PRGuy and the future of the free press
PRGuy – the political activist on Twitter that no one will miss – has decided to ‘take a break’ now that their apparent lord and saviour Anthony Albanese has been elected to government.
The anonymous Twitter account has spent the last couple of years appearing to act as an unofficial promotional account for Dictator in Chief, Daniel Andrews, and was a prominent fixture fighting against the Freedom Movement in Victoria.
PRGuy has frequently come under fire, with many suspecting (and that is all it is, speculation) that the account owner potentially works for, or has some kind of connection to, the Labor leadership in Victoria.
To that end, Rebel News reporter Avi Yemini has attempted to uncover the identity of PRGuy via a legal request to Twitter, causing the account to take several sudden and mysterious leaves of absence. Yemini announced yesterday that his legal team has a massive development in the case against PRGuy.
Legal proceedings were begun after the account allegedly published defamatory statements, accusing Yemini of being a ‘threat to Australia’s national security’ also a ‘criminal’ and that he had contributed to ‘surging Covid cases’. PRGuy deleted the tweets, but the case against PRGuy will serve as a test regarding Twitter’s willingness to hand over the identity anonymous trolls when they post content that would otherwise be open to prosecution.
Unmasking PRGuy – whether you follow Twitter or not – could do a lot of damage to the Labor Party if it turns out that any of the accusations about its anonymous operator are true. Of course, PRGuy may be a completely unrelated entity who simply successfully captured the mood of the Left online. No one will know unless Yemini’s case proceeds.
Leaving Twitter, PRGuy put out the following statement, ‘Now, I am taking some time off to try to heal and repair what I’ve neglected in my life these last two years. But I’ll be back. I cannot ignore my responsibility to use my voice. I am facing legal action, which many of you are aware of – this will not silence me. I am not going away – suing me will make me louder.’
PRGuy finishes by asking for money on a GoFundMe account.
Over the last few years, the anonymous account has put out questionable and (allegedly) defamatory content aimed at political and social figures that opposed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. The Liberal Party certainly copped more than their fair share of vitriol, as did members of the independent press and the wider conservative community.
The public aren’t particularly interested in PRGuy – they want to make sure that public money isn’t being used to prop up a political attack account, as some have alleged. In a world where Labor supporters have pledged, or at least fantasised about, destroying certain alternate media publications that challenge the well-funded leftist worldview – the very least these Twitter accounts can do is put their name against their accusations.
After all, as soon as the election results came in, twice-failed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was back on Twitter, apparently sore about unflattering headlines that ran during his political demise.
‘The Murdoch monopoly, especially their pathetic propaganda outlet, “The Australian”, campaigned viciously against a Labor Govt. Thanks to you, the people, they failed – and were exposed as a Liberal Party protection racket and a cancer on democracy.’
Interestingly, Rudd makes no such criticism of decidedly left-wing publications – of which there is an oversupply – whose behaviour over the last eight years has been unhinged, anti-reality, and tilted so heavily toward Labor the so-called ‘news’ media may as well have ‘I heart Albo’ as the byline.
What should concern every Australian is that the purpose of the Left does not appear to be limited to winning the federal election – it seems to extend to a desire to erase their political opposition. To silence their press in order to protect the fragile feelings and indefensible policies of Labor from scrutiny.
Replies to Rudd’s thread included blue-tick journalists and commentators excited by the prospect of shutting down opposition to the taxpayer-funded ABC, with one replying, ‘The poisonous bile never ends. We must rid ourselves of Murdoch infestations if our democracy is to survive.’
Most people will recognise that the moment a government starts dismantling its political opposition in the free press in favour of state-run media, the country ends up with a dictatorship – not a democracy.
Already we have had Mark McGowan come out and childishly complain about reporters asking Albanese tough questions during the election campaign – questions that Albanese ran away from because either he didn’t have the answers, or the answers wouldn’t look very friendly in a headline. This is the same Mark McGowan who had the nerve to call Peter Dutton an ‘extremist’ when it was McGowan who turned Western Australia into a police state for two years, ensured that the unvaccinated lost their jobs, and – to quote the Premier – told the unvaccinated to ‘make a booking [for vaccination] today otherwise life is about to get very difficult for you.’
PRGuy will be back, anonymous or unmasked, but what we must be careful about is the future of the free press in this country now that a potentially censorious and emotionally fragile political party is in charge. What if, for instance, censorship of the press becomes required to ‘protect the health and safety’ of Australians – or to ‘save the planet from a climate emergency’?
…this is already what the ‘community standards’ of Twitter attempt to do.
By Flat White
User behind pro-Labor Twitter account PRGuy publicly reveals identity
The man behind the high-profile and controversial Twitter account @PRGuy17 has publicly revealed his identity to head off attempts by a right-wing commentator to expose it and bring legal action against him.
The Age and Herald spoke on the phone with a man purporting to be Jeremy Maluta, who provided identifying documentation and images proving he was the user of the account.
Maluta went public after Twitter provided personal information connected to the account to right-wing rival Avi Yemini, who has previously pledged to pursue defamation action against Maluta.
While this masthead confirmed he was the user of the account, Maluta would not reveal personal details, such as where he worked or lived. He said he wanted to maintain his privacy.
“I’m just a normal everyday person. I don’t want to be a celebrity,” he said. “This has meant being really careful about what I put online.”
“I’m OK with putting my name out there, but I just … want to have a bit of privacy too.
“I can confirm I don’t work for [Premier] Dan Andrews or any political thing whatsoever. Those theories are completely cooked.”
To confirm Maluta was the account holder, The Age and Herald independently found a phone number this masthead suspected was connected to Maluta and called it. Maluta called back shortly after and, on request, provided a form of photo identification with some information obscured.
He then provided a photo of an unsent draft tweet immediately before it was posted to the account.
Maluta appears to use different variations of his name in different settings and online profiles.
Yemini said that he is reviewing his legal options, but said he “has no plans of suing anyone by the name of Jeremy Maluta” at this stage.
On Friday afternoon, the PRGuy account tweeted a message to followers with a link to a video recorded with Sydney political YouTuber Jordan Shanks-Markovina claiming to be the author of the account.
“Hi, I’m Jeremy Maluta,” the tweet says, mimicking a famous line from The Simpsons character Troy McClure, the avatar used by PR Guy. “You may remember me from such hashtags as #IStandWithDan and #ICantBelieveItsNotAStaffer. I caught up with FriendlyJordies so I could finally meet you all face-to-face. Enjoy!”
In the hour-long interview with Shanks-Markovina, an ally on Twitter, the pair discussed the reasons why Maluta came forward ahead of further Federal Court action by Yemini.
“It’s a two-sided thing because, on one hand, the anonymous thing has been hanging over my head for a while. It’s a bit of pressure. I’m keen to kind of get this all over and done with, get my name out there, out in the open,” Maluta said.
“On the other hand, it hasn’t been done on my terms. It’s someone who’s gone absolutely bonkers ... playing the system to try and out me because he thinks I’m some kind of spook working for the government.”
Maluta and Shanks talked at length about their criticism of the media’s coverage of the Andrews government and the Labor Party. Maluta’s face was partially obscured during the interview by a watermark containing a message criticising Yemini.
Yemini vowed to return to court, this time seeking information from Telstra in his quest to unveil the identity of the user and lodge legal action over comments posted by the account at the height of the pandemic.
Yemini obtained a Federal Court order last week directing Twitter to hand over the account details of PRGuy, who he is intending to sue over social media posts he says defamed him.
Twitter complied with that order and supplied Yemini with several IP addresses. The name and email provided by Twitter did not offer enough information to identify the owner of the account.
As the account’s following grew – it now has more than 90,000 followers – PRGuy and its supporters repeatedly clashed with politicians, journalists and other commentators who were critical of Premier Daniel Andrews and other Labor figures.
Yemini is well-known polemicist and correspondent for Canadian alt-right website Rebel News which was connected to the anti-lockdown movement.
Maluta said he had been planning to leave Twitter, but Yemini’s legal action spurred him to remain on the platform.
“If he was trying to shut me down, you could probably say he f---ed that up a little bit,” he said.
As Australia implodes:
Local conservative satisfied unmasking shitty Twitter account he could’ve just ignored is the hill to die on
An Australian conservative has expressed his satisfaction that dedicating undue amounts of time to unmasking a mediocre Twitter account, is exactly the political priority and most important fight in Australia’s history.
Dave Kennedy, from Sydney, donated large amounts of money to grifter of the year Avi Yemeni in his court battle to unmask PRguy17. Kennedy believes the mounting numbers of crises including energy, hospital, inflation and supply change need to take a back seat for a while.
“Look mate, Australia’s in a death spiral but the best way to fight back against lefties is to give undue attention to some Israeli grifter using the opportunity as a trojan horse to end internet anonymity. This certainly won’t ever be weaponised against us,” Dave said.
“The Online Trolling Bill that Scomo introduced is basically an internet censorship bill, so the best way to protect internet freedom and freedom of speech on the internet is to support doxxing and witch hunts against anonymous Twitter accounts – this is what we need to win.”
After months of also simping for Elon Musk, Kennedy said he’ll be focusing his political activism to support both this and the Australian version of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard distraction, the Lisa Wilkinson and Brittany Higgins saga.