
Violent and aggressive messages have been referred to police, as the state parliament votes on Tuesday on the extension of Victoria’s state of emergency.
“We’ve seen big email campaigns before, but I’ve never seen such viciousness or aggression in the messages,” Legislative Council member Fiona Patten told The New Daily.
“This is really something new. The vitriol, the threatening language is something I haven’t seen.”
“In other campaigns which are organised by groups like this, they all had a target and a specific message to give us,” Ms Patten said.
“In this one, the messages are just all over the place, and many of them are conspiracy theorists who have the facts just plain wrong.
“Ordinary people are ringing my office at their wit’s end, unemployed, needing to know how to access services.
“But when our phones are just bombarded by people who want to yell, they’re blocking calls from people who actually need help. It’s wearing my staff down and upsetting them.”
Ms Patten says she’s received thousands of emails, social media comments and calls, some she’s referred to the police. “This isn’t how we do politics in Australia I have never experienced this type of aggression against me in such a personal sometimes, sexual way,” she says.— Benita Kolovos 🐯 (@benitakolovos) August 31, 2020
Read the full article on The New Daily’s website.