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Tuesday, 12 March 2013 10:19

Trolls eat top Aussie news show

Written by Nick Farrell

troll-face

No one smelt a rat

A top Aussie news show has been successfully taken down by a pair of internet trolls after failing to see a rat in a story about cyber bullying. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Internet troll group, Facebeef, set up Today Tonight after convincing the show to run a bogus cyber bullying story as its lead.

A woman from the group went on the show pretending to be "Jasmine Frost", and told the show that she had been targeted by Tristan Barker, who had emailed her pictures of male genitalia. Barker was of interest to the Aussie media because he is the son of Split Enz drummer Michael Barker so they thought they had a nice celebrity story they could play with. Today Tonight reporter David Eccleston approached Barker, who was dressed in a Nazi costume at the time, for a response to Frost's bogus claim. The fact he was dressed as a Nazi did not cause Eccleston to smell a rat at all.

Another Facebeef member "Nebz Adlay" who said that Today Tonight had tried to stich Barker up in the interview by taking his words out context. However that all backfired because he really was pretending to be Adolf Hitler. Barker was no racist because he was part Maori. Facebeef posted a YouTube reply which has already attracted about 80,000 views. Vanmidde told YouTube that setting up the show was a doddle. All it took was an email titled 'Tristan Barker cyber bullied me' and then a three minute conversation to convince one of the most watched news programs in Australia that she was a poor bullied girl.

If the team had one any research at all they would have discovered that two months before she was involved in the setup, she appeared on telly starring in a Current Affair. Media Week has since claimed that Barker has been charged over allegedly slapping Today Tonight reporter David Eccleston when he approached the Facebeef founder for the interview.

Today Tonight has since pulled the story from its website and claimed that they had footage of Barker leaving a New Zealand court.

Nick Farrell

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