RMIT FactLab’s Mosaic Project has partnered with global think tank the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and CASM Technology to produce our first co-investigation into the disinformation narratives that have been used to attempt to influence the 2022 federal Australian election campaign.
Researchers have used a conspiracy theory about the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its Great Reset initiative as a small case study of how conspiracy theory narratives have played out in the campaign.
Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, they analysed how candidates in the election have made references to the WEF and Great Reset on Facebook and Twitter.
The first piece of the two-part Digital Dispatch lays out the background to Great Reset conspiracy narratives, and explains how they were used in Australian politics in the lead up to the calling of the election on 10 April.
It looks, for example, at the joint role of Sky News and One Nation, as well as some members of the Coalition, in bringing the Great Reset narrative into formal Australian politics.
The second piece looks at how the narrative has been used in the election campaign itself, starting with an examination of how the narrative was inserted into the housing policy debate, something which was not previously a component of the Great Reset narratives in Australia.
The growth of conspiracy narratives and a conspiratorial mindset within formal political systems is damaging on multiple levels.
The way in which Senator Hanson and the UAP have sought to weave references to the WEF and the ‘Great Reset’ into their election campaigns was found to be concerning.
Of equal concern was the willingness of some Australian politicians to use the Parliament as a platform for amplifying statements which are open to interpretation by some as legitimising conspiracy theories.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.