Ron Owen.
Ron Owen. Troy Jegers

Gympie's Owen says Christchurch massacre video was 'false'

UPDATE: Facebook Australia have provided comment on the social media website's efforts to take down the Christchurch massacre video after it was livestreamed by the shooter.

The Courier-Mail reported the footage was verified by social media intelligence agency Storyful soon after the massacre.

Statement from Facebook Australia spokesperson:

Since the attack happened, teams from across Facebook have been working around the clock to respond to reports and block content, proactively identify content which violates our standards and to support first responders and law enforcement.

In the first 24 hours, we removed about 1.5 million videos of the attack globally. More than 1.2 million of those videos were blocked at upload, and were therefore prevented from being seen on our services.

We've designated this event as terror attack under our policies, which means that any praise, support and representation of the events violates our Community Standards and is not permitted on Facebook. We are also removing any content that violates these policies as soon as we become aware of it.

THE graphic murder video livestreamed and published on social media by the Christchurch mosque massacre gunman is a "farce”, according to Gympie gun advocate Ron Owen.

Mr Owen's latest comments come after he controversially backed now-censured Senator Fraser Anning's statement blaming New Zealand's immigration policy for the terror atrocity, which killed 50 people and injured 50 more during Friday Prayer on March 15.

He said he had seen the video since the attacks and compared them to a "mock-up” and a "video game”.

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"There's heaps of things that are totally wrong in it,” he said.

"Empty cartridge cases that come out of the gun the same way each time but never hit the ground. They disappear in space. He's got sort of like a torch on the front of his firearm and it's supposed to make it look like a muzzle flash, but it flashes on and off when there's no firing. It's a farce.

"The video that the government wants to ban and wants to condemn people for putting up ... is false.”

Mr Owen also criticised the media for tagging the gunman as a "right-wing extremist”, claiming the video and his manifesto indicated the opposite.

"(In the video) He says he's doing this because he believes the best style of living is in the Chinese republic. Why would the media, who have that at their disposal, see that and come out and call him a right-wing extremist?” Mr Owen said.

"It says in his manifesto he wants to raise the firearm debate so that guns are banned in the US. So politicians then carry out his agenda for him. How bizarre is that?”

Mr Owen stressed he was not questioning whether people died in the attack, but specifically the related information communicated in its aftermath. He said he also questioned other attacks such as the Oklahoma City Bombings, September 11 and the Port Arthur massacre.

"I'm not saying that all those people didn't die, but it's the story that they put with it ... we have to rip apart everything to find what the truth is,” Mr Owen said.

"Put it before a jury of 12 and you're still 50-50 as to whether you believe the result is right or not.

"When Hitler burnt the Reichstag down he blamed the communists ... when someone wants a war with Poland they shoot their own guards up at the border. These things do happen in reality. I'm not saying that's happened this time, but there is a lot of questions that should be asked.”

The Gympie Times columnist and commentator Bruce Devereaux said it was "scary” to hear such theories spread in the community.

"I'm all for healthy scepticism, but people take it to the point where they don't believe anything they hear,” Mr Devereaux said.

"Almost straight away you could see people saying Christchurch was a set-up. They're doubting it before they're even hearing about it.

"People don't want to believe anything to do with any sort of authority figure, whether it's the government or intellectuals.”

Mr Devereaux said he enjoyed hearing Mr Owen's differing point of view on certain topics, but said potentially harmful comments came with repercussions.

"We can't control what comes out of people's mouths, but we can control what happens from that point on,” he said.

Gympie Times


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QPWS rangers are currently managing the fire with QFES

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