Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt. Max Fleet BUN131115PITT3

Sneaky politics and dodgy demons: MP slams trolls

FEDERAL Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt says he has had enough of people who hide behind fake social media accounts to promote what he terms "lies and cons that cause distress in the community".

"Another fake Facebook account has been set up using my image and name in a bid to promote false information but this isn't just a sneaky political game, this has implications that are far reaching for people in this electorate," Mr Pitt said.

"These keyboard warriors don't even have the courage to put their name to the claims they make on social media - they can say whatever they want, most of which they know is totally untrue, that's why they don't put their real name to it."

Mr Pitt said the situation highlighted the need to be careful with believing just anything online.

Don't just be a passive bystander because their next victim could be teenager who isn't so cyber-savvy or a senior who is new to the internet.

"The community as a whole needs to stand up against these cons that in the best form merely spread lies, but in their worst form can lead to people losing money, reputation and causing severe stress," he said.

"If you come across a fake Facebook page, or you read content online that is suspicious, do your homework so you don't get sucked in. If it is suspicious, report it. Get the page taken down.

"Don't just be a passive bystander because their next victim could be teenager who isn't so cyber-savvy or a senior who is new to the internet."

Mr Pitt said if letter writers had to prove their identity, then people on social media should too.

"So if our writers or letters to the editor need to be verified why don't we force social media cowards to prove their identities as well?," he said.

"They have no credibility when we can't trace them because they use a pseudonym like 'dodgy demon' to identify themselves. I think our media outlets have a role to play in this regard to protect their readers, listeners and viewers."

Mr Pitt said anyone who was concerned about content online could report the page or profile to Facebook or report scams to Scamwatch at www.scamwatch.gov.au or call 1300 795 995.



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