#AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

Cory Bernardi, Anna Bligh’s handbag and of course, Clive Palmer, top our list of some of the most bizarre cases of social media use in Australian politics.

It’s taken eight years, but it’s now safe to say that Twitter is now well and truly integrated in Australian society. It drives the news agenda, has proven essential during any kind of crisis and it’s even seen as a viable news channel in itself.

Celebrities and journalists may be all over Twitter, but perhaps the most stunning uptake of the platform has come from our politicians. In the past couple of years, they’ve emerged as some of the most followed and watched identities on the Twittersphere.Though their transition to new medium hasn’t been easy. There have been countless mistakes and gaffes along the way.

So, to mark Twitter’s eighth birthday (March 21), here’s a quick list of the most interesting cases of political use of Twitter we detected.


1. Barry O’Farrell’s not-so-off-the-record tweet…


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

That awkward moment when you realise you sent a tweet instead of a private direct message. This post has now been deleted, so we sourced it from Crikey


2. The tweet that saw Cathy McGowan break the rules of parliament in her first day


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

So, it turns out you can't take photos from the floor of parliament house.


3. Julie Bishop’s fascinating first-ever tweet


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

If you ever needed proof that a social media post is like a tattoo, then this is it.


4. Kate Lundy’s attempt at politically-endorsed paywall evasion

Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

Not so free then, is it?


5. When Tony Burke’s tendency to tweet every little thing turned into a hashtag


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

Which then led to...


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

And even Burke’s colleagues had a crack.


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics


6. That shaving cut


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

And in case you missed it...


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

You could argue that Rudd's nicked cheek became an election issue...


7. Clive Palmer’s Twitter account (there’s way too many to include on this page)


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

Just one more... This one was too good to pass up.


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics


9. Twitter demonstrates the power of Anna Bligh’s handbag


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

Which had more reach and influence than Bligh's smooth recovery.


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics


10. Cory Bernardi - Australia's very own Twitter phenomenon

Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

He never follows back. In fact, he doesn't follow anyone. And as for his video and photo feed, it's great wall of Bernadi.



And a bonus… Will the real Stephen Conroy please stand up?


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics

This is what happens when a public figure neglects to register a Twitter account. Not that Conroy’s too concerned. It doesn’t look like he’s checked (or changed) the closest thing he has to an actual account for a while...


Graph for #AusPol exposed: Ten quirky Twitter flashpoints in Australian politics


Credit to Business Spectator reporters Mitchell Neems (@MitchNeems), Elizabeth Redman  (@ElizabethRedman) and Fergus Ryan (@Fryan) for helping compile this list. Got another one for the list? Add a comment below or tweet the reporter @HarrisonPolites.