Screenshot of parody X account, Australian Labour Parody .
The parody social media account, which has nothing to do with the real Australian prime minister. Image by X

Parody PM deceives with free speech furphy

Kate Atkinson May 10, 2024
WHAT WAS CLAIMED

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said “free speech is a dangerous tool”.

OUR VERDICT

False. The quote is from a parody social media account.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has supposedly said free speech is a dangerous tool and needs restricting, according to social media users.

 Comic-turned-commentator Russell Brand is among those to have criticised the claimed comments in a video to his millions of followers.

 But the claim is false. The quote being attributed to Mr Albanese is from a parody social media account.

Users are pointing to a post on X (formerly Twitter) supposedly made by the prime minister.

Facebook post of parody Albanese tweet
 The parody post has been shared widely online. 

The April 24 post reads: “This will be my final post on X. I stand firm in my belief that free speech is a dangerous tool and must be restricted. Elon Musk’s commitment to free speech is a detriment to our democratic discourse. As such, in solidarity with Senator Lambie, I too shall be quitting X.”

The account has the same profile picture and header as Mr Albanese’s official account, but the account name is “Anthony Albanese Australian Labor Parody”. Its bio also says “Fake Prime Minister of Australia”.

Brand featured a screenshot of the post in a video broadcast to his followers – with the full account name and disclaimer clearly visible.

“Let’s have a look at Anthony Albanese’s final post,” he says in an exaggerated Australian accent (6 minutes 25 seconds). 

“Free speech is a dangerous tool and must be restricted? That’s not good. That’s the prime minister. 

“This is mental. He’s the elected leader of a nation …”

Russell Brand, Rumble, Anthony Albanese, Elon Musk, free speech
 Russell Brand referenced the post, even showing a full screenshot in his video. 

The claim was also shared widely on Facebook, where the word “parody” is omitted from the account name in some instances. 

“I’m an Aussie & I never thought I’d see the day that a Prime Minister would say this! I’ll make sure I share this everywhere! Anthony Albanese, shame!” one user writes.

“Never in a million years would I believe such a post from a so-called free Western power would be made by a high elected official. No matter the context. Are you paying attention?” another says.

The parody post was made after X owner Elon Musk and Mr Albanese’s public row over a direction from the Australian eSafety Commissioner to remove footage of a stabbing attack at a church in Sydney.

Musk questioned on X whether the prime minister felt “he should have jurisdiction over all of Earth?”, while Mr Albanese labelled the businessman an “arrogant billionaire”. 

Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie did delete her X account in response to Musk’s refusal to take down the footage.

A representative for the prime minister confirmed his official Twitter (X) account is @AlboMP.

The official account is still active at time of publication. 

AAP FactCheck has previously addressed false claims originating from a similar parody account.

The Verdict

The claim that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said free speech is a dangerous tool and should be restricted is false.

The quote is from a parody account on social media platform X. 

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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