Facebook pages of celebrities are being trolled by a particularly ‘Strayan identity of late. Potentially the only person in the country who actually refers to nitwits as “flamin’ galahs”.

He didn't win this for complaining about stuff

His name is Alf Stewart. Best known for being a fictional character on Channel 7’s long-running Summer Bay soapie Home and Away. Also one of the most accomplished entrepreneurs in the country, having at various times run the Summer Bay liquor store, caravan park and yacht brokerage. 

The Alf Facebook troll is almost as big as a hit as the long-running character – its page has over 63,000 subscribers (and rising). Facebook Alf leaves childish, abusive, disgusting and (sometimes) funny messages on the pages of big names. Obviously, neither Channel 7 or Ray Meagher have anything to do with it.

Pop-rock youngster Reece Mastin copped some Photoshopped images of him being kicked in the head. Facey Alf’s cursing definitely isn’t G-rated. Katy Perry’s copped some crude dribble (to 10,000+ likes) as has rapper Lil Wayne (similar). Facebook Alf drops lot of C-bombs, and I’m not talking about the swimmer.

Facebook Alf is a salient example of what one expert says is evidence of how Australians can’t be trusted to behave online.

Dr Christine Satchell, a senior research fellow in computing and information systems at the University of Melbourne, told news.com.au’s gun tech reporter Claire Connelly: “We live in a nanny state where everything is controlled and you can’t do anything without getting in trouble.”

“So it’s hard for us Australians to be in a space with no rules.”

Wowza. Drawing a bit of a bow there, Dr Satchell. But there’s something in this.

While the internet has empowered the trolls, it’s also empowered the complainers.

A disgruntled triple J listener tore into afternoon presenter Lindsay “The Doctor” McDougall on Facebook earlier this week. 10,000 people liked the listener’s post which said: “Your constant self promoting douchebaggery is a blight on an otherwise great radio station, it’s not all about you mate.” 

Now, I’m an avid triple J listener. I find The Doctor overbearing. He’s like an annoying uncle.

But you’re never going to be satisfied with everyone you interact with.

Facebook, Twitter and co. can be wonderful. They’ve helped topple dictators and purveyors of poor customer service alike.

They’ve also given whingers a potent outlet to whine and whine and whine. One acquaintance of mine can’t help herself from Facebooking and tweeting every negative experience she has ever had with Sydney’s public transport system. Which happens to be every morning and afternoon. I’m sure you know someone just like it.

Maybe it comes down to us being more capable of blocking out the world than ever. Establishing our own comfort zone, unperturbed by anyone else. We can plug into oversized Dr Dre headphones, stare at our mobile phones, hide behind our sunnies, pretend all those annoying people don’t exist.

We can’t shut everything out though. You can’t stop the bloke next to you on the bus from deciding to clip his toenails.

The internet is filled with “mongrels” “misbehaving”. People on your radio, on your tele, in your life are going to grate on your skin.

In the words of a wise, old fictional man: “Deal with it, yer great flamin’ galah!”

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57 comments

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    • acotrel says:

      06:21am | 03/08/12

      Sounds like Barry Humphries’s alter ego, Les Patterson !

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      09:02am | 03/08/12

      The internet is probably the best weapon US had developed to change China. The leaders of China had no choice but change and be very different from people like Mao Zedong. Now it is more a collective leadership based on the Communist Party with about 80 million members

      The internet was conceived and developed by the RAND Corp in the nineteen sixties. In the first few years it was very hard to use until software like Netscape was developed. It was pity Windows killed Netscape

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      09:27am | 03/08/12

      I should add that the RAND Corp is the think tank of the US Air Force, see http://www.rand.org/.

      Many new mathematical theories of strategies and decision making like Dynamic Programming and Differential Games were developed at the RAND Corp in the sixties

    • P says:

      06:46am | 03/08/12

      ARE YOU RELATED TO THE COMMSEC GUY?

      At least read through your article before you post it.

      It’s very early, but Facebook needs to know all about this.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      12:02pm | 03/08/12

      Read his full Punch bio.  That will answer your question.

    • P says:

      05:12pm | 04/08/12

      I did read it, hence the question. I was attempting to be funny.

      As for the rest of the bio - you’d think a journalism major encourages editing of one’s own work.

      I’m aware I sound like a pedantic, insufferable old man. I am, in fact, twenty-seven years old.

      Oh dear.

      Big fan of the Commsec guy, by the way. It took me years to figure out if he was wearing a wire or had a rat’s tail.

    • TB says:

      06:52am | 03/08/12

      So many conservative mongrels just askin to be slapped down .
      ....  and so little time.

    • M says:

      07:08am | 03/08/12

      We live in a nanny state where everything is controlled and you can’t do anything without getting in trouble.”

      “So it’s hard for us Australians to be in a space with no rules.”

      Hhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

      These “experts” have no clue.

    • Mahhrat says:

      08:32am | 03/08/12

      +1.  They have no freaking idea.

      Or maybe they do, and this is another case of “tell them the same thing enough times…”?

    • Baloo says:

      11:03am | 03/08/12

      No kidding. I’m actually speechless at that incredibly stupid statement.

      It’s similar to when an “expert” said that gamers are worse drivers, something along the lines of “they think that they can crash and then they will get another life and start again”.

    • M says:

      11:14am | 03/08/12

      New life and start again? Herpa freekin derp.

    • Mahhrat says:

      11:56am | 03/08/12

      What hogwash.

      Any decent gamer hits reset before they ever hit the wall, knowing immediately they veer fractionally off course that they’ve done their dash on a PB…

    • Chris L says:

      12:42pm | 03/08/12

      Piffle! It takes a gamer to crash just right so you can skip over half of the track.

    • Fiddler says:

      07:20am | 03/08/12

      I for one love Alf Stewarts posts such as one he put on Lady Gaga’s wall the other day

      “Born this way? What, born a weird c**t”

      It goes with the uniquely australian humour. Almost as good as the dubbed “rape dungeon” scenes on youtube (look them up, you’ll fall off your chair laughing) What they did have right was yes “We live in a nanny state where everything is controlled and you can’t do anything without getting in trouble.”

      Anyone who thinks this should be stopped is an example of why it shouldn’t

    • subotic says says:

      08:39am | 03/08/12

      Anyone who thinks this should be stopped is an example of why it shouldn’t

      And most people who think it should be stopped probably weren’t bloody well born here either.

      Just. Sayin.

    • M says:

      08:46am | 03/08/12

      Now you’ve gone and done it. One of the torys will see this and then punch out a column about the decline of society when GenY are glorifying rape on facebook.

    • Tom says:

      10:34am | 03/08/12

      M, forget glorification. The decline is embodied in the politicisation of rape by people such as yourself.

    • M says:

      10:42am | 03/08/12

      Tom, do you know what “black humour” is?

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      11:26am | 03/08/12

      ‘ALF’ left a post on Keisha’s wall a little while ago, nearly had me in tears.

      Tom is a Conservative, I think he is still trying to find that thing called humour wink.

    • Eleanor says:

      11:27am | 03/08/12

      Yeah, I’m sorry guys, but Fake Alf is a pisser.

    • Tom says:

      12:00pm | 03/08/12

      simonfromlakemba , wonderful humour guys. Ho ho ho. let’s laugh on party lines. Wonderful politicisation.

      Clever, clever, ... just clever. And did I mention, funny too? Rape is such a good topic for a laugh.

    • Fiddler says:

      12:18pm | 03/08/12

      anyone who reads this site would know I am a conservative (libertarian conservative, but still conservative)

    • M says:

      12:22pm | 03/08/12

      Glad that you can see it from our perspective Tom.

    • Chris L says:

      12:35pm | 03/08/12

      Well, you were right about the reaction M, just not where the reaction was coming from (although we may yet get the article you predicted).

      I think some people need to lighten up, and perhaps look up Louis CK on youtube.

    • Tom says:

      01:50pm | 03/08/12

      ChrisL, I am not sure that kika or the other gender warriors would agree that rape has any place in humour’s hall of fame.

      On that subject, I am content to remain a curmudgeon.

    • ace leo ace says:

      07:34am | 03/08/12

      Saw one of these posts this morning and thought that I never knew Alf was such a racist, sexist idiot bogan. The worst crime of all is that it is completely unfunny.

      Its obviously unofficial to anyone with half a brain, but most of the people “liking” this are probably not even up to that level of intelligence. I usually like to give my fellow Australians the benefit of the doubt as to their level of intellect but one must call it as one sees it. These people are idiots.

      I hate invoking the nanny state, but I wonder if the actor has any legal recourse to close down the page seeing as his likeness is associated with such poor taste statements in the public domain.

    • M says:

      08:44am | 03/08/12

      Yes, how dare anybody have a sense of humour that doesn’t align with your morals. There should be an inquiry into this sort of thing. Somebody has to think of the children!!!

    • Chris L says:

      08:45am | 03/08/12

      It’s probably a minority of our population who have a low IQ and want us to know about it. Problem is, it only takes a minority and that’s where we get our reputation from.

      It’s like how Americans are generally more intelligent and polite than their reputation, mainly because the ones we pay attention to are the minority who are stupid and arrogant. Similar thing happening here.

    • Anonymous says:

      09:10am | 03/08/12

      Get back to the dungeon, you slippery Gypsie!

    • subotic says:

      09:54am | 03/08/12

      @ace leo ace, If Australian humour (attempted or otherwise) offends your gentle sensitivities, why did you come here in the first place?

      Nobody forces you to stay here sport. And it’s a free, big old world out there with plenty of un-funny places to live in. I hear Somalia is pretty bloody un-funny these days.

      There’s the door——->

    • Stormtropper says:

      10:40am | 03/08/12

      Chris L I guess you must be one of the minority empty vessels.

    • Chris L says:

      01:11pm | 03/08/12

      @Stormtropper - Maybe. Enjoy tropping those storms.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      01:24pm | 03/08/12

      “I hate invoking the nanny state, but….”

      But nothing, you either hate invoking it or you would prefer people to have freedom. If I could get rid of things that offended me then the world wouldn’t have Twilight or that part in Return of the Jedi when a “Legion of the Empires best troops” are beaten by space bears with sticks.

      My point is, you can’t be all for individual freedoms only up until the point where something offends you.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      05:27pm | 03/08/12

      What a handsome devil.

    • sunny says:

      07:58am | 03/08/12

      I reckon if the ‘real’ Alf Stewart wanted to do some trolling he’d need a lot of help.. “Ailsa can you give us a hand to flame some flamin’ mongrel, I’d do it m’self but ya know I’m like a wombat with a Rubik’s cube when it comes to these flamin’ computers, cheers luv ... any chance of a cuppa?”

    • Tubesteak says:

      08:03am | 03/08/12

      So this guy just goes after some boring talentless manufactured middle-of-the-road attention-whores? I’d like to see him go after some real names or issues and really take them down. That would be real talent. Also very funny.

      I like to see someone really stick the knife into people that deserve it. It amuses me.

      Satchell sounds like your typical boring halfwit with no personality who doesn’t like hearing or saying anything “controversial” because some thin-skinned princess might get offended. I don’t like those people. They’re almost as annoying as they are fun to annoy.

    • Porter says:

      08:19am | 03/08/12

      Let’s be honest the Doctor is very boring and as a youth channel you would think he is almost too old.

      Also the way triple J and their hosts handled that situation was pretty inappropriate.  For all their equal rights and being against bullying they really let Andrew Stockdale have it, and consider they initiated it.

    • subotic says:

      08:33am | 03/08/12

      Now, I’m an avid triple J listener. I find The Doctor overbearing. He’s like an annoying uncle.

      Like an annoying uncle you wouldn’t leave your kids alone with…

    • subotic R. Jeremy says:

      08:36am | 03/08/12

      While the internet has empowered the trolls, it’s also empowered the complainers.

      But mostly, it’s empowered the pornographers.

      Y E S ! ! !

    • Old man says:

      09:09am | 03/08/12

      Reality stinks

    • Loddlaen says:

      09:53am | 03/08/12

      So you are using the internet to complain about people complaining about the internet?

    • MD says:

      10:15am | 03/08/12

      Oh look, more old people who ‘research’ trying to tell everyone what the internet is about.

      Proptip: They have no idea.

      (aimed at that ridiculous article by clair connely, not this piece)

    • Coal Train says:

      11:11am | 03/08/12

      Daniel, bro. From one Gen Y to another, I think you need to chill out, and stop hating on ol Aflie, Alf stewart on fb is possible the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen.

    • Roger says:

      11:37am | 03/08/12

      In the case of ‘Punch’, I presume the standards are set by the editor? It is then the job of the moderators to uphold those standards.
      There is ample evidence that the editorial policy of ‘Punch’ is to encourage political ‘trolls’.

    • Michael says:

      11:51am | 03/08/12

      The team are the trolls.

    • OddCreature says:

      12:00pm | 03/08/12

      “Alf Stewart” isn’t funny. I like black, inappropriate humour as much as the next person, but there’s a fine line between being funny and being a giant douche, and the Alf troll falls into the latter category.

      If you want an inappropriate laugh, click Like on Ronnie Johns Chopper.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:46pm | 03/08/12

      Sounds like your favourite music “artist” got targeted by Alf and you’re just butthurt and having a winge. In the words of the legend: “Stay out of it, shit tits!”

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      01:26pm | 03/08/12

      It’s not like he’s making fun of anyone remotely talented.

    • John says:

      12:09pm | 03/08/12

      All journalists are essentially trolls because they always want a response to their nonsense. The ones that do not allow comments are basically propagandists that work for Stalin. Commentators are either narcissists or comedians.

    • sunny says:

      05:25pm | 03/08/12

      I must be an ugly stupid narcissist because my comedy stinks.

    • Susan says:

      01:19pm | 03/08/12

      Daniel you essentially imply it should be absolutely anything goes.  Why?  On the basis that there will always be people around us who will annoy?  Maybe so, but I rarely encounter people in real life that act like many do online.

      Your piece the other day about PC language was interesting.  Various regulars acted like they were in a word bath and able to splash about happily using words like “retard” that I doubt they would use in real life say in the workplace.  I’ve not heard the word offline in ten years but here it was word de jour.

      So, either some of you lead very different lives or you are just taking advantage of the relative anonymity here and are simply letting it all hang out.

      I don’t think Reddit’s a good example and any place I have seen that allows peer controlling influences winds up being controlled by the most persuasive and insistent voices.  If they demand a particular way of acting and being, that’s what eventually will happen.  In a HUGE community it might not be too confining but on Punch, the absolute lack of consistent moderation and the number of people using it for no other reason than to amuse themselves all day long…means that people who do want to discuss something seriously will move away.

      So, I am sure many here feel very good about the personal comments and sarcasm and attempts to put down anyone and of course are able to justify it as the ‘other’ being too conservative or whatever other word you choose.  Interestingly, you are as bad as ‘oldies’ when you think like that even though I doubt you’ll see it.  It’s clear some laugh at their ‘wit’ like they’ve posted the funniest thing in days….but many will wind up sick of it because in the end you will say the same things every day and you will have the same people around you saying the same things every day.

      Amusing for a while…boring in the long term.  Any group online that is allowed to hassle people around them winds up so incestuous and boring that it ain’t funny.  You wind up being more boring than those who you essentially acted to get rid of.

      Daniel…you sure you’re not miffed personally at something as this whole piece sounded like a personal miff.  No wonder posters think that’s all Punch is for when most of the writers use the space to get rid of the latest prickle in their shorts.

    • Carramaena says:

      01:48pm | 03/08/12

      Black Humour.. is there any other kind? http://coolquotescollection.com/Black/2
      Well, none worth looking for smile

      “You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft and, on arriving at the bottom, it gets a slight shock and walks away. A rat would probably be killed, though it can fall safely from the eleventh story of a building, a man is broken, a horse splashes.
      J. B. S. Haldane,“On Being the Right Size”

    • Chris L says:

      04:22pm | 03/08/12

      My favourite from that list was “100,000 lemmings can’t be wrong”. Brilliant!

      BTW - if you drop Mouse down a mine shaft you’ll be going in after her!

    • AJ in Perth says:

      02:00pm | 03/08/12

      “The internet empowered the trolls and the complainers” should rather read
      “Internet users empower the trolls and then continue to whinge incessantly about trolls”

      Nothing a good sense of humour or average intelligence can’t fix though ...

    • no bull says:

      05:50pm | 03/08/12

      there are no trolls on the internet

 

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