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To think these Facebook pages should be banned

(27 Posts)
Catlike Wed 24-Apr-13 16:12:34

Sorry this is so long but I'm not brilliant at expressing myself concisely blush

Anyway, in the last few days a couple of people I'm fb friends with have 'liked' one of those Spotted pages for our town. And today someone else I know commented on a photo of a half dressed, random woman somebody had put up on that page (it came up in my newsfeed). Curiosity got the better of me and I looked at the comments underneath and the page itself. Among the piss taking ones were lots saying that they'd seen this woman around in the daytime in a similar state of undress. That says to me that maybe she's got mental health issues rather than that she's an exhibitionist but I really don't think it's ok to take a stranger's photo and post it online, inviting people to make comments about them in any circumstances :-/

There were some other photos put up of people that had been 'spotted' in the street or the pub or other public places and they all had horrid comments underneath. They all looked like the person was unaware they were being photographed apart from one picture of two smiling middle aged women in a club that had been posted by the site's admin who wrote something about being desperate to get the phone number of these two stunners hmm

And there are loads of nasty anonymous comments about people who work behind x counter in this or that shop or who go to a particular gym class or live in this or that street.

Anyway, I thought the whole thing was really unpleasant and that a lot of the postings amounted to bullying. I definitely think the photos do, in fact I was horrified that there are wankers going around my town taking photos of people that they consider ugly, to put on the Internet for other people to laugh at.

I'll admit that part of my unease definitely comes from the fact that I used to get abused about my appearance every single time I left the house (went through a VERY awkward ugly duckling phase as a teen). That hasn't happened for years but I've never been comfortable in my own skin and am now feeling sick at the thought that I might be minding my own business one day, just walking along the street or having a drink outside the pub on a sunny day and somebody might think I'd make a good subject for ridicule on the local spotted page.

It's a fairly small town as well so quite a few of the people whose picture was put up have been named in the comments.

Anyway when I was reading the page, the admin kept posting stuff, he must have written about ten posts during that time. And one of them was an anti bullying one!!! He was saying how wrong bullying is and "how would it make you feel" if someone was bullying you and "let's kick bullying out of xxx town". Well I commented underneath, saying that I thought it was great that he was anti bullying and that he could make a difference himself by not allowing people to post photos of strangers on his page without their consent. And that if people were going to make nasty comments about strangers on his page then they should have to use their fb name rather than do it anonymously.

A number of other people also said the same thing and explained to him that his page enabled bullying behaviour. He replied saying that any photos that had been complained about had been deleted. Good, I thought, and reported all of them. Although one woman said she'd asked him again and again to take her photo down and he hadn't. The admin also said that they'd had loads of excellent feedback and it was a very popular page and that if anyone didn't like it, they didn't have to look. So not engaging with any of the points that had been made to him.

Then I went to write something in response to that, only to find that he'd suddenly deleted the entire anti-bullying post and had written another one about how spotted pages are about fun and banter and anyone who doesn't get it should just stay away. Lots of "lol it's prbly just the ppl ur posting abt that dnt lyk it" type comments underneath. And all the photos are still up, hours later hmm

Anyway, I know that you don't have to look at these pages if you don't like them. I do get that. But I don't think that's a good enough justification for them to be left to stand. It seems like their actual purpose is to promote and to enable bullying, no matter what is said about fun and banter. And especially in a small town, I think it's hard to just brush off the fact that there are people living there who are on the lookout for targets to photograph and humiliate, and to say that it doesn't matter if you don't look at the page. It would probably get back to you anyway. AIBU?

Catlike Wed 24-Apr-13 16:23:07

Oh god, that was REALLY long! Sorry blush

GruffaloAteMySocks Wed 24-Apr-13 16:26:22

Personally, I just wouldn't go on them myself.

CocacolaMum Wed 24-Apr-13 16:35:39

someone I knew from school added me to a page like this. Basically people caught looking rough - too tight clothing, that sort of thing. I am just waiting for a photo of me to appear tbh.. its only a matter of time lol

confusteling Wed 24-Apr-13 16:37:53

I totally agree with you. We've had worse in my area including a dodgy situation in which images of various men/teenage boys was uploaded onto a page, with accusations of them being pedophiles. The page owners attempted to get evidence, which culminated in disgusting behavior from adults uploading videos of people being secretly filmed watching pornography, and apparently masturbating. The police became involved and said page has gone, but there are countless others where photographs are posted of unknowing ill or drunk people. It's disgusting behavior.

I am just relieved that this didn't take off when I was a teenager.

GrowSomeCress Wed 24-Apr-13 16:41:16

I agree, it's terrible, but becoming way more common.

Do you remember that incident a few months ago where a man got his head stuck in a bin and instead of helping people stood around filming & taking photos? sad

Beehatch Wed 24-Apr-13 16:45:05

I nearly wrote a similar post recently, these 'Spotted' pages are sadly on the rise. The one for our local town is just dreadful, I can't believe the comments that some people leave - in their own names too I imagine. At least it gives me a good idea of who to avoid (if I could bring myself to go back and read their drivel).

Catlike Wed 24-Apr-13 16:46:41

Confusteling, that is horrendous! So glad the police took it seriously. I don't get why the other more low level stuff is ok though, I really think it should be illegal to photograph strangers without their consent. I'm also glad this wasn't going on when I was a teenager, if I'd had to contend with Internet bullying as well as the face to face kind, I don't think I'd be here today.

Cress, that's awful sad

shockers Wed 24-Apr-13 16:49:22

I'd report the whole page. I might also give your local PCSO/ bobby a nod about it if you live in a small town. It's cyber bullying and could really upset some of the people who have had their pictures posted.

Catlike Wed 24-Apr-13 16:55:29

Know what you mean about avoiding people Beehatch. I'm shocked by the women I know who've commented or liked this page. They are all in jobs where you'd expect them to know better, ie support worker for vulnerable teens, that sort of thing. Jobs where you're expected to have a reasonable degree of empathy. And I know that a couple of them were bullied badly at school, which is another reason I'm surprised at them liking this page.

Catlike Wed 24-Apr-13 16:57:53

Thanks Shockers, I'd assumed it must be legal as it's up there online and is part of a wider trend. Would be great if the police could do something about it. I don't have much faith in Facebook itself tbh.

confusteling Wed 24-Apr-13 16:58:58

Oh I did have internet bullying, I think I was just 15 when Bebo took off. I set up a page 2 nights before going on a week long Guide camp, came home to see some pleasant messages/drawings on my page. I deleted them without even reading them thank God, it never happened again but I'm just so thankful there wasn't a trend for groups where such things are carried out far more publicly.

It is illegal to photograph without consent, is it not? I'm sure it is.

I live very close to the bin incident and I remember it happening. It's become a sort of local joke, it was mentioned in local panto etc. It's about as far from funny as possible, either the man is mentally unwell, on some sort of substance/alcohol or a bit of an outcast. None of which is an excuse to publicly ridicule him.

confusteling Wed 24-Apr-13 17:00:00

Cat my thoughts exactly. The facebook I mentioned has been "liked" by nurses and teachers, for goodness sake..

PeneloPeePitstop Wed 24-Apr-13 17:04:36

this happened local to me... stuff can and will be done in some situations

shockers Wed 24-Apr-13 17:08:08

I don't think it's illegal to photograph without consent unfortunately. But to deliberately use those photographs to encourage others to ridicule is cruel. I think we all have a moral obligation to prevent bullying and to flag up behaviour that could cause others harm.

That is why I would report it.

Catlike Wed 24-Apr-13 18:53:11

It's about as far from funny as possible, either the man is mentally unwell, on some sort of substance/alcohol or a bit of an outcast. None of which is an excuse to publicly ridicule him.

Confusteling, there were a couple of photos of homeless men on my local page, one of them was captioned as "the most annoying homeless guy ever". Both were being treated in the comments below as some kind of cross between a local landmark and a pet animal. Somewhat dehumanising...

Penelopee, good for her for standing up for herself! That comedian sounds like a right prick, saying he got 250 likes for it as if that made it ok. He obviously wasn't sorry at all hmm

Catlike Wed 24-Apr-13 18:56:35

I think we all have a moral obligation to prevent bullying and to flag up behaviour that could cause others harm.

Shockers, I agree. It's funny that most people if asked would probably say that they're against bullying and yet so many are fans of pages like this which are all about picking on people.

MammaTJ Wed 24-Apr-13 18:58:11

There is one about the town I live in and people seem to use it to be abusive.

I have known a couple of people talked about on there (no pics though) even though they have not been named. It is a small town and the descriptions do let everyone know who they are talking about.

Keep reporting,they will keep being shut down. They have had four attempts here. The latest seems a bit 'kinder' or certainly less viscious.

Catlike Wed 24-Apr-13 19:17:49

Thanks MammaTJ, it's encouraging to hear that reporting does work.
Yes it's very easy to identify people when it's about a small population.

TigerSwallowTail Wed 24-Apr-13 19:21:46

I seen the one you were talking about with the woman on the train/bus with her top off, someone on my friends list had liked it so it appeared on my feed. I also thought she possibly had some mental health issues.

imustbepatient Wed 24-Apr-13 19:33:20

Catlike I thought some of the terminology in your comment at 18:56 was really interesting and thought provoking (well to me anyway!). Is it that some people manage to convince themselves that there is a meaningful distinction between "bullying" and "picking on"? And that they somehow justify the latter as fairly harmless whilst loudly asserting they would never do the former?

To the victim of course there is no difference whatsoever.

imustbepatient Wed 24-Apr-13 19:42:11

Hmmm just re-read my post and suspect I am over thinking it just a tad...

yaimee Wed 24-Apr-13 19:47:39

I started a similar thread to this in chat about a page dedicated to one of the libraries at my uni, where stranger are encouraged to comment about other library users.
Some of the post were supposedly positive (who you would shag/'fist' shock and others were nasty and even racist. It was really awful.
I've recently discovered another similar page about the gym at uni, it's truly disgusting.
I've always been terrified about using the uni gym, worried that people will laugh and make cruel remarks and this pages just confirms it, and not only that, puts those comments into a public forum for everyone to laugh at.
I will never use the gym at uni now because of this.
Sorry for the thread hijack, I git onto a bit of a rant.
Yanbu unreasonable, these pages are nasty and bullying and often very sexist but I don't think Facebook will delete them as they don't seem to breech any rules.
My do always points out that Facebook started for this exact reason, the site was initially designed by a group of childish lads so that they could 'rate' others at their collage and just grew from there. So why would these immature boys delete pages that do the same, they clearly think its acceptable and hilarious.

yaimee Wed 24-Apr-13 19:51:19

blush sorry for all the typos.

Catlike Wed 24-Apr-13 20:37:19

Is it that some people manage to convince themselves that there is a meaningful distinction between "bullying" and "picking on"? And that they somehow justify the latter as fairly harmless whilst loudly asserting they would never do the former?

I don't think they even see what they're doing as "picking on" anyone tbh, just as having a laugh. It's unlikely that many people would ever actually own up to picking on someone as opposed to bantering with them.

It's as if being anti bullying is just one of those things that some people say because they think it sounds good and it makes them look like a nice person even though in reality, they think bullying is great fun and cheer on those who do it.

As I said before, I couldn't believe it when the page admin posted made an announcement about how he was against bullying and how there should be zero tolerance of it in our town, "how would it make you feel?" and so on. And then ignored and dismissed all the comments underneath that said his page was in fact enabling bullying. And then removed the entire comment thread, with a big "fuck you" post about how anyone who doesn't like his page can just stay away. Bloody says it all IMO.

Yaimee, that is absolutely terrible that you now feel too self conscious to use your gym because of shit like this. I don't blame you one bit, I'd be exactly the same. Think you're right about the Facebook owners, I read an article recently about how hard it is to get misogynistic pro-rape content removed because the administrators just don't care, basically.

Tiger, it wasn't the same pic - this woman was missing her trousers! Shows how depressingly widespread this stuff is though.

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