Former social media darling / current NSW Premier Mike Baird is having a hell of a 24 hours.

Yesterday, he finally responded to a rising swell of criticism against Sydney's aggressive lock-out laws; it did not go well. In fact, the backlash to his Facebook post – in which he claimed Sydney is "more vibrant than ever" and dismissed community anger as "rising hysteria" – could be termed a category 5 shitstorm.

And a running theme among the 10,000+ comments on his post? Why does he make no mention of The Star Casino in Pyrmont, which was notably avoided by the lockout law parameters?

(To screenshot one of literally thousands more like it.)

Baird / his media team had a standard cut-and-paste answer that downplayed the increase in violence around Pyrmont and generally left much to be desires: "More recent data shows that any recent increases in assaults in areas like Newtown or near The Star appear to be small relative to the significant decreases in assaults elsewhere."

You can see that sentence buried in a wall of text here:

It wasn't long before #CasinoMike was a thing, and that thing was trending:

In addition to the still-continuing backlash, Baird is now getting accused of deleting comments by the thousand.

Facebook user Anthony Skinner (one of the people driving #CasinoMike forward, btw) yesterday claimed that comments had dropped from 11,500 to 5,000, before going back up to 8,000. (At the time of writing, they're at 10,868.)

His evidence was a screenshot of the embedded post from PEDESTRIAN.TV's article yesterday to Facebook, which showed the comment count at about 11,585.

"So earlier Mike Baird's comment count was down to 5,000-ish," he wrote. "Now back at 8000+. The official count is actually up at 11,585. 3,000+ comments deleted. What are you ashamed of Mike Baird?"

And in another comment thread, Skinner has collected screenshots of people who say their comments were deleted.

There's also a fair bit coming out of Twitter:

Below are side-by-side screenshots of his post. One is taken from his Facebook page, and the other is taken from the embedded post. Both pages were refreshed moments before screenshotting:

When we spoke to Mike Baird's office earlier, they flat-out denied that comments had been deleted.

"We reject that statement," a spokesperson told P.TV, while another staff member suggested it could be Facebook's  algorithm, which sometimes hides comments that contain swear words.

(As a Facebook page that attracts a fair share of comments, we can confirm that yes, Facebook does sometimes hide comments for profanities or excessive caps, but that it is a rarity and the page manager has the option to unhide it. It is also our experience that an automatically hidden comment is still visible to the original poster.)

Twitter user Natasha Stuart informed P.TV that her comment was also deleted, so we asked if a) it contained profanities and b) if she had screenshots.

The Premier's office didn't comment on Baird's replies sidestepping direct questions about bias towards the casino, directing us to the Bureau of Crime instead.

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Photo: Daniel Munoz / Getty.