Labor senator Katy Gallagher has spent the weekend being viciously trolled and having to fight off impersonators after being targeted by alt-right leader Milo Yiannopoulos over a year-old video about mansplaining.
Yiannopoulous -- a former editor of conservative outlet Breitbart News, and who has gained personal notoriety after controversial speaking tours and having his book deal cancelled over his comments about child abuse -- posted a video of Gallagher to his 2.16 million Facebook followers on Friday. The video, titled "Mansplaining, what about womansplaining?" was of an incident in a Senate estimates hearing in February 2016 where Gallagher criticised communications minister Mitch Fifield for the answers he was giving to her questions.
"I love the mansplaining. I'm enjoying it," Gallagher said, in comments which were widely reported at the time.
"Talking me through, by not answering the question, by repeating processes which are not related to the question I've asked... the slightly patronising and condescending way you're responding to my questions."
It's unclear why Yiannopoulos posted the video more than 15 months later, but it was shared widely and set off a storm of abuse directed at the ACT senator. At of time of writing, the video has been viewed 1.5 million times and has nearly 14,000 shares; considerably more engagement than many of Yiannopoulos' other videos.
Among the thousands of comments on the video, Gallagher is accused of "intellectual marxist crap", being a "left wing lunatic" and "the epitome of everything that is wrong with the perpetual victimhood of the left", among other far more offensive criticisms we won't repeat.
Yiannopoulos' followers also searched out Gallagher's own Facebook page, leaving further offensive comments there. BuzzFeed reported some critics even went as far as creating fake Facebook profiles in Gallagher's name, to further attack her. Gallagher herself responded over the weekend, claiming her account had been hacked.
Gallagher was, however, defended by an unlikely ally on Monday -- Mitch Fifield, the man who she accused of mansplaining in the first place.
@SenKatyG is a colleague I respect. There is no place for trolls. My colleagues in all parties should be treated with civility.— Mitch Fifield (@SenatorFifield) May 29, 2017
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