Expert slams website
A CYBER safety expert has slammed a Colac internet page encouraging users to post sexual ratings about people.
Barwon Adolescent Task Force’s Leigh Bartlett said the anonymous user, who created the faceless page on Wednesday, was cowardly and attention seeking.
The page is a copycat of a page a Geelong social networker created requesting “root rates”, which resulted in community and victim outcry.
The latest page’s biography says the user is a male and the information requests followers to “send in their root rates”.
“If people are hiding behind a sense of anonymity when they set up these sites, we have to question their motives given that they don’t come out and have the courage to put their names to them,” Ms Bartlett said.
“Someone who would set up a site to hurt other people – why would you have them as a friend?” she said.
“These people do not understand healthy relationships – they don’t have a sense of respect.”
Ms Bartlett said such internet pages presented an opportunity for parents to send the right message to young people.
“It really reinforces to parents that they must check in on their kids and they must model good behaviour and healthy relationships and explain to their kids that this stuff is simply not okay,” she said.
Colac police youth resource officer Leading Senior Constable Terry Woodcroft said the impact on victims of cyber bullying could be “disastrous”.
“We’ve got a situation in our town which is probably not unique in any Victorian rural centre in regards to young people contemplating suicide,” Sen Const Woodcroft said.
“Pages like this could quite easily be the last straw for a person.
“My message to the administrator is remove the page immediately – if the identity of the administrator is found it is clearly a form of cyber bullying and charges can be laid from a legal perspective.”