News

Facebook bullies' new front

FAKE IDENTITY: A Bundaberg mother is upset that someone has created a fake Facebook page and claiming it to be her son's.
FAKE IDENTITY: A Bundaberg mother is upset that someone has created a fake Facebook page and claiming it to be her son's. Max Fleet

A BUNDABERG mum has told of the devastating effects on her son after he became the victim of a cyber attack.

The woman, who asked that her name and that of her son not be used to protect him from further bullying, said the boy was so distraught he missed most of last week at school.

"Last Tuesday night he came out of his room and he was as white as a sheet," she said.

"He didn't go back to school all week."

The boy had discovered that someone had set up a fake Facebook page under his name and with a photograph of him on it.

The page also had personal information, including the year of his birth but with his birth date wrong.

Whoever set up the page had copied the boy's Facebook list of more than 80 friends and was using the fake page to abuse them.

"They were saying stuff like, 'so and so is very good at masturbating'," the woman said.

"In the relationships section, it said he likes men and women - they're making him out to be gay."

The woman said she only allowed her son to set up a Facebook page in January because he was due to turn 16 this year.

"I told him he could set it up, but that I would look at it every now and then," she said.

The woman said she had contacted an IT specialist who had taken her through the steps of complaining about the page to Facebook administrators.

The page has since been taken down, and her son was so upset he had also deleted his genuine Facebook page.

Bundaberg Police district crime prevention co-ordinator Janet Lindsay said the culprit was almost certainly someone who went to school with the boy and knew him.

Snr Const Lindsay said the boy should look at who he had upset recently, or who at school did not like him.

"Usually this comes down to kids at school who think it's a bit of fun at the time," she said.

Sen Const Lindsay said people should be careful what they put online because photos could be copied and doctored.

But she said there was little the police could do because Facebook was an American company.

"Technology is well ahead of our legislation to stop this stuff," she said.

"It's basically up to the individual."

Snr Const Lindsay recommended that people who were being cyberbullied should visit the website cybersmart.gov.au for help and advice.

Education Queensland was contacted for comment, but did not respond.

COMPLAINTS

To make a complaint about a Facebook page go to the "message" menu on the page.

Go to "report page".

Go to "wrong page" and click on scam or spam.

Topics:  bullies bullying cyber bullying facebook



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