An Aussie politician has worked out a new way of censoring satire.
Ironically, Andrew Nikolic is the Liberal candidate for Tasmania. His cunning censorshop plan is to threaten to contact the employers of Facebook users who "liked" a satirical article posted about him online and get them fired.
It all started when the New Examiner wrote a satirical scenario in which Nikolic is caught out claiming to have been "heroically killed in action during services in Afghanistan". It then goes on to state that he claims to have suffered "a slow, painful death by torture at the hands of Tamil militants in 2002".
Apparently Nikolic informed the New Examiner if the offending article was not taken down he would write to the employers of all the individuals who had "liked" the story.
He wrote in a Facebook comment that he hoped the employers and influencers of the satirical group will be amused by the formal letters of complaint he will send them.
The New Examiner refused to back down and retract the article. He then allegedly removed the comment.
Fairfax Media wrote to Nikolic and asked him what he thought he was playing at - and he denied making the comment at all.
Nikolic said that he, his family and families with loved ones serving overseas found the article offensive and tried to claim that he was alerted to the post on the same day that three of "our soldiers" were wounded in Afghanistan - two seriously and non-satirically. He said this heightened his sensitivity to the content.
But he denied ever having threatened to contact the employers of those who liked and reposted the story. This has been somewhat contradicted by screenshots of the comments which are being circulated online.
When he was shown screenshots where he did just that Nikolic said he had no personal copy of this comment thread and therefore could not confirm whether it is a complete or totally accurate representation.
Nikolic, who served as an officer in the Australian Army, claimed people involved in the post subsequently contacted him to apologise for their involvement. This was why he removed his response from his Facebook page, he said. Of course, you have to take his word for it. It had nothing to do with the Liberal Party press office getting on the blower to tell him to stop appearing like a tosser before elections.
He now seems to have a bit of a problem with social media. There is a Facebook page dedicated for the users who have been blocked by him and they print their own t-shirts.