Australian politician Pauline Hanson has been suspended from Twitter after posting a video earlier this week saying that cattle prods should be used on climate protesters. The suspension, first reported by SBS, will be lifted if she deletes the offending tweet, but Senator Hanson says it’s an example of how conservative voices are being censored on social media.
“The left has bullied Twitter into suspending my account, yet others who are quite vicious are free to keep going on with their ill-informed rubbish,” Hanson said in a statement posted to her website.
But the video does appear to be a direct violation of Twitter’s terms of service. Twitter specifically bans threats of violence against any individual or group of people, though it appears that her tweet was flagged for violating rules against “abuse and harassment.”
“Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of these before. It’s called a jig. In other words, a cattle prod,” Hanson says in the offending video, which is still available on Facebook. “When the farmers have trouble with the cattle [...] they just touch them with this and they soon move. Doesn’t matter how big the beasts are, they will move with this.”
“Well, recently we’ve had all the protesters in Brisbane, lying on the streets, gluing themselves. And what about the protestors now? They’re talking about they want to go to the airports and stop the traffic at the airports,” Hanson continued.
Hundreds of protesters in Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, have been demonstrating against the coal industry this month in what’s being called the Extinction Rebellion, shutting down major roads and bridges.
“I reckon the solution, let’s use one of these on them, I think they’ll soon move,” Hanson said while holding the cattle prod.
Hanson, the leader of Australia’s far-right One Nation party, stood by her controversial comments on Thursday, pointing to the fact that she was mocked this week after climbing Uluru, a sacred site for Indigenous Australians. A ban on climbing Uluru will go into effect this October but Senator Hanson has previously called the upcoming ban “ridiculous.”
“I don’t see how my tweet was somehow offensive and potentially harmful, if those tweets wishing I’d fall of Uluru are not,” Senator Hanson said in a press release.
Tweets making fun of Hanson trying to climb the sacred site were widespread on Wednesday, including one that said, “Praying for Pauline Hanson to fall off Uluru,” and another that said, “I wouldn’t mind seeing Pauline Hanson slip & break a neck climbing Uluru. #JustSaying.”
Both of those tweets had been deleted by Thursday for violating Twitter’s terms of service, but Hanson still believes that she’s being discriminated against for being a conservative legislator.
“This is just a concerted effort by the left to once again push for the censorship of conservative politicians and commentators, but I won’t be silenced and I will keep working for the good of all Australians,” Hanson said.
Oddly enough, Hanson now appears to support the ban on climbing Uluru after she saw it for herself.
“It’s quite scary. I was surprised. I’d never been out there before. There are issues. The main issue is security and safety,” Hanson told 10 Daily.
It’s easy to see why Hanson is a punchline in Australian politics, but she also has very real influence as a sitting senator from the state of Queensland. Hanson has previously made headlines for her bigoted statements about Muslims and Australians of Asian descent, as well as a host of other racist garbage.
Hanson also made international headlines after wearing a burqa into the Australian Parliament House in 2017 as a form of protest against Islam, and recently asked her Twitter followers to share stories of so-called “anti-white” racism.
Hanson is appealing Twitter’s suspension and says in her own defense that the cattle prods are “low voltage” and “non-lethal.”
Best of luck with that, Senator Hanson, but maybe apply the old Golden Rule in this case—treat others as you want to be treated. If lefty politicians had shared a video saying that you should be hit with a cattle prod for trying to climb a sacred Indigenous site, would you still contend it was fine? Remember, the cattle prod is low voltage and non-lethal. How could you object?