Prime Minister Scott Morrison's big blue bus rapidly turned into the Meme Machine.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison's big blue bus rapidly turned into the Meme Machine.

ScoMo crashes and burns on social media in 2018

SOOOOO. My Very Important Editor gave me the Very Important Job of telling you about the hottest happenings on your fave social media platforms in the Very Important Year that was 2018 (also known as The Year Scott Morrison Knifed Peter Dutton and Malcolm Turnbull to Become Australia's Fair Dinkum Daggiest Dad Prime Minister).

In a nutshell - the 2018 Year in Social Media looked like this - ScoMo nicknamed himself ScoMo and made a bunch of silly mistakes online, Donald Trump did some stuff, Kanye West did a thing and a few million peeps watched a video starring coloured buckets.

SCOMO'S BUSLOAD OF CONTROVERSY

LOVE him or loathe him, our accidental Prime Minister has dominated Twitter and Facebook quite a bit of late.

It all started on the day ScoMo rolled Peter Dutton in the battle to oust what's his name ... oh, yeah, Malcolm Turnbull ... from Australia's most powerful job.

As ScoMo celebrated and Dutton commiserated, the great political bunfight became a meme war as Australians used their socials to take the proverbial out of the guy who would become Australia's "daggiest dad".

We'd barely taken the plastic wrap off our newly minted PM when ScoMo's Twitter and Instagram accounts broadcast a mash-up of parliamentarians raising their arms to vote in Question Time to the tune of an offensive and misogynist song by 1990s hip-hop artist Fatman Scoop.

The PM - a devout Christian - was forced to remove the piece after thousands of Aussies casually pointed out he was playing a song that glorifies prostitution and casual sex.

 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison eats a pie during a visit to the Beefy's Pies factory near Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Mr Morrison is on a four-day bus tour of Queensland. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING
Scott Morrison eats a pie.

Other social media miss-steps included an absolute caning by Australians after an American journalist released a photo of a metal Asian fishing boat trophy - inscribed with "I stopped these" - that sits on the PM's desk in Canberra.

The PM was slammed for what many people saw as a "heartless" stance on the children who remain locked up in detention.

In an attempt to win votes in Queensland, ScoMo decided to hit the road to meet up with regional residents in the Sunshine State.

For a man who built his career on marketing, Morrison severely underestimated what thousands of social media users would do with a little wit and whole lot of photoshopping when a photo of his big blue bus was released publicly.

The giant political billboard on wheels had "A stronger economy. A secure future. Backing Queenslanders" emblazoned across its sides.

By the time he had travelled from the Gold Coast to Central Queensland, the bus became a fair dinkum internet meme including:

"We're on the road to nowhere."

"Incompetent economics. Insecure future. Backing big business."

"LNP - Now with 19 less Nazis than we had last week."

"The mobile chapel of the holy stone: Coal, our once and future salvation."

"68 women killed in 2018: an insecure future. Backing men."

If the bus memes were not enough, former News Corp journalist and now ABC hack Owen Jacques performed an interview with ScoMo that pretty much broke the internet.

Jacques's pointed questions about Morrison not actually travelling on the bus to get across Queensland were Australian political satire at its best.

JOURNALIST: "So you'll be flying to Rockhampton and the bus will catch up with you and then you'll fly on to Townsville?"

PM: "I'll be flying on to Townsville. And your point is what?"

JOURNALIST: "I'm just interested in the point of the bus if you're not on it."

PM: "I am on it, I just got off it."

JOURNALIST: "But not on to Rockhampton or Townsville?"

PM: "Yeah well it's a practical thing. I want to spend as much time on the ground with Queenslanders, and when I can be on the bus and go from place to place on the bus, that's great. But I'm not going to sacrifice time with Queenslanders, listening to them and hearing them and talking to them about what's important to them just to satisfy the media's interest in the timetable for the bus."

To be fair, ScoMo was not the only thing on social media in 2018.

 

US President Donald Trump is seen after being welcomed by the President of Argentina Mauricio Macri at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, November 30, 2018. The leaders of the world's largest economies arrived in Buenos Aires on Thursday for the first G20 summit to be held in South America. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING
US President Donald Trump leaves Argentina President Mauricio Macri confused at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires in November, 2018. LUKAS COCH

WHAT DIDN'T DONALD TRUMP DO ON TWITTER?

THE Donald continued to run America via Twitter.

From releasing a doctored video purportedly showing a journalist assaulting a woman during a press conference to fawning adulation of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and spreading bogus voter fraud claims on his socials, Trump's online shenanigans were on fire.

But the bizarrest moment had to be when singer Kanye West visited Trump in the White House to deliver a 10-minute speech that was wall-to-wall praise for the controversial president.

You can watch it on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLmQ57mEGFs).

West eventually back-pedalled on the monologue, saying in October that he "was used" by the Trump administration and promised to stay away from politics.

 

Alyssa Milano has joined the #LetHerSpeak campaign for law reform so that sexual assault survivors in Tasmania and the Northern Territory can waive their right to anonymity in the media, if they so choose.
Alyssa Milano joined the #LetHerSpeak campaign for law reform allowing sex assault survivors in Tasmania and the Northern Territory to speak about their experience.

THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE

SOCIAL media users did their best to create change and vent their frustrations by using a range of hashtags.

The #letherspeak campaign created by journalist Nina Funnell resulted in the Tasmanian Government committing itself to turfing legislation that bans sexual assault survivors from telling their stories.

Australians from all walks of life continued to pressure the Australian Government to remove the children locked up in detention via the #kidsoffnauru campaign.

Nike took a big risk with its divisive 2018 political "just do it" campaign built around new civil rights icon Colin Kaepernick. In 2016, footballer Kaepernick lost everything after he knelt during the US national anthem before a game.

He "took the knee" to protest racism, police brutality and social inequality. He was dumped from the league and roasted by Donald Trump.

Nike took a punt on Kaepernick, making him the centrepiece of the company's 2018 advertising campaign.

A striking black and white portrait of Kaepernick with the words "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything" divided America, increased the company's sales exponentially and a related video score well over 80 million views across Twitter, Instragram and YouTube.

 

The four-minute Learn Your Bucket Colors film racked up 86 million views in 2018.
The four-minute Learn Your Bucket Colors film racked up 86 million views in 2018.

VIDEO HITS

One of the most watched videos on YouTube this year involved kids teaching other kids about colours.

I kid you not. The four-minute Learn Your Bucket Colors (sic) film racked up a lazy 86 million views in 2018.

Kylie Jenner's pregnancy video was seen by 59 million people; an apology by YouTuber Logan Paul who made tone deaf jokes about suicide wasn't far behind on 51 million views; and a commercial for the latest Google Pixel telephone starring Bollywood mega-star Anushka Sharma was seen by more than 48 million people. https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/most-watched-youtube-videos-2018

It wasn't all good news for video fans.

YouTube was forced to suspend one of its most successful uploaders after he published footage of a computer game character beating a woman to death.

The "kill a feminist" scene from Red Dead Redemption 2 racked up millions of views before being taken down.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts, during the final match of the International Champions Cup, between Real Madrid and Manchester City, played at the MCG in Melbourne, Friday July 24, 2015. (AAP Image/Joe Castro) NO ARCHIVING
Cristiano Ronaldo is a social media powerhouse. JOE CASTRO

SOCIAL MEDIA FACE OFF

The world's largest social media site - Facebook - continued to grow with more than one billion people now signed up.

The top Facebook pages for 2018 were all soccer-based: Cristiano Ronaldo's was the biggest with 122,634,220 followers, Real Madrid C.F has 109,515,466 fans and FC Barcelona has 102,692,956 followers. Shakira and Vin Diesel round out he top five.

@katyperry. @justinbieber. @BarackObama @rihanna and @taylorswift13 were the most followed Twitter users in 2018 and Cristiano Ronaldo, Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande had the largest Instagram accounts last year.

Facebook's top talked about moment of 2018 was International Women's Day, while the platform's biggest event was The March for Our Lives movement following the Parkland school shooting in Florida.