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Can Facebook win its battle against election interference in 2018?

29 December 2017 | The Guardian

Social networks spent much of 2017 slowly coming to terms with the extent to which their platforms had been exploited to spread political misinformation. But the narrow focus of investigations over the last year is likely to cause further pain in 2018, as the US midterm elections create a new urgency for the problem to be solved.

At the beginning of this year, Facebook was hostile to the suggestion that it may have played an unwitting part in a foreign influence campaign. After the election of Donald Trump, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, described the suggestion that his site may have swayed voters as a “crazy idea”, despite evidence that hoaxes and lies had been spread on the social network during the campaign. (He later apologised for the comment, saying it was “dismissive and I regret it”.)


Child sexual abuse royal commission delivers final report

15 December 2017 | The Guardian

The Anglican Church has released a statement this morning ahead of the release of the final report, which will then be tabled to parliament out of session and made public, we’ve been told, before noon.

The commission has been releasing a series of incremental reports about abuse in various institutions in the lead-up to their final report being delivered to the governor general today, and last week released damning findings about the Anglican diocese of Newcastle.


Trade and Tribulation: The dying art of a free global market.

22 November 2017 | Kelly Hughes

The neoliberal economic dictum of a global free trade system being a “collective good” is flawed. Watershed events, such as the 2016 US election and the United Kingdom during the Brexit referendum, display an increasing trend geared towards political backlash against free trade from countries with advanced capitalist economies. The last half century has seen neoliberal economic generate a massive shift of wealth from ‘ordinary’ people in the US and UK to elites as a result of free trade, Rennie Short (2016) In theory, free trade may sounds good as it stimulates rapid economic growth, but in reality, workers get exploited, work for lower wages and lose their jobs to automation and outsourcing for cheaper labor. Political discontent, economic insecurity and instability has evidently fueled resentment that has resulted in vulnerable voters aligning to neofascist dema


Historic Euthanasia Laws Pass

22 November 2017 | The Age

Voluntary euthanasia is set to become legal in Victoria after historic laws passed the upper house on Wednesday, despite ferocious opposition from conservative MPs.

The bill passed the upper house with 22 votes to 18, after a marathon 28-hour sitting that began on Tuesday afternoon and ended just after 4pm on Wednesday.


The changing faces of Journalism and Public Relations

02 November 2017 | Kelly Hughes

TrumpThe power of social media could never have been foretold by the Journalism and public relations sector. Its influence has been palpable and inserted a contemporary new layer of communication into the media mix. The rise of citizen journalism has seen an evolving platform for the way breaking news and global events are now covered by everyday citizens with access to a digital device. The speed and scale in which information can be uploaded online has exceeded expectations of the 24 hour, real-time dissemination of news, cycle. 


Why this crisis is next level for the PM

02 November 2017 | The Age

The dual citizenship question burning like a subterranean coal fire beneath capital hill, is threatening collapse. A full blown "legitimation crisis" looms.

Confidence between the represented and the representative, is threadbare.


Yes Minister: How Turnbull botched ASIC leadership

16 October 2017 | The Age

Memo to TV producers, Australia has enough material for its own version of Yes Minister. The Turnbull government's botched recruitment drive to pick a new head to run the corporate regulator would provide rich material for the first episode.

Here we are just four weeks from Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman Greg Medcraft's departure and the lead candidate, John O'Sullivan, has withdrawn his application "with great regret" after coming under increasing fire from the opposition over his strong connections to the Liberal Party.


How CBA mishandled a string of major crisis's

16 October 2017 | Kelly Hughes

"Responsibility and accountability are personal not commercial constructs and, notwithstanding the latest knee-jerk reaction to the money laundering scandal, these values have been in very short supply in CBA, over the last decade."

- The Conversation.

Recently, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was embroiled in an unpleasant public relations debacle over allegations of money laundering with affiliation to terrorist organisations, leaving CBA shareholders as the major victims of the scandal. Share prices fell dramatically after the announcement, with shareholders faci


'You end up behind a bar' Graduates fight for jobs

11 October 2017 | The Age

Alicia Keir is in her final year of a teaching degree and expects that it will take about two years to find a full-time job once she graduates, but is worried it could take much longer.

"I know people who go up to seven years without finding a permanent position," said Ms Keir, 26, who is studying primary education at the University of Newcastle and lives in Sydney's south-west.


GST rubber band close to snapping: Scott Morrison

09 October 2017 | The Australian

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has warned that changes to GST distribution will “sacrifice fairness” and cost his state hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Tasmanian Treasurer Peter Gutwein has similarly vowed to fight any changes after federal Treasurer Scott Morrison welcomed a draft Productivity Commission report which has called for an overhaul of GST payments to the states and territories.


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