Facebook group set up to hunt down perverts

First published in Safety Net Campaign News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Darlington)

A CAMPAIGN group that aims to track down and expose online paedophiles has been set up on Facebook, the social networking site on which a North-East teenager was groomed before she was murdered.

The Mommies on a Mission group wants to prevent a repeat of the murder of Ashleigh Hall, 17, who died after she arranged to meet killer Peter Chapman via the website.

It was set up after a number of mothers became aware of the prevalence of suspicious men and women who were befriending very young children and posting provocative pictures.

The group looks at profiles and if they contain suspicious material, reports them to Facebook.

However, a number of members are concerned about the length of time it is taking for the social networking site to remove offensive material.

Many of the pictures contain images of children in various states of undress and some of the suspected adults claim to be in relationships with youngsters.

Members of Mommies on a Mission contacted The Northern Echo for help following the newpaper’s successful Safety Net campaign, which was set up in the wake of Ashleigh’s murder and called for greater safety measures online.

Leanne Moss, from Hull, who helped to set up the group, which has attracted more than 300 members in two days, said she was shocked at what some of the profiles contained.

She said: “There is indecent pictures of young girls of ten posing in their knickers, it is disgusting.

“I have spoken to the police and Facebook and feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall.

“We are posting the links to the profiles so people from all over the world can see them.

“It is far too easy for these people to get in touch with our kids.”

Last night, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), an organisation of police and child protection specialists, said anyone seeing suspicious content on Facebook should install and use the ClickCeop application to report it.

The safety button was one of the measures that Safety Net campaigned for, and it has already been installed by more than 55,000 people.

A spokeswoman for Ceop said: “We are very interested to know about any concerns that people have around an individual suspected of grooming or anything like that.

“That is why we work with Facebook on the ClickCeop app that enables people to report concerns.”

A spokeswoman for Facebook said: “Just as the people who use Facebook create all the content for the site, they also manage and regulate it.

“We provide them with the tools to report any users or content they think is inappropriate, through reporting links on every page.

“Facebook prioritises the most serious reports, acting on most within 24 hours.”

Chapman, a convicted sex offender, was jailed for a minimum of 35 years in March.

Comments (2)

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4:38pm Wed 25 Aug 10

Butafly says...

thanks, finally someone taking the group seriously, although i would like to add, our group was closed down,because of breaching rules,yet many profiles and groups alot of us found still remain.
thanks, finally someone taking the group seriously, although i would like to add, our group was closed down,because of breaching rules,yet many profiles and groups alot of us found still remain. Butafly
  • Score: 0

11:10am Tue 14 Sep 10

lmbro says...

I can't imagine why people wouldn't take this seriously. Of course there is a difference between sensible protection and precautions and a witch hunt but I don't see how this could be classed as anything but a realistic response from concerned parents.

I heard about a networking site that just launched with 24hr monitoring and a CEOP button automatically on every page, taggitt.com.

Just wondering why a new site can provide these simple safety steps and existing sites that make loads of money are so slow to respond!

Perhaps it would be worth your group getting in contact with the owners of this new site?
I can't imagine why people wouldn't take this seriously. Of course there is a difference between sensible protection and precautions and a witch hunt but I don't see how this could be classed as anything but a realistic response from concerned parents. I heard about a networking site that just launched with 24hr monitoring and a CEOP button automatically on every page, taggitt.com. Just wondering why a new site can provide these simple safety steps and existing sites that make loads of money are so slow to respond! Perhaps it would be worth your group getting in contact with the owners of this new site? lmbro
  • Score: 0

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