Users think positive on Facebook
SOUTHERN Downs users of the social networking site Facebook have rejected spiteful gossip pages and started their own phenomenon – a “ratings” page which focuses only on positive posts about fellow residents.
Last week, gossip sites, which degraded local teens by allowing users to anonymously email sexual and cruel comments popped up in Warwick, Allora and Stanthorpe and while the pages were taken down after being reported to Facebook, more were created soon afterwards with different names.
A Facebook page for the Warwick, Stanthorpe and Killarney area has now been created with the users calling for “nice comments only”.
At last count the site had more than 250 people following it with countless messages of love, admiration and support among friends and family.
The original offensive pages, which invited teenagers and others to “rate” the performance of sexual partners, attracted hundreds of “friends”.
It wasn't just a local phenomenon. Similar sites sprouted all over the country.
Warwick Police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Stewart Day warned that anyone thinking of making a site designed to bully others could land themselves in hot water with police.
“Using social networking sites to threaten violence, intimidate or harass is an offence and users can be charged by police,” Snr Sgt Day said.
“We can make applications to the social networking sites to see if pages can be removed and we can also try to trace the (computer) IP address it came from.”
He urged anyone targeted by the creators of gossip sites to contact police, rather than taking matters into their own hands.
Education Queensland regional director Greg Dickman said while there was no place in schools for cyber-bullying, parents were ultimately responsibility for behaviour children engaged in after school hours.