PARENTS are being reminded to be vigilant when it comes to their children’s computer usage following the launch of a Facebook page that’s dedicated to spreading anonymous gossip.
Toni Huggett said the Facebook page Orange Goss, which was shut down at the end of last week, listed allegations of sexual activity and openly discussed teenagers’ bodies, including their weight.
Mrs Huggett said while she was not directly affected by the site, which had just under 600 members, she has taken action to warn others of the potential harm such sites can cause.
Late last week she contacted police and high schools to warn staff about the site and others like it.
Mrs Huggett said she’s not the only person concerned about the site.
“A lot of people are fuming,” she said.
“I’m concerned because it’s so negative, it’s targeting and aiming to harm children.
“I think some of the things that were being said [on the site] were defamatory and slanderous, they’re personal attacks.”
Mrs Huggett said she wanted to prompt parents to investigate their children’s online activities.
“They need to know about it because children are vulnerable to online predators,” she said.
Mrs Huggett said the site attracted people who enjoyed being able to comment anonymously.
“Some of them gloated about their anonymity,” she said.
Mrs Huggett said there could be “dire consequences” for young girls who are ridiculed or exploited on the site.
“Speaking out about this could save a life.”
A spokesperson from the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) said the department has been a recognised leader in combating cyber bullying.
“As well as educating students, public schools have provided resources for parents including on the Schools A to Z website http://www.schoolatoz.nsw.edu.au/.
“ DEC encourages parents to take an active interest in their children’s use of social media.
“Even though cyber bullying invariably occurs outside school, public schools will investigate and follow-through with disciplinary action if school-related cyber bullying is reported.
“Cyber bullying and bullying in any form is not tolerated in public schools.