Nasty Facebook gossip pages go

By Viv Logie
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Three anonymous Facebook pages that popped up on-line featuring vicious gossip about West Coast people have been taken down.
A Greymouth police spokesman today welcomed the removal of the no holds barred pages that allowed any Facebook user the opportunity to defame whoever they liked, anonymously.
Some of the on-line chat included accusations of adultery and named people as police narks.
On the Kapiti Coast, a Facebook page that rates the sexual performance of teenagers has sparked outrage from parents. That page was removed after the police complained to Facebook, but not before it received more than 700 ‘likes’.
Netsafe executive director Martin Cocker said today such pages were not “uncommon” and the people who set them up seldom faced any consequences.
He said the introduction of a new agency to deal with internet use should help.
Mr Cocker noted that Facebook itself was quick to remove harmful pages from the site, “but often not before many people were able to read some of the terrible posts”.
“The problems of such pages are minimised when they are taken down and left down.
However, when people are serially posting they cause more problems, and the proposed new laws should help up address this.”
Typically, the nasty pages lasted about a week and the more popular they were, the quicker they were taken down.
Offensive pages should be reported to Facebook in the first instance but if people had problems they could also contact Netsafe, he said.