Minor parties spread ‘big brother’ fears as they ramp up campaign against proposed digital ID laws | #socialmedia


United Australia Party and One Nation candidates are stirring up fear about a proposed digital identity bill in a last-ditch effort to mobilise their voter base, experts say. 

Millions of Australians are already using a digital identity through myGovID, which links data across several government services including Medicare and Centrelink.

In October last year, the federal government released draft legislation to expand the system to more state and territory services and the private sector.

But while there are legitimate privacy concerns about the voluntary scheme, several political candidates have been spreading fear about the scheme in a bid for votes, linking it to a globalist plot or a ploy to introduce a Chinese-style social credit system.

The United Australia Party ran a YouTube ad titled Don’t Let The Government Do This To Us, claiming, “there will be a social credit system, like what there is in China”.

Google’s ad transparency tool provides only a broad estimate of ad spend, but the party may have spent more than $500,000 promoting the clip, reaching more than 2 million views.

One Nation in particular have made opposition to the digital identity system a significant part of their platform.

In a Facebook post last week that attracted more than 5,000 interactions, One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts claimed the digital identity bill would “form the basis of banning cash, controlling data, selling data to globalists & returning people to feudalism & globalist control”.

Newly minted One Nation candidate George Christensen regularly shares posts about it with his more than 27,000 Telegram channel subscribers.

A post shared by One Nation’s George Christensen with his 27,000 Telegram followers.(Telegram: George Christensen)

Claims that the digital identity bill is being pushed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) so global elites will have control over individual data have also been shared on social media by candidates from the United Australia Party and The Great Australian Party in recent weeks.

This sentiment echoes posts shared on Australian anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown and far-right Telegram groups throughout the pandemic which focus on comments made by WEF founder Klaus Schwab as “evidence” of a scheme for governments to introduce ubiquitous tracking and control.

The rhetoric being used to discuss Australia’s digital ID scheme could be seen as a last-ditch effort to attract votes from Australia’s anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine movements.

Elise Thomas, an analyst with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, suggested the fear campaign was currently being pushed by some minor party candidates because many of these groups have “run out of steam” on other issues with which to mobilise their base.

“They’ve realised they’re not making much headway with the anti-vaccine mandates stuff anymore,” she said. “In some ways, we’ll see them casting around for some other kind of narratives to mobilise against.”



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