ABC investigating claims radio host’s Twitter account was interfered with

The ABC is investigating concerns that Brisbane Drive host Steve Austin’s Twitter account has been “interfered with”, after it was highlighted that the account included ‘likes’ for transgender pornography and anti-transgender views.

Austin, not to be confused with the wrestling star or the Six Million Dollar Man, has hosted ABC Brisbane’s Drive program since 2017 and has over 35 years’ experience in radio and current affairs.

On Friday he temporarily restricted viewing of his Twitter account after the long list of ‘likes’ for transgender pornography on his account was highlighted. Austin later posted a note saying his account had “interference”.

“I have taken appropriate action. I apologise to you if it has caused any problem with your feed.” Austin said, before later deleting the account completely.

The focus on the radio hosts social media activity occurred at the same time as he had invited ‘gender critical’ campaigner Sall Grover on to his program to discuss legislation before the Queensland parliament. The new laws will allow for self-identification and will also allow people who are transgender to change their gender on their birth certificates.

Grover was invited on to the program, but it did not appear any other guests who held opposing viewpoints were to be included.

Shortly after concern was raised about Austin’s social media account and the potentially one-sided interview, Grover posted to Twitter saying she’d been dropped as a guest.

The founder of Giggle previously faced a Human Rights complaint over the social media app that uses facial image recognition technology to stop transgender women from access it’s services. The complaint was later dropped.

Grover has been a vocal opponent of allowing transgender women to access bathrooms, support services and events that match their gender. Earlier this year she successfully lobbied Bill Shorten, the Minister for the NDIS and Government Services, to cancel a trial of forms that used gender inclusive language. She is also a director of a new company called Biology Matters.

Grover later updated that the ABC had informed her that she would be invited on to the program if they are able to also secure a guest who is supportive of the proposed laws.

On social media transgender rights activist Amy Sargeant, who highlighted the radio hosts apparent endorsement of the pornographic content, also provided an update on how quickly the ‘likes’ were being removed with over 2,000 endorsements disappearing in a short period of time.

Sargeant later discussed what she witnessed in a video discussion with YouTuber Katy Montgomerie.

“There were hundreds of these videos” Sargeant said. “They went back years they weren’t just from the last week.”

Twitter users have encouraged Austion and the ABC to report the years of interference to the police, while some have also reached out to Twitter owner Elon Musk, asking if he could look into it.


OUTinPerth has approached the ABC and Steve Austin for comment. 

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