Debunking Facebook Statuses, #1

02 August 2011
Sadly, one of the many things idiots often lack is originality. They love copying Facebook statuses complaining about the state of the world, but rarely take the time to check the accuracy of what they've posted. Many of the bordering-on-offensive copied statuses they post are loosely based on American statistics twisted by right wingers; a "Washington" gets replaced by "Canberra" and then it's reposted in all it's inaccurate glory. Take this gem:

"They sent my census form back! Again!!! In response to the question: "Do you have any dependents?"
I replied - "2 million illegal immigrants, 1 million crack heads, 1 million unemployable people, 1/2 million people in over 100 prisons, half of Afghanistan and 535 politicians in Canberra.
Apparently, this was NOT an acceptable answer. Re-post if you agree.

How wrong are these "facts" for Australia? In the first of what may become a regular series, let me count the ways:

2 million illegal immigrants
In 2009, Australia received around 2750 unauthorised arrivals by boat (source). There were another 15,800 visa over stayers (source).

1 million crack heads
One in twenty people are crack addicts?! Well they must not live in inner Sydney; I've never seen them. Truth is an estimated 1.3% of people have used cocaine - at all - in the past twelve months; crack cocaine is "rarely seen in Australia" (source).

1 million unemployable people
In June 2011 there were 589,100 registered unemployed people in Australia (source). Most unemployed people are on benefits for a period of less than six months before finding employment.

1/2 million people in over 100 prisons
In 2009, the Australian prison population was 29,300 (source).

[H]alf of Afghanistan
Over the last ten years Australia has provided $700 million in civilian aid to Afghanistan (source). Given to half the population, that's about $4.69 per person, per year. Not really enough to cover the "you break it, you bought it" policy of the good guests I hope we've been in their country.

535 politicians in Canberra
There are 150 members of the House of Representatives and 76 Senators in the Australian Federal Parliament in Canberra (source). This one's my favourite because it's so easy to quantify; there are 535 members of the U.S. Congress. (What? You didn't know that off the top of your head?)

And lastly of course, Census night isn't until the 9th of August, so of course the form would be sent back if it was filled in now, but if one has accepted all the above statements as a work of latter-day genius I doubt they're quibbling over these semantics. It's been fun debunking all this; I'm sure I'll get a chance to do it again soon (what's that status doing the rounds about drug testing...).


  1. awesome! Now I'm actually HOPING my redneck cousin re-posts this so I can correct her!!
    Urrgh she makes my blood boil the way she regurgitates her uninformed crap like she thought of it herself

  2. Yeah, it's most annoying that people post this like they're clever and original...


Recent posts

Back to Top