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Jordan Shanks
Personal information
BornJordan Shanks-Markovina
OccupationYouTuber, stand-up comedian
YouTube information
Also known asfriendlyjordies
Years active2013–present
  • 586 thousand (friendlyjordies)
  • 23 thousand (Friendlyjordies Podcast)
  • 86 thousand (Jordan Shanks)

(October, 2021)
Total views
  • 150 million (friendlyjordiesl)
  • 1.8 million (Friendlyjordies Podcast)
  • 5 million (Jordan Shanks)

(October, 2021)
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers

Updated: 17 October 2021

Jordan Shanks-Markovina known online as friendlyjordies, is an Australian political commentator, stand-up comedian and YouTuber. His content often discusses contemporary Australian political issues, involving self-described "lowbrow humour". Shanks' YouTube channel, created in late 2013, has more than half a million subscribers.[3] He has interviewed politicians including Jodi McKay, Tanya Plibersek, Kristina Keneally, Bill Shorten, Helen Dalton and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Shanks was born in Australia and lives in Sydney. He graduated from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts,[1] and later studied international politics at the University of New South Wales.[2] Prior to becoming a YouTuber, Shanks was a model, appearing in magazines and advertisements throughout Australia and Southeast Asia.[5][6]

YouTube career[edit]

Shanks' channel is primarily focused on comedy videos and political commentary, often in support of the Labor Party and critical of the Liberal Party.[7] Early in his YouTube career, Shanks made paid videos for the Australian Council of Trade Unions, GetUp!, and Greenpeace, after approaching them and offering to promote their cause.[8][7] In 2016, he campaigned against the Sydney lockout laws.[8] In 2020, he produced reviews of Australian cask wine.[9][10] Shanks has interviewed and filmed videos with former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.[11] In July 2021, Shanks released an hour-long self-produced documentary entitled 'Blood Water: the war for Australia's water', discussing floodplain harvesting in rural New South Wales and addressing allegations of corruption and mismanagement from local governments in the Riverina.[12]

2019–20 Bushfires[edit]

In 2019 and 2020, Shanks released multiple videos alleging that the New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian was one of the main people responsible for increasing the risk of bushfires and the destruction of the koala population in Australia. He created the Twitter hashtag #koalakiller, in reference to Berejiklian.[13] On 10 June 2020, Shanks released an interview with New South Wales Opposition Leader Jodi McKay, discussing topics including the state and federal governments' response to the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season, including widespread deaths of animals.[14] Shanks raised $300,000 for bushfire relief from his stand-up shows and sales of #koalakiller t-shirts.[15]

Legal disputes[edit]

In 2019, Shanks published a video covering businessman Clive Palmer who was running in the 2019 Australian federal election. There were existing allegations of financial irregularity in the liquidation of Palmer's company Queensland Nickel[16] and alleged failure to pay the company's workers,[17][18] which Shanks covered, alongside satirising Palmer's behaviour and appearance. In response, Palmer threatened a defamation lawsuit, demanding A$500,000 and that Shanks cease making public statements about him.[19] Shanks said he would not "capitulate" and released merchandise containing the statements in question.[19] The episode gained global attention, with media and commentators noting that Palmer appeared to have created a Streisand effect.[18][20] Other commentators said that Palmer's legal threat was substantially similar to a SLAPP suit and that such threats had a 'chilling effect' on public interest reporting.[21]

In 2020, The Daily Telegraph journalist Joe Hildebrand made a complaint to New South Wales police accusing Shanks of stalking and harassment. The police laid no charges.[22]

John Barilaro[edit]

In a political commentary video uploaded 29 June 2020, Shanks included an impersonation of Deputy Premier of New South Wales John Barilaro, which Barilaro described as "very offensive" and "full of racist undertones".[23] Shanks subsequently filmed a video inside an Airbnb rental property owned by Barilaro, accusing him of corruption and environmental vandalism.[24][4] In May 2021, Shanks published a letter sent by Barilaro in December of a threat to sue for defamation. In response, Shanks confronted Barilaro dressed as the video game character Luigi at a National Party event.[25][26] Barilaro lodged defamation proceedings against Shanks on 27 May 2021.[27] On 8th of July, Shanks' legal team responded by filing a truth defence, supported by an honest opinion defence for a subset of claims.[28]

In June 2021, Friendlyjordies producer Kristo Langker was arrested by officers from the Fixated Persons Unit and charged with two counts of stalking and intimidating Barilaro after Langker had approached Barilaro at a National Party event with Shanks and on another occasion.[29][30] Langker's lawyer Mark Davis contested the police's accounts, and he denounced the timing of the arrest being soon after the defamation lawsuit commenced. He also criticised use of the Fixated Persons Unit, a counter-terrorism unit set up in the wake of the Lindt Cafe siege.[29] In August 2021, it was revealed that Barilaro had been in contact with the Fixated Persons Unit regarding Shanks for at least six months prior to Langker's arrest.[31] This contradicted what Barilaro had earlier told Sky News Australia host Tom Connell, saying that he had not requested the Fixated Persons Unit become involved in the matter.[32][33] In October 2021, John Barilaro resigned as Deputy Premier of New South Wales and as the member for Monaro, citing his defamation case against Shanks as a "big reason" for the decision.[34][35]


  1. ^ a b Mckenzie, Nic. "friendlyjordies: boogeyman of the mainstream media". Happy Mag. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b Nash, Anna (24 June 2020). "'Jordie' offers politics wrapped in memes for millennials". Newsworthy. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Comedian asks for NSW Deputy Premier's parliamentary privilege to be waived in defamation case". Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b Hunter, Lucy Cormack, Fergus (19 September 2020). "How to solve a problem like friendlyjordies? Politicians debate new-age commentator". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  5. ^ McGowan, Michael (28 May 2021). "YouTube comedian Friendlyjordies sued for defamation by NSW deputy premier John Barilaro". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Life as a Male Model - YouTube". Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b Johnson, Kurt (28 June 2019). "Friendlyjordies, the comedian who wants to 'inoculate' Australia's youth". Crikey. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  8. ^ a b Stefano, Mark Di (6 April 2016). "This Viral YouTube Star Has Been Employed For Political Advertising". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  9. ^ Perrie, Stewart. "Aussie YouTuber Reviews The Best Goonsacks In The Country". LADBible. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  10. ^ Lowther, Amber. "Some Bloke Just Reviewed The Best Goon Sacks In Australia". Triple M. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  11. ^ Koziol, Michael (31 October 2020). "Rudd backs FriendlyJordies as serious 'broadcaster' despite controversial acts". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  12. ^ Hill, Daneka (15 July 2021). "Opinions divided over new floodplain harvesting documentary". Country News. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  13. ^ Yun, Jessica (27 November 2019). "Rich-lister CEO won't stop asking the NSW Premier this one question". Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  14. ^ "'What were you thinking?': Ben Fordham calls out 'appalling' swipe at Gladys Berejiklian". 2GB. 10 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  15. ^ "YouTube Star Jordan Shanks Claims Nine Blocked Him From Monetising MAFS Reviews". 2DayFM. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  16. ^ Branco, Jorge (23 January 2018). "Clive Palmer's meetings with himself to approve millions in Queensland Nickel payments". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  17. ^ Stevenson, Ashleigh (25 May 2018). "Clive Palmer's assets frozen by Supreme Court over Queensland Nickel collapse". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  18. ^ a b "Clive Palmer: Australia ex-MP threatens YouTuber over 'dense Humpty' video". BBC News. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  19. ^ a b Gilbert, Ben. "An Australian billionaire and politician is demanding $500,000 from a YouTube creator and threatening to sue for calling him a 'dense Humpty Dumpty'". Business Insider. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  20. ^ West, Michael (4 October 2019). "The Streisand Effect - Clive Palmer forgot about that". Michael West. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  21. ^ Amber, Schultz (2 October 2019). "Clive Palmer's latest defamation threat is the new norm for online content". Crikey. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  22. ^ Morton, Rick (19 June 2021). "The police, the YouTube star and the Labor Party". The Saturday Paper. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  23. ^ "YouTuber Friendlyjordies lashed for 'racist' depiction of Gladys Berejiklian". NewsComAu. 21 June 2020. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  24. ^ "YouTuber Friendlyjordies brags of sex acts in NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro's holiday house". 15 September 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  25. ^ "John Barilaro threatens legal action against YouTuber". Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  26. ^ "Deputy Premier threatens to sue comedian". 4 May 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  27. ^ Mitchell, Georgina (28 May 2021). "John Barilaro sues YouTube comedian Friendlyjordies for defamation". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  28. ^ McGowan, Michael; Knaus, Christopher (8 July 2021). "Friendlyjordies files truth defence in defamation case against John Barilaro". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  29. ^ a b Knaus, Christopher (13 June 2021). "Friendlyjordies producer charged with stalking John Barilaro". the Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  30. ^ Morton, Rick (19 June 2021). "The police, the YouTube star and the Labor Party". The Saturday Paper. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  31. ^ Mitchell, Georgina (26 August 2021). "John Barilaro reported Friendlyjordies to police six months before producer's arrest". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  32. ^ Mitchell, Georgina (26 August 2021). "John Barilaro reported Friendlyjordies to police six months before producer's arrest". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  33. ^ "John Barilaro Ripped Into A Journo For Asking About The Arrest Of Friendlyjordies' Producer". Pedestrian TV. 16 July 2021. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  34. ^ "NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro resigns as Coalition crisis deepens". ABC News. 3 October 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  35. ^ "NSW deputy premier John Barilaro resigns from politics days after Berejiklian quits". the Guardian. 4 October 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.

External links[edit]