• 11:55 AM
  • Saturday
  • April 1, 2023
Marcus Reubenstein Federal Court defamation against Twitter campaigner Geoff Wade

Australian journalist sues federal government employee Geoff Wade, and his department, over social media attacks on Chinese community


Independent Australian journalist, and publisher of APAC News, Marcus Reubenstein has served legal notice on the Australian government claiming it has failed in its responsibility to supervise an employee who maintains a Twitter account used to attack thousands of Chinese-Australians.

澳大利亚独立记者、APAC News发行人Marcus Reubenstein向澳大利亚政府发出法律声明,称政府没有履行监督一名使用一个推特账号攻击数千名澳大利亚华裔的员工的职责。

On 30 June 2021, Reubenstein filed a Claim in the Federal Court of Australia, naming parliament house library researcher Geoff Wade and his employer the Department of Parliamentary Services of Australia as respondents.

2021 年 6 月 30 日,马库斯•鲁宾斯坦向澳大利亚联邦法院提起诉讼,将议会大厦图书馆研究员杰夫•韦德及其雇主澳大利亚议会服务部列为被告。

The Federal Court Claim is that on six occasions Wade made Twitter publications which were defamatory of Reubenstein’s character.


The Claim also states that Wade breached Australian Copyright law by publishing six images which belonged to Reubenstein without permission.


Wade works as a researcher in the library at Australia’s Parliament House has made 22 Twitter publications about Reubenstein between 2 July 2020 and 19 February 2021.  


Reubenstein’s legal notice claims the Twitter publications were made to suggest he is being funded by the Chinese Communist Party in order to promote Chinese interests in Australia.


Australia has harsh laws in relation to the promotion of the interests of foreign governments by individuals and companies who do not first register their foreign associations with the Australian government. 


Reubenstein is not registered on the Australian Foreign Influence Transparency Register and in a YouTube video uploaded on 7 June 2021, he strenuously denied online allegations of wrongdoing, saying they were “totally defamatory.”

Reubenstein没有在澳大利亚外国透明度登记册(the Australian Foreign Influence Transparency Register)上登记,在2021年6月7日上传至YouTube的视频中,他极力否认网上的不当行为指控,称这些指控“完全就是诽谤”。

He also stated, “I have many Chinese friends and I will always support them, but I don’t support the Chinese Communist Party and they don’t [financially] support me.”


The case came about after government employee Wade published an image of small Chinese-Australian children on his Twitter feed as part of a series of posts claiming that Chinese language schools in Australia were being run under the direction of the Chinese government.


Reubenstein published a story about this after the Department of Parliamentary Services refused to answer questions as to whether it condoned the unauthorized posting of children’s images by its employee.


In his article Reubenstein wrote, “Wade is behind six years of online harassment, under the very nose of his employer” and that the government had allowed him to use his Twitter account to “smear children.”


According to reports in APAC News, the government department dismissed requests from the parents of the nine 7 and 8 year old children saying the matter did not concern the department as he made his posts outside of office hours.

据APAC News报道,政府部门拒绝了这9名7到8岁孩子父母的要求,并称部门与他在办公时间之外发布帖子无关。

However, research on Reubenstein’s APAC News website shows that Wade has apparently sent thousands of Tweets from his government computer during government work hours.

然而,关于Reubenstein的APAC News网站的研究显示,显然Wade在政府工作时间利用他的政府(办公)电脑发了数千条推特。

Two months after the publication of his story pointing out Wade’s targetting of small children lawyers for Wade, Canberra firm Meyer Vandenberg, served Reubenstein with a 57-page concerns notice that they intended to sue for defamation. Similiar notices were sent to indepedent journalist Michael West, former Prime Minister’s Department secretary John Menadue, school teach Suzie Cong and university professor, James Laurenson.

在他指出韦德将儿童律师作为韦德的目标的故事发表两个月后,堪培拉的梅耶范登堡公司向鲁宾斯坦送达了一份长达 57 页的关注通知,称他们打算以诽谤罪提起诉讼。类似的通知也发送给了独立记者迈克尔·韦斯特、前总理府秘书约翰·梅纳杜、学校教师苏西·聪和大学教授詹姆斯·劳伦森。

In a YouTube post, Reubenstein announced he would counter-sue Wade, while accusing his lawyers of engaging in a campaign of “bullying and harassment” against him and four others, including the Chinese school teach who Wade threatened to sue after she complained about his posting of the children’s images.


Reubenstein, who is well known as a strong defender of the Chinese community, posted another video on WeChat several days ago saying, “For too long Chinese Australians have been bullied and frightened into inaction. I won’t be bullied and I won’t be silenced.”


He has set up a crowdfunding page on the GoFundMe website to raise money for his legal fight.  


NOTE: This legal fund was established, and is solely operated by, Marcus Reubenstein. Whilst any support is greatly appreciated, the fact that third parties may promote, or share content related to, this legal fund does not constitute endorsement of those groups or their activities.


Sydney Morning Herald (5 May 2021) “A Chinese Communist Party watcher in Parliament tweeted 42,000 times. Now he’s been told to take a break”

Michael West Media (3 August 2021) “Parliament’s Department of Cover-Ups faces bullying claims, tangle of lawsuits”

news.com.au (5 August 2021) “China critic Geoffrey Wade Twitter defamation case similar to Dylan Voller Facebook ruling, court hears”

Sydney Morning Herald (6 August 2021) “Parliamentary researcher, Commonwealth sued for defamation over tweets”

South China Morning Post (29 April 2021) “Australia’s China debate gets more rancorous with harassment, threats and lawsuits”

This article was published by The Australian newspaper. As it relates to the publisher of this website it has been reproduced under the Fair Dealing provision of the Copyright Act. The article is published here for the purposes of information not for reproduction on other platforms.

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