HIST30060: Daniel Andrews' Facebook Post

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HIST30060: Daniel Andrews' Facebook Post

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This is a screenshot of a Facebook post made by Daniel Andrews’ public page on 4th April 2020.

This post exemplifies the Victorian Premier’s ability to co-opt social media trends in promoting his own political agenda. Popular in early 2020, the meme followed the template of “Good morning to everyone except,” followed by exclusion of a relatively a niche social group. This screenshot illustrates the subtle use of social media as propaganda by the Andrews government. Andrews’ social media pages are seldom thought of as such, as the skill of his social media team has allowed him to maintain a popular and likeable social media persona. In an age of ubiquitous social media use, the Andrews government has used social media very effectively to protect its legitimacy and justify its methods. For example, the screenshot highlights the use of guilt by the Andrews government to legitimise health restrictions. The government consistently stressed that the pandemic restrictions were for the benefit of the public and necessitated complete compliance. Those who rejected health advice were endangering the entire community and “putting everyone at risk.” This post therein encapsulates sophisticated government propaganda and the co-opting of social media for political purposes.

I selected this post as someone influenced by the sophisticated campaign of government messaging. It lead me to resent rule-breakers and see the prolonged restrictions as a legitimate use of government authority to protect the public. As someone who entered the pandemic as a supporter of the Labor Party and Daniel Andrews personally, I no longer think the severity and length of the lockdowns were necessary. Yet, his social media presence certainly made him likeable, funny, and relatable at the time.

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This item was submitted on October 26, 2022 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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