Extra

PRGuy reveals identity ahead of further trial by right-wing commentator Avi Yemini

Written by Javed Iqbal

On Friday afternoon, the PRGuy account tweeted a message to followers with a link to a video recorded with Sydney’s political YouTuber Jordan Shanks-Markovina claiming to be the author of the account.

“Hi, my name is Jeremy Maluta,” the tweet says. “You may remember me from such hashtags as #IstandWithDan and #ICantBelieveItsNotAStaffer. I caught up with FriendlyJordies so I could finally meet you all face to face. Enjoy!”

In the hour-long interview with Shanks-Markovina, an ally on Twitter, the couple discussed the reasons why Maluta stepped forward ahead of further federal court action from Yemini.

“It’s a two-sided thing because the anonymity on the one hand has hung over my head for a while. It’s a little pressure. I’m eager to get it all over, get my name out there, out in the open, ”Maluta said.

“On the other hand, it has not been done on my terms. It’s someone who’s gone completely wrong … playing the system to try me because he thinks I’m kind of a spook working for the government. “

Maluta and Shanks spoke at length about their criticism of the media coverage of the Andrews government and the Labor Party. Maluta’s face was partially hidden by a written message about Yemini.

Yemini promised to return to court this week, this time to seek information from Telstra in his quest to reveal the identity of the user and sue over comments submitted by the account at the height of the pandemic.

Avi Yemini leaves Victoria's Supreme Court in Melbourne in March this year.

Avi Yemini leaves Victoria’s Supreme Court in Melbourne in March this year.Credit:AAP

Yemini received a federal court last week ordering Twitter to disclose the account information about PRGuy, which he intends to sue for posting on social media, which he says has defamed him.

Twitter followed this order and provided Yemini with several IP addresses – unique series of numbers that identify a device on the Internet – but he now needs Telstra to identify the holder of the addresses. The name and email from Twitter did not provide enough information to identify the owner of the account.

Created in March 2020 using Simpsons Characterized by Troy McClure as its avatar, PRGuy quickly became one of the loudest cheerleaders of the Andrews Government’s pandemic response.

As the account’s support grew – it now has more than 90,000 followers – PRGuy and its supporters repeatedly clashed with politicians, journalists and other commentators who were critical of Prime Minister Daniel Andrews and other Labor figures.

Jordan Shanks-Markovina, also known as FriendlyJordies, interviewed Maluta with a watermark covering his face.

Jordan Shanks-Markovina, also known as FriendlyJordies, interviewed Maluta with a watermark covering his face.Credit:Facebook

Yemini, a correspondent for Canadian alt-right site Rebel Newswhich was associated with the anti-lockdown movement, said that the account owner has used a virtual private network, or VPN, to mask their IP address since it was created, but had occasionally logged in without activating the shield.

Maluta said he had planned to leave Twitter, but Yemini’s legal action encouraged him to stay on the platform.

“If he tried to shut me down, you could probably say he got it up a bit,” he said.

“In fact, it’s funny that I was already on my way, so I had already announced that a job has been done. I’m telling you. [I’m] continues to do other things in my life and he somehow forced me to keep going. ”

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Javed Iqbal

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