Anonymous keyboard warriors called out for cowardice

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has had enough of people who hide behind fake social media accounts to promote 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.”

But Mr Pitt said there is a warning for the general public and that is to be more aware of what you read, what you take to be truth and what you act on if you don’t want to be taken for a ride.

“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.

“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 Letters to the Editor were a traditional forum for community members to promote their opinions and pose questions but these writers need to provide their name and contact details so their identities can be verified.

“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? 

“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.

If you are concerned about content you read online or come across a fake Facebook page you should:

  1. Report the page or profile to Facebook.

  2. If you suspect something is a scam, report it to Scamwatch: www.scamwatch.gov.au or call 1300 795 995.

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