Facebook removes abusive pages aimed at Cumbrian school pupils
Published at 11:37, Monday, 12 August 2013
Facebook has deleted two pages full of abusive comments about pupils at a secondary school.
They took down the pages, relating to William Howard in Brampton, after being contacted by the News & Star.
These were both part of the ‘Spotted’ trend on the social network. Administrators of the two pages – entitled Spotted: William Howard School and Spotted: WHS – posted anonymous comments about pupils at the school that were sent to them by other users.
Many of these were extremely abusive and included:
- Threats of violence;
- Comments on personal appearance;
- Alleging one pupil had sexually abused children.
The page prompted a flood of concern from parents.
They include Sheryl Mackenzie, of Brampton, who has a daughter at the school
“That’s no way for a child to have to live,” she said.
“Some of them (people sending posts) are too young to understand the damage they could be doing.”
Concerns about the Spotted pages were raised amid fears nationally about the young people using social networking websites after one – Ask.fm – was linked to the suicide of a teenager in Leicestershire.
Mrs Mackenzie also said there had been other Spotted sites in Brampton, where similar comments had been made, that were later closed by Facebook.
A spokeswoman for Facebook said: “Both of these pages have now been deleted because they violate Facebook’s terms.”
She stressed the company had rules in place to make sure anything posted on the site was not unchecked, adding: “We take our statement of rights and responsibilities very seriously and react quickly to remove reported content that violates our policies.
“There is no place for harassment on Facebook, but unfortunately a small minority of malicious individuals exist online, just as they do offline.
“We encourage people to use reporting tools so we can remove content that breaks our rules quickly,” she added.
Spotted pages originated around university campuses but have since been set up for a wide variety of other locations.
Detective Inspector Craig Smith, of Cumbria police, said officers were aware of several in the county.
He added: “The constabulary is aware that some of them are set up in order to add to growing social connectivity and are a little bit of fun. However, some of the comments the constabulary have noted are public order offences and as such we are receiving a number of complaints.”
None, however, have been received regarding the two from William Howard School.
Officers based in Brampton have spoken to the school about them and urged anyone with information to come forward.
DI Smith said administrators of such sites were responsible for maintaining them and not reposting messages that were racist or targeted individuals.
No-one from William Howard School was available for comment.
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
@ Peter. The problem here is that those who do these things have rights! As I've said before, The worst thing this country ever did was to give children rights.
I agree with Peter the ones that arefound to be doing this should be named publicly .this just might act as a deterent to uthers shutting them down is not enogh we need to see punishments.this will not go away untill then.
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