Earlier this week, New Matilda decided to venture where we’ve never been before – a Twitter poll for our 38,000 followers.
The subject? Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine’s mean tweet on Tuesday morning, railing against the Australia Day Google Doodle, which depicted the story of the Stolen Generations.
Happy Australia Day and a big F U to Australia from Google. Just what the world needs – politicised search engines https://t.co/tZG6zeLyQ5
— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) January 25, 2016
Devine’s tweet was in response to a story published by New Matilda in the early hours of January 26. A story, mind you, that went viral, and at last count had almost 1 million reads. Unsurprisingly, Devine’s tweet sparked an avalanche of replies… most of which were, as you can imagine, not all that complimentary.
@mirandadevine is that the best you can do?
— Christian McBride (@mcbridesride) January 26, 2016
@mirandadevine WTF is Political about it? Historically accurate YES! Now make the fuckers pay tax!
— The Banality of Evil (@Henjam48) January 26, 2016
Even Greens MP Jamie Parker had a swing.
This particular tweet, spelling included, was one of the more curious.
— OzProtectionistParty (@OzProtectionist) January 26, 2016
This one, however, is our favourite, from Aboriginal rapper Briggs aka Big Sigh.
So, with some blood in the water, we decided to ask our followers if they thought Devine had ‘done herself a mischief’.
Has @mirandadevine harmed her reputation by tweeting that the Google Doodle was a big ‘FU’ to Australians?
— newmatilda (@newmatilda) January 26, 2016
As you can see from the results, two thirds of respondents to our poll claim to have never heard of Miranda Devine. Which seems unlikely. A more plausible explanation is that the majority of NM Twitter followers actually know who Devine is, and simply chose that option because they figured it would annoy her the most.
Notably, Devine’s original tweet earned just 154 ‘likes’ and 118 retweets. Our Tweet in response received almost as many likes.
Which leaves us with the following important lessons:
- Twitter polls, including by New Matilda, are really unreliable (unless we say otherwise).
- Almost half the number of people who follow Miranda Devine on Twitter do so because they don’t like her.
- Miranda Devine doesn’t have anything like the reach her critics fear.
Which is why in 2016, NM will be pulling out all stops to lift Devine’s profile… shouting at clouds – virtual or otherwise – is unbecoming of a columnist of her standing.
Donate To New Matilda
New Matilda is a small, independent media outlet. We survive through reader contributions, and never losing a lawsuit. If you got something from this article, giving something back helps us to continue speaking truth to power. Every little bit counts.