Page removed after police, media pressure

KEIR TUNBRIDGEAlbany Advertiser

A Facebook page where Albany students made sexually demeaning comments about friends and rated their sexual acts has been removed.

Albany Detective Sergeant Mark McKenzie said the page was removed by the anonymous creator under police and media pressure.

The page was created on June 20 and contained sexually graphic and humiliating comments about young people, including sexual performance ratings out of 10.

As of last Wednesday night the page had attracted about 2000 members, some as young as 13.

Det. Sgt McKenzie said after the page’s removal, another page appeared with the same name, quickly attracting about 200 members.

“What we’re concerned about is (the comments being) put on Facebook are starting to be malicious, they’re starting to demean, and when they start being malicious and demeaning to children it becomes a criminal offence,” he said.

“It will be investigated by the Albany police and the Online Child Exploitation Squad up in Perth.”

Det. Sgt McKenzie said anyone found posting sexually demeaning comments about children could be charged with producing or distributing child exploitation material, which in WA carried a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

He said cyber bullying was a concern for the whole community, not just police.

“We have got to be concerned not only from the criminal perspective but also the mental health of these children,” he said.

Albany acting officer-in-charge Sergeant Derek Grimes said community police officers had been and would continue to work with local schools to address cyber 8bullying.

Albany Senior High School and North Albany Senior High School principals Peter Havel and Sharon Doohan said they were happy to see the site removed.

According to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development report released last week, Australian students are rated second in the world in digital and online skills.

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