Former Neighbours star Nicola Charles has helped peddle an “absurd” conspiracy theory that the Voice is a plot by the United Nations to control Australia land in a video shared widely online.
In the 17-minute video, Ms Charles, who played Sarah Beaumont on the show in the 90s, listed false claims about the Voice, including that it would lead to a UN “coup” which would “appoint one man and one woman in every district”.
“It completely changes the law on jurisdiction,” she said in the clip nunder the moniker “The White Rabbit”, which was shared to video-hosting site Rumble, according to the ABC.
“This is an invasion by the one world government, the UN.”
An ABC analysis found versions of Ms Charles’ video, which was first published in August, have been shared on Facebook over 25,000 times, amassing over 500,000 views.
The video has trumped content shared by Fair Australia, which runs the official No campaign, with ABC finding their most shared post video has only been shared less than 17,000 times.
In a separate video shared to X this week, Ms Charles, who rallied against vaccines during the pandemic, labelled the referendum “illegal” and made the claim “Anthony Albanese is not the prime minister of anywhere”.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recently addressed the widespread UN conspiracy at a press conference last month, where he called out misinformation spread about the Voice and refuted claims a Yes vote would allow the organisation to control Australian land.
“What has occurred during this campaign is a lot of information being put out there, including by some who know that it is not true,” he told reporters.
“There is worse information on some social media as well about the world conspiracies that the United Nations will control all land in Australia – all land – you will lose private ownership of everyone’s home will go with a Yes vote.”
“It’s just absurd.”
A week later, his words were edited and redistributed in a misleading video, where he was heard saying: “The United Nations will control all land in Australia – all land – you will lose private ownership of everyone’s home will go with a Yes vote.”
Disinformation analyst for the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), Elise Thomas, told the ABC conspiracies and fearmongering around the seizure of property resonates with Australians, noting it is “chiming with kind of the Australian psyche, [that] this is a land grab, that they’re coming to steal your backyard, and that connects with some of the rhetoric we had around native title”.
Before the ABC aired their 7.30 report covering Ms Charles, the former soap star took to social media, writing “Apparently I am being outed as Australia’s No. 1 Conspiracy Theorist on ABC News tonight.”
She later issued a response to the ABC on social media, claiming she is opposed to the Voice because it “subverts democracy in Australia” and claimed the media are “seeking to remove my Voice and the voices of millions of Australians, by using slurs like conspiracy theorist”.
The UN conspiracy theory isn’t the first to have emerged about the Voice in the lead up to the October 14 referendum.
Social media researcher and conspiracy theory specialist, Dr Joanne Gray, from the University of Sydney previously told news.com.au fearmongering is a common tool used online.
“People use fear mongering tactics to scare others and by liking it and sharing it online, it gives a public endorsement. We’ve seen the damaging effect it’s had on the Yes campaign,” Dr Gray said.
“I’m worried people will be misinformed when it comes time to make a monumental decision like the Voice.”