It's not quite Mitt Romney's ''horses and bayonets'' or a ''binders full of women'' internet moments – but Australian japesters with keyboards are out in force at the Twitter hashtags #ThingsMorePopularThanAbbott and #triedtobeauthenticbut

The ''things more popular'' hashtag came into being and trended earlier this week after the publication of a national opinion poll with poor approval ratings for the Opposition leader.

''Tried to be authentic but'' followed well intentioned but clumsy remarks Mr Abbott made about his desire to recruit ''an Aboriginal person from central Australia, an authentic representative of the ancient cultures of Australia''.

The contributions at the Abbott hashtags range from laugh out loud witty to mildly vitriolic. Options more popular than the Opposition leader include ''warm Fanta'', ''a hipster in Broadmeadows'', and ''barrier eleven at the Cox Plate.''

But lest we conclude, as is sometimes argued, that the ''socials'' always lean left – Twitter has imposed some conversational balance with #ThingsMorePopularThanGillard

The tone at this hashtag is more straight-up rebuke than glancing wit. More popular than the Prime Minister? ''A cold shower, stabbing oneself in the eye, I could keep going.'' ''That sharp pebble stuck inside your shoe.'' ''Me marrying your Mum.''

You get the drift.

With Twitter regarded as the default homepage of Australian politics, professional politics watches these periodic outbreaks on Twitter, and the social media crowd watches back – interesting and energising of course, and a teeny, tiny bit circular.

Canberra blogger and tweeter Paula Matthewson wondered in a piece published this week whether the Twitterverse might need a Bex and a good lie down.

Ms Matthewson questioned Twitter's ''group think'', ''confected outrage'' and ''biodegradable empathy''.

''With the identification of each new cause, Twitter seems to be ratcheting up the rhetoric (perhaps in the face of desentisation or ennui), and shrilly denouncing non-participants as non-believers,'' Ms Matthewson wrote on her Dragonista blog.

''Some days it resembles nothing more than a gaggle of GetUp! toddlers, high on sugar and running in noisy circles. On such days, Twitter should be made to take a good lie down.''