Facebook comments lead to front door confrontation

SOCIAL MEDIA: Alexandra Hills resident Dan Ling has had a confrontation with Cr Paul Gleeson after each made Facebook comments.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Alexandra Hills resident Dan Ling has had a confrontation with Cr Paul Gleeson after each made Facebook comments.

AN Alexandra Hills resident has complained to police, alleging that he was threatened with physical violence by Redland City councillor Paul Gleeson.

He said the incident occurred after the pair made comments to each other on Facebook.

Dan Ling, who is active on social media, said Cr Gleeson at first phoned him Monday morning and left a message saying "we're coming around and going to sort this out".

Mr Ling said Cr Gleeson arrived at his home shortly afterwards and tried to enter his front door.

Cr Gleeson told Mr Ling he had crossed the line in making his remarks. Mr Ling taped Cr Gleeson as the councillor called on him to come into the front yard.

Mr Ling said he had a visitor at the time, Cr Murray Elliott, who also heard the exchange.

Mr Ling ordered Cr Gleeson to leave his property, called police and reported the matter to Redland City Council.

Cr Gleeson said the incident occurred after Mr Ling made Facebook comments about his personal life and was disparaging towards John Talty, the husband of LNP Springwood candidate and councillor Julie Talty.

He said he had not tried to enter Mr Ling’s home and went there because he did not answer his phone.

He said Mr Ling had a view that the families of politicians were fair game, a belief he disagreed with.

"I went to his house to counsel him on his use of social media," Cr Gleeson said.

"He hid behind his door, yelling abuse and told me to get off his property, which I did.

"I told him to keep his opinions off social media … and he called me a coward."

Cr Elliott confirmed he was at Mr Ling’s home and heard a confrontation with Cr Gleeson.

Police said an investigation was under way.

Cr Gleeson said he did not believe he had done anything wrong and he would go to Mr Ling's again if the Facebook conduct continued.

Mr Ling said Cr Gleeson should resign or be dismissed as it was not right that a community representative should go on to private property and make threats.

He said he understood that his Facebook comments often were biting but he believed politicians were in a public role, paid for by the public which put their behaviour and decisions up for close scrutiny and criticism.

"They have to suck it up," he said.

Social media use has been an ongoing issue in the Redlands, with council having threatened residents with defamation for Facebook comments and then been criticised for unreasonable action by the State Obudsman.

In May a brawl broke out between local LNP identities MP Andrew Laming and former state MP Peter Dowling over Facebook comments.

Cr Gleeson also was in trouble at the same time, being carpeted by mayor Karen Williams for ripe language on social media. He also was reprimanded in January after a formal complaint about social media posts. In 2014 he was reprimanded for his social media conduct and told that any repeat would see him referred to a regional conduct review panel for misconduct.