An analysis of the Facebook posts of Queensland LNP Senator Amanda Stoker by the Sunday Mail has uncovered some suspicious activity from an account called Mandy Jane.
It seems that on many of Stoker’s posts, Mandy Jane is always there as her personal hypeman, replying to fans, haters and pretty much anyone else who dares cross the senator’s path.
This ignited claims that she was using a sockpuppet account – that is, pretending to be someone else for deceptive purposes.
However, according to a spokesperson for the senator, that’s not quite the full story. Turns out, “Mandy Jane” is simply her own, personal account, which she uses when replying from her mobile, as opposed to her official account which is logged in on her desktop.
“Senator Stoker is simply providing information that is already publicly available or already attributable to her public profile,” the spokesperson told the Sunday Mail.
Later on, replying to a Facebook comment (from her official account), Stoker described the claims as “baseless attempt to make me seem less credible.”
“The only thing I am guilty of is trying to get back to constituents quickly from my phone while on the road, rather than waiting ’till I am at a PC,” she wrote.
It’s actually pretty reasonable for someone in the public eye to not want to have an easily-identifiable Facebook profile. Mandy = Amanda, while Jane is Stoker’s middle name. Makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense, however, are the many times where Mandy Jane referrers to Amanda Stoker in the third person, instead of simply referring to herself.
If this were simply about replying to questions as quickly as possible, surely the senator would a) use pronouns like “I” and “me”, and b) make clear who she actually is.
Instead, we have this account referring to the senator as “Stoker” and saying dumb shit like “few senators reject identity politics more consistently than she does.” Yikes.
While the account itself seems totally innocuous (it even has a bunch of politicians in her friends list), using it to comment on your own posts without declaring you’re a government senator is pretty suss.
It must be exhausting being your own no. 1 fan. Just ask Angus Taylor.
Image: AAP / Mick Tsikas