Rockhampton's Chay Conaglen is taking on the battle for Gladstone for the LNP.  Chay's car broke down on Monday after he picked up some equipment to make election placards at Officeworks.
Rockhampton's Chay Conaglen is taking on the battle for Gladstone for the LNP. Chay's car broke down on Monday after he picked up some equipment to make election placards at Officeworks. Adam Wratten

Rocky pollie apologises for 'fake news' slur

HE MAY be less than 48 hours into his campaign, but a Rockhampton man standing as the LNP candidate for Gladstone has already had to apologise to a local news outlet after becoming involved in a late-night spat on social media.

20-year-old university student Chay Conaglen was forced to back down last night after calling a Facebook post by a weekly publication "fake news".

Gladstone News had posted a wrap-up of its day's coverage of the election, which included a segment noting Mr Conaglen's strong support for the 'No' campaign against same-sex marriage.

The post included a photo of an earlier post of Mr Conaglen's showing him holding a "You can say No" placard and using the hashtag #1man1woman.

While Mr Conaglen's original post was viewable to the public, it has since had its privacy settings changed to "Friends Only", making it no longer visible - prompting Gladstone News to say it had been deleted.

Rather than contacting the author to correct the minor error, Mr Conaglen was quick to accuse the publication of lying.

"Its lies i didn't delete it," he said

"Get your facts right, I just changed my privacy settings. I'm proud to say No."

"It's fake news," he also replied to one commenter.

Having fixed the error, Gladstone News responded directly to the accusation, saying "we do not publish fake news" and "we don't lie".

FACEBOOK SPAT: LNP candidate for Gladstone Chay Conaglen was quick to accuse a local publication of lying.
FACEBOOK SPAT: LNP candidate for Gladstone Chay Conaglen was quick to accuse a local publication of lying. Facebook

"I will not stand for someone tarnishing our brand or reputation we have worked hard for years at building," owner Karina Brindley said.

"We will clarify that you did not delete the picture but we couldn't see it because of the new privacy settings.

"I will also make it very clear to our readers that you have decided to comment all over our page saying we are 'fake news' and we lied.

"I have worked in many media organisations over my years in this industry. You may have been in high school when I worked on radio in Rockhampton."

Mr Conaglen quickly deleted his comment accusing the publication of lying, and apologised - though he left multiple comments which called the post "fake news".

"Good on you guys. Appreciate it. I'll delete the post for you. Sorry," he said.

Mr Conaglen later shared a link to the discussion on his own Facebook page, saying he "appreciate(d) Gladstone News fixing this error up" - but added the tag "feeling amused".



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