Every now and again in this wretched world, a bright spot flickers and warms our cold, grizzled hearts for just a moment. Like when someone spots that the domain that you’d assume belongs to Australia’s leading anti-immigration politician Pauline Hanson has expired, grabs it, and redirects it to a group advocating to reform Australia’s asylum seeker policies.
Late on Thursday, users on social media noticed that paulinehanson.com.au was going somewhere rather unexpected.
Pauline Hanson's domain name expired, was nabbed and redirected to a more appropriate website. https://t.co/J8cZDwdbS4
— Anthony Dever (@anthonydever) January 14, 2021
Popular Australian Instagram user Brown Cardigan posted a screenshot on Thursday night of a Slack message from someone claiming to have been responsible.
“Noticed that paulinehanson dot com dot au had expired overnight… grabbed it and did a redirect… check it out when you have a second,” the message reads, and included a link to paulinehanson.com.au.
The website now redirects to the website of the Refugee Council of Australia, a group that’s frequently condemned Pauline Hanson and her anti-immigration policies.
Refugee Council of Australia has been contacted for comment.
While it’s just been noticed now, it appears this change actually happened in December 2020.
The domain paulinehanson.com.au was registered by a Victorian-based sole trader, based on the ABN provided that’s listed in domain registration records.
It sat dormant for a while with a blank WordPress page before redirecting to the Refugee Council of Australia.
And prior to that, it hadn’t actually been used as Pauline Hanson’s official, political website.
While it appears it used to be registered to Hanson’s real ABN, for years it hosted some placeholder real estate advertising website.
And before that, it either held a strange official website or an extremely big Pauline Hanson stan’s web tribute.
And that domain appears to expire on the 20th of July 2021, just in case anyone is interested.