Wake up to hashtag assassins: the dangerous fakery of “Sleeping Giants”

Wake up to hashtag assassins: the dangerous fakery of “Sleeping Giants”, by Janet Albrechtsen.

Sleeping ­Giants ­despise people with different views. They talk openly about their white-hot hatred. They want people censored at least, but preferably sacked. They want to ­neuter the media platforms who host people with different views. And Sleeping Giants do it anonymously.

They are the online Stasi for the 21st century. They use the basic tenets of identity politics, making wild accusations of ­racism, misogyny, bigotry and so on to weaponise social media. Their workplace is mostly Twitter but sometimes Facebook too.

The hashtags hermits watch Sky News from 6pm until midnight every day waiting for a line, a quip, a comment that offends them. They pin directions on their Twitter ­account instructing others “How to be a Giant”. Find offence, tweet a company and wait for corporate cowards to cave in. Then move to the next target.

Enforcing the PC line:

They use social media to target companies that advertise on media platforms airing ideas, opinions and values not found at the ABC or Fairfax. These are the same ideas and values found in millions of Australian homes. These modern Stasi use the slightest pretext to thump mainstream Australians who consume media they despise. The online Stasi cast their net wider each week, from Sky News to the Seven Network and radio station 2GB.

Fakery:

Since August last year, the Sleeping Giants have been on a mission to trick and intimidate companies and politicians into thinking there is a groundswell of complaints from ordinary Australians. …

When people hide behind a Twitter handle we are entitled to wonder about the strength of their convictions. Are there ulterior ­motives? Do they derive commercial benefits from their shaming campaigns? Is this a platform where corporate competitors can try to harm other companies? Maybe #commercialterrorists is a better fit. …

Three recent attacks:

A week later Sleeping Giants aimed their online shame campaign at Sky News’ Outsiders host Rowan Dean. Using more trickery, they took comments by him that ­included the N-word entirely out of context. Speaking on Sky’s The Bolt Report, Dean discussed an incident involving black American rapper Kendrick Lamar during a concert in May. He invited a young white girl on to the stage for a rap-along. When she repeated lyrics that included the N-word, Lamar humiliated her in front of the audience. Dean was talking about that when Sleeping Giants struck out at him.

The hashtag assassins regularly post lists of companies that advertise on Credlin, The Bolt ­Report, Paul Murray Live and Outsiders. They urge followers to contact them. When Outsiders host Ross Cameron made ­extremely ill-conceived remarks about Chinese, he became an easy target. Sleeping Giants tweeted ING insurers presuming to be the voice of consumers, adding the hashtag #AdShame. Cameron was sacked by new Sky boss Paul Whittaker.

Last Sunday Sleeping Giants targeted Dean again. If they ­remove the remaining Outsiders host maybe the show will disappear. In a light-hearted finish to their Sunday morning program, Dean and The Daily Telegraph’s Piers Akerman mocked the ­ongoing Brexit chaos by showing the wonderful facial expressions of a woman doing sign language for a BBC news piece. The footage had already gone viral for precisely this reason. But Sleeping ­Giants tweeted a lie: “From the crass to cruel Sky News Outsiders … make fun of a sign language ­interpreter.” And followers re­tweeted Sleeping Giants’ outrage to state disability ministers. …

Copying the Sleeping Giants in the US, which started with one angry PC man:

The original Sleeping Giants model was set up anonymously in the US by one man after the 2016 US presidential election. … He set up a Twitter account called Sleeping Giants because “it was just me … so I wanted to seem bigger.” And “it sounded kind of bad-ass”.

[Matt] Rivitz explains how he aimed his “white-hot hatred” at Steve Bannon and Breitbart, the American website that supported ­Donald Trump. The San Francisco freelance copywriter took a screen shot of an advert by mortgage company SoFi on Breitbart. He tweeted it to SoFi’s chief executive, asking him whether he knew SoFi’s ad appeared next to offensive content on Breitbart. The chief executive responded within a half-hour. SoFi pulled its ads and Sleeping Giants was born.

“It was very satisfying,” Rivitz says. “I am a results-driven ­person.” Rivitz describes Breitbart as the “test case”, boasting that pressure from Sleeping Giants culled 4000 advertisers from Breitbart.

Sleeping Giants Oz is ensuring that only PC views will be heard on Australian media. If advertisers are persuaded, bullied, and tricked into not spending their money on any shows or channels that deviate from the PC line, then there will be no funding for non-PC media and thus no non-PC shows. You will only have the Wentworth Report to read, and we won’t be have as many sources 😦

Here’s an interview with Rivitz: