Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher attend a Pink Ribbon breakfast in Gladstone while on the election campaign trail. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher attend a Pink Ribbon breakfast in Gladstone while on the election campaign trail. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Election campaign trolls denounced by Labor and LNP

SOCIAL media attacks during the campaign for the Gladstone electorate have hit an unprecedented low with both Labor and the LNP denouncing trolls who have posted hurtful memes and photos.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said he had never seen, in any of his four election campaigns, such trolling and attacks through social media.

Mr Butcher said attacking him and the Labor Party was something he accepted, but when the trolls attacked his family and volunteers they went way too far.

About 10.15pm on Saturday, Mr Butcher posted a photo he obtained from LNP candidate Ron Harding’s daughter’s Facebook page which was attacking a Labor volunteer.

“It’s now starting to become clear who is spreading the vile posts on social media, this is disgraceful and needs to stop,” Mr Butcher posted.

“To sit at a polling booth and take photos of people volunteering and then degrade them is beyond politics.”

Mr Butcher said the photo he posted was sent to him.

“Someone screen shot it and sent it to me because I’m not obviously friends with that person,” he said.

“When I saw it I thought ‘that’s disgusting’, because the guy in question is obviously one of my volunteers and has had serious issues with his legs and his weight.

“Then you see a post like that having a go at him.

“It just carries on from how disgusting this campaign has been.”

Mr Butcher said he had a message for anyone with a social media account who wanted to be an election troll.

“Seriously, take a photo of me and tell me I’m an idiot and you don’t like what I do,” he said.

“For my volunteer, who obviously has health problems, to cop that sort of abuse, seriously it has gone too far.”

LNP candidate for Gladstone Ron Harding takes extreme pride in the certificates of appreciation on his office wall that illustrate his contribution to the Gladstone region over 25 years. Picture: Rodney Stevens
LNP candidate for Gladstone Ron Harding takes extreme pride in the certificates of appreciation on his office wall that illustrate his contribution to the Gladstone region over 25 years. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Mr Butcher said he would be reporting any meme pages and attacks to the cyber-bullying watchdog to ask they be removed.

Mr Harding echoed Mr Butcher’s views and said he was also disgusted in the level of social media attacks during the campaign.

“I am totally disgusted in the level this election campaign has stooped to.

“Using social media to attack people is not something that I endorse.

“My daughter posted a photo on her private Facebook page which is her own private platform, it has nothing to do with me as a candidate or the LNP.

“This is not something I would allow to be posted on my personal or political Facebook page. “Now Glenn has used this picture as a political football to gain attention and support, which I think is wrong.

“If Glenn wants the trolling to stop he should set an example to the trolls by removing the post from his page.”

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