Fighting the last battle

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The monarchists are still fighting the battles of yesterday, writes Lewis Holden.

If you're going to fight republicans today, it doesn't really make sense to fight the battles of yesterday, avoiding the battles of today. But that's exactly what the ACM are doing in their latest tirade against myself and this website. As readers will recall, authors on this website have raised the issue of the rather rapid growth of the ACM's Facebook page, something the ACM continually boasts about.

It seems the ACM isn't too happy about this. But rather than answering our questions head on, they've resorted to obfuscation, raising battles from years past. This is hardly the actions of an organisation that doesn't have something to hide. For starters, the issues they raise - Gerry Adams visit and the "republic" and "president" in the 1999 referendum question - have already been addressed comprehensively on this website. I'm not interested in wasting time responding to them once again - unlike the ACM, I'm interested only in fighting today's battles.

Of course, the ACM won't respond to our counter-responses, just like they won't respond to Steven's excellent work showing the Queen is in fact Australia's head of state, because they know they're wrong. But we should continue to ask the hard questions they won't answer. And they've got some rather hard questions to answer, especially about the explosive growth of their Facebook page. After wading through their tirade, here's the only response to our claims that they are buying Facebook likes:

"The proposition that ACM would actually be buying fans through some American site is ridiculous.  Our accounts are audited – how could we justify this?  In any event 92%  of our Facebook fans are Australian based, and  38% are under 24. Thirty two percent of those who are active ( “talking about” ) are under 24. Ninety three per cent of them are Australian based."

Firstly, the ACM could easily buy Australian fans. They wouldn't have to buy American fans. A quick Google search, of which I am sure the ACM's Executive Director is capable, shows that you can buy 10,000 Australian fans for just US$599.00. The ACM could easily have got to 27,000 fans by spending US$1198. Sure, their accounts are audited. There's nothing to stop them from slotting this particular expense under "administration" or "advertising". It's meaningless unless we actually see the accounts. Given the ACM's own supporters can't even see the accounts, I can't see that happening.

Secondly, the delivery time of these fans is curious. As you can see for the website, the delivery time is over the "next 30 days". As we've shown in our previous posts on this website,  there have been a number of periods where the ACM's page has grown in "likes" at an improbable linear rate.

And thirdly there's the claim about those "talking about" the ACM's posts. I can't tell exactly from the statistics I've got access to whether this claim is correct, but it's useful to compare the ACM's interaction rate with that of the Liberal Party of Australia, which has 20,976 fans - far behind the ACM at 28,443. Check out the difference in levels of interaction:

ACM Dodgy

How can it be that the Liberal Party, with fewer fans, has so much more interaction? Clearly because the Liberal Party doesn't buy its followers - they're real people who like and comment on the Liberal Party's page. As you can see, most of them took a break over new years like real people.

So the ACM has a number of hard questions to answer. Will they bother? I doubt it. We can expect more of the same tarring and smearing to deflect attention from their other activities they don't want to be held accountable for.  
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