Is Miranda Devine Really Just Shouting At (Virtual) Clouds From A Park Bench?


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.

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.

Even Greens MP Jamie Parker had a swing.

This particular tweet, spelling included, was one of the more curious.

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’.

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:

  1. Twitter polls, including by New Matilda, are really unreliable (unless we say otherwise).
  2. Almost half the number of people who follow Miranda Devine on Twitter do so because they don’t like her.
  3. 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.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.