Groom MP slams sharing of 'fake news'
GROOM MP John McVeigh has slammed political opponents sharing "fake news" during the election campaign.
Late last week a post circulated on social media saying 200 hundred vegan activists would invade Toowoomba business' and throw paint at customers. The post was a fake, created by satirical page Animals are people, too.
"I was getting inquiries, people were up in arms, people were scared," Dr McVeigh said.
"This was crap, it was only upsetting people.
"We've focussed on animal activists over the last few weeks. Toowoomba and the Darling Downs has the highest concentration of intensive livestock production in the country. We're sensitive to this kind of rubbish any way and for fake news to come in over the top has done no one any favours."
The post was shared over 950 times, with five thousands of comments on it.
One of those people who shared the post, originally believing it to be true, was Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party candidate Perry Adrelius.
"We have been advised that this particular page is supposed to be satirical, but in any case we investigated the page and feel that it is still presented in a very disturbing fashion," Mr Adrelius wrote after the page had been called out as fake news.
"We encourage people to remain vigilant."
Dr McVeigh said during an election campaign "enthusiastic candidates" often got "over excited and jump at shadows".
"They react to fake news and don't check the facts," he said.
"Whoever they are, candidates need to focus on facts and ensure we're having good robust debates and not getting sucked in by fake news."
As expected, there were no animal activist protests in Toowoomba yesterday, which the original fake post said there would be.