Alan Jones and Destroy the Joint: A Case Study in Social Media Activism

As Alan Jones continues to descend into his own PR hell, the role social media has played in sending him there cannot be denied.

We all know there have been brands, organisations, NFPs and individuals who have used social media as a means to reach their goals (Kony 2012 being a perfect example) and Destroy the Joint is not different.

What is different however is the movement’s reach, the speed with which it gained popularity and the impact it has had.

I’d like to take a pause, and take a moment away from the media frenzy and melodramatic progress of the Jones issue to explain the impact of social media in the campaign.


Late August 2012
Most people (except for Alan Jones) will see the irony behind the name “Destroy the Joint”. Taken straight from Jones’s statement about women destroying the joint (AKA female politicians destroying Australia) the movement began as a Twitter hashtag where people could express their thoughts and opinions about this statement.

September 2012
The founder of Destroy the Joint, Jenna Price then created a Facebook page. A month later the page had over 10,000 fans. Five weeks after the page was created it gained a total of 14,684 fans.

Late September – October 2012
Destroy the Joint ramped up its campaign against sexism in the Australian society, when the media reported that Alan Jones told a Sydney University Liberal Club that Julia Gillard’s father died of shame because of the lies she told in Parliament.

After this comment,focusing on Alan Jones and making him accountable for his words and actions as part of a broader movement to challenge sexism.

The Campaign

The Facebook page of Destroy the Joint movement became the virtual “gathering” place of every person who wanted to be involved. It was used for:

  • Sharing news related the campaign
  • Asking people to share information that could be useful for the campaign – most importantly information about how to contact 2GB advertisers

  • Delegating tasks to support the campaign – people were asked to contact advertisers and ask them to stop support for the radio show

  • Managing people and setting the guidelines which they were to use to conduct themselves “”be calm, be kind, be courteous”

But that’s not all. Since the campaign was taking place on Facebook, the advertisers who pulled out from the show also informed their fans about the decision on Facebook, amplifying the message through comments and shares on their pages. Some examples include:




Twitter was a conversation starter and a discussion forum for anyone with a comment about the issue.

  • Getting the attention of influencers and having them participate in conversations is another way social media can increase its reach and impact – which is exactly what happened when influential women in the media joined the conversation.
  • Influencers such as Mia Freedman (28,794 followers), Catherine Deveny (23,429 followers) and Anne Summers (5,385 followers) had become involved in the conversation. Every tweet they re-tweeted, every response they made about the issue had the potential to be seen by their audience of thousands.

Destroy the Joint

  • Topsy was also used to estimate the activeness of the conversation around Alan Jones. After news about his latest comments hit on 29 September, Topsy estimated over 1000 mentions of the issue per day.

Apart from Destroy the Joint, other campaigns have sprung up against Alan Jones. Political science and international relations student Nic Lochner created Sack Alan Jones Facebook page which wields overwhelming popularity with more than 17,000 fans.

Over 114,000 people have signed the petition he also created asking 2GB and its advertisers to “cease association with Alan Jones” .

The considerable number of signatures provided evidence that a significant number of people were concerned about the offensive comments made by Jones and were willing to put that in writing.

Transition to mainstream media

When ABC’s AM show asked Destroy the Joint creator Jenna Price to speak about the campaign amongst Jones’s allegations that he was cyber bullied.

2GB also interviewed Jenna Price on 8 October to confront her about the public backlash inspired by Destroy the Joint. It was a clear sign that social media has done enough damage to be noticed.

Other media channels such as Women’s Agenda and Leading Company spoke about social media siting it as one of the reasons advertisers had pulled out from the show.

Concluding thoughts

What sets this campaign aside is its ability to target and to attract the right audience and to act as a focused and united front. You could almost call it a localised and targeted social media campaign – a campaign that managed to connect with the relevant influencers, inspired the public to act and brought the Alan Jones issue to the attention of media and government.

As the result of the pressure applied to advertisers through social media Macquarie Radio Network has suspended all advertising from Alan Jones’s show.

Mercedes Benz went as far as confiscating Alan Jones’s sponsored car to dissociate themselves from the radio host.

Awareness of the Alan Jones issue sky rocketed causing the public, the media, politicians to question and debate attitudes towards women in the Australian society.

I think this might be a glimpse of what we will see in the future – the public using social media as the weapon of choice when it comes to making their voices heard about particular issues.

However it remains to be seen if the power of the people in this case is stronger than the power of Alan Jones.

VIDEO: Alan Jones opens advert-free show


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An Introduction to Career Tools

There is no greater satisfaction than working in a job you are deeply passionate about. In believing in what you do and being surrounded by like-minded people who help you achieve your professional goals and aspirations.

Yet many people, especially recent graduates with little or no experience in their dream industry struggle to find the job that allows them to express their full potential.

Here you can find information about digital career tools such as LinkedIn, new job seeking strategies and tips about how graduates and professionals can create an online brand that attracts career opportunities.

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Digital Gifting Culture

Giving gifts to acquaintances and people we don’t see often is  a pain in the ass. Am I spending too little/too much? Are they going to hate it? Do I care?

As with everything these days, there is a digital solution to the problem. Which is exactly what Fast Company has written about…

Fast Company

‘Present Perfect: Why Gift-Giving Sites Are Having Their Groupon Moment’


The article talks about a new startup called ‘Giftiki‘ that allows everyone to chip in for a present (digitally of course) and the total amount is then given to the recipient who can then buy what they want themselves.

The angle the article takes is that the buying experience has changed profoundly online and that consumers are open to new ways of thinking when it comes to online spending. In a way sites like Giftiki provide a unifying experience for the users who know that their contribution will make a difference to the final result.

So basically Giftiki is capitalising on the digital trend for collaboration. Collaboration online has exploded alongside social networking, social gaming and the phenomenon of sharing…everything.


I’ve already written extensively on the layout used by Fast Company. I like it. It’s not too heavy on hyperlinks yet they support the content just enough. Visually its also very comprehensive. There are two images embedded in the article, both of which are relevant (one is a visual of gift boxes as the intro image) while the other is a snapshot if the Giftiki site.  I do like their invitation to “chat about this news” with the reporter who wrote it and with Fast Company. Two hyperlinks take you to the twitter page of the publication and the reporter.

Very convenient.

I leave you with a little video of the Giftiki team…in case you were wondering what intelligent and fascinating people made it happen.


Filed under digital technology, digital thoughts, entrepreneurship

Commemorating Steve Jobs

Before Steve Jobs passed away I had only a vague understanding of his contribution to the way we consume technology today. Of course I knew that Apple = Steve Jobs but I hadn’t much insight into what he created or how he relied on his intuition and refused to conduct consumer research.

Which is why I really enjoyed reading Techland’s article ‘Apple: Steve Jobs Has Died’ . It provided a lot of external information through hyperlinks that helped to paint a very clear picture of Steve Jobs as a man, an entrepreneur and a business visionary.


‘Apple: Steve Jobs Has Died’

The article began with an large image of Job and a social media toolbar right underneath (which is a layout I haven’t seen before). The toolbar was especially bold and clear (maybe they wanted to uber promote the sharing of this article?).

The article contained a brief summary of the announcement of Jobs’ death as well as statements issued by influential people in the industry and public figures which included Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerburg, Founders of Yahoo, Pixar, Twitter, Dell and Google.

I really enjoyed reading what different people had to say about Jobs because it gave me a better idea of what kind of person he was and what it was that made him special and successful. As well as providing different perspectives the article did an awesome job of compiling relevant and interesting info about Jobs and his work. There was a total of eighteen links which included images, videos, old Time articles from 10-15 years ago, predictions for the future of Apple, the products that defined Jobs, feature articles, opinion pieces and even analysis of tweets about Jobs’ death.

I particularly liked the ’10 Products that Defined Steve Jobs’ Career’ link. I found it the most useful because it was image heavy and accurately summarized the progress of Apple computers. This article also had a hyperlink to related info on each of the ten pages of representing the 10 products.

Overall I really like the style and the content of Techland. Its quite simple but well structured and very informative. Each article serves as a gateway to a number of other articles which may or may not link back to it. Like a spiderweb.

And thanks Techland for helping me learn about Steve Jobs! 🙂


I leave you with this lovely video tribute.


Filed under digital technology

Google Wallet

I have two words for you. Google Wallet.

We’ve already entered the age where technology is the new It girl/thing so its not surprising that radically innovating services pop up more and more frequently.

Google wallet is the thing on every techaholic’s lips. It allows you to pay for goods by swiping your phone past what looks much like an EFTPOS machine.


Techcrunch Review: Google Wallet

Techcrunch provided a lovely and detailed overview. The article totally owned its online location by utilizing the features characteristic of the medium.

It includes pictures of the software on the android phone and how the wallet works as well as two videos-“Google Wallet Walkthrough” and “Paying with Google Wallet”

The first video resembles a Youtube user review of a new gadget they had just received (I love those) and the second is actually an amateur video done by the writer of the article as he embarks on his Google Wallet trial i.e. buying fries from Maccas.

The comment section is also really cool. You can choose which social media you want to comment from. For example you can choose to comment using Facebook, Hotmail, AOL or Yahoo. Nice! The downside is you HAVE  TO  comment using one of those four options. You can’t, just, comment. Which I find a bit constricting and prejudiced against those of us who actually aren’t on any social networks at all.


Google wallet won’t dominate mobile payment scene: 10 reasons why

Eweek has valid and clear criticisms of Google wallet, however the layout of the page makes me cringe. I’m sorry but….its really really UGLY! *tear.

And its filled with ads which adds (haha pun) to the visual unpleasantness.

The content is good and simply organised however. Basically the article describes ten criticisms of the google wallet

Apparently Eweek is “published twice monthly, eWEEK covers a wide variety of industry topics and is a top resource for IT professionals who are responsible for researching, purchasing and implementing IT solutions for their companies.” But how can it be so…ugly and unsophisticated if its for IT professionals, how??





I leave you with this awesome promo:

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9/11 and The Birth of New Media

In 2001  I was in year eight. Yet its still a struggle for me to remember that new media didn’t exist the way it does today. I was reminded of that after reading news stories and personal reflections.

Fast Company

Decade Of Disruption: 9/11-Inspired Innovation


The article speaks about different types of innovation. When talking about “social media and crowd journalism” the article reminds us that “ubiquitious social media sharing” didn’t exist, the internet was much less sophisticated and smart phones with in-built cameras weren’t around making it difficult for non professional journalists to share information and images.

The comparison it makes between now and then makes it very easy to see the differences and appreciate how much has changed. It is a very relevant article both because it is timely and because it reminds us that the knowledge we take for granted on a daily basis was not always accessible to us.


I’ve noticed a difference between Fast Company’s web page layout and the layout of other online media sources. Fast Company puts all the written info on the left and all the extra information such as related coverage and ads on the right. Lots of websites I’ve seen do the opposite or have a three column layout.

Decade of Disruption

The way Fast Company has done it is easier on the eyes because you are not bombarded with as much information and are more focused on the written content. It’s a ‘keep it to the basics’ approach which is great.

Media Rhetoric Blog

How the Internet Changed after 9/11–Citizen Journalism, Social Media and Mobility


This reflection from a university lecturer  (Janet Johnson) who specialises in media described the lack of citizen journalism in 2001 and the void that it left in the coverage and the information flow of the attacks. Here’s a quote which sums it up pretty well.

“Trying to connect to the East Coast during that time was hard. The overload on phone lines was tremendous. I resorted to e-mail to ask my brother what it was like where he lived. My brother and my friends all lived in central New Jersey about an hour from New York City. I tried to connect to during that time, but remember the web site’s message that said was over capacity and to check back later.”

The writer feels that new media and citizen journalism became prominent to fill a need, a gap that the traditional media is unable to satisfy when unexpected disasters strike. Only those present while it is unfolding can share the most precious and useful information.

The entry was written on September 11 so it is timely, relevant and has currency in the news which are likely to continue covering September 11 from different angles even after the date of the anniversary.


Filed under citizen journalism, journalism, new media, social media, Uncategorized

Anna Politkovskaya

Today Digital can take a back seat. I need to write about something else. Today in Russia Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, a retired police officer has been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to murder Anna Politkovskaya. Chances are you won’t know who she is or why I care.

I shall tell you.  She was a Russian journalist who had the misfortune of being a person with strong moral convictions and democratic beliefs. She did something that most Russians consider extremely stupid and unnecessary-she criticised the Putin administration and the war in Chechnya.

So she was assassinated. Those who cared knew Putin ordered the murder, those who didn’t care said she deserved it for refusing to conform and suck up, like journalists of the state owned media.

Today the media has reported that Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, a police officer who was originally assisting in the investigation of her murder is now a main suspect. Politkovskaya’s family comments that the murder will be solved only when the person who ordered Pavlyuchenkov to organise the crime is named.

I of course looked at both the Russian and Western coverage of the story. Partly because I was skeptical about finding much information in the Russian media. Thankfully I was wrong to doubt Russian coverage and found a few detailed articles about the development of the case. Both Novaya Gazeta and Lenta. Ru covered the story. I liked the fact that Lenta backtracked and explained how Politkovskaya died (gunned down in the lift inside her apartment building), because it provided a more comprehensive picture of the current event.

Politkovskaya worked for Novaya Gazeta which provided no background info as to who Politkovskaya was, indicating that readership would probably be familiar with the story. Novaya Gazeta didn’t insert hyperlinks into the text but Russia is not as tech savy as the West so that really doesn’t surprise me. Lenta on the other hand did provide hyperlinks although the rest of the layout was a bit too ancient in comparison to such online publications as the Economist or Fast Company. At least there were a couple of images to distract from the ugliness of the actual site.

RT also ran an article and reported it on their tv channel (and on youtube).  For those of you unfamiliar with RT (Russia Today), RT is a westernised Russian news media, bringing you an image of Russia, with a western spin. I’m pretty sure its propaganda,(very subtle but still)  but then again I just don’t trust anything originating in Russia….except Airflot airplanes. Something I haven’t seen on an online media site is the ‘download’ button that allows you to download the video news item. Me like, (but me no bothered to use).

Seriously though: I read Politkovskaya’s books, watched her Dateline interview and I came to believe and will continue to believe that she has more guts/courage/pride than any Russian man I am likely to meet here in Australia or back in Moscow.Anna Politkovskaya knew. She knew what she was doing was dangerous and she knew she would be killed for it.

Could any of us do the same?


Filed under journalism, Uncategorized