Belfast Telegraph

Disturbing Facebook page axed after Dromore school pressure

By Claire McNeilly

Parents of pupils at Dromore High School have welcomed the removal of a disturbing Facebook page that featured pictures and videos of children and contained sexually suggestive content.

School staff, who had been inundated with complaints, had been fighting to have the material expunged from the social media site without success.

However yesterday, the page - containing what school principal Ian McConaghy lambasted as "inappropriate and offensive" material - suddenly disappeared.

A father-of-two, who said he was shocked at the nature of the messages being sent out, welcomed the news.

"I do not think it's acceptable on any level for images of children and young people to be used in this way, so I am very pleased to hear that the page has been removed," he added.

"Social media is very much part and parcel of the times in which we all now live, but there must be a control mechanism to deal with this type of problem and the people responsible.

"I am concerned that my children and their friends could have access to this material, which, quite frankly, is a total disgrace.

"Those behind this page should be ashamed of themselves."

Amid pleas to Facebook to close down the page, Mr McConaghy said its content, which he also described as disappointing, did not in any way reflect the ethos or standards of Dromore High School.

He also said that most aspects of the page caused the school concern, and he pointed out the potential damage to the reputation of individuals mentioned on it.

"Sadly, Facebook, like all social media can be used for good or ill," he added. "The intention of this Facebook page will be obvious to anyone who views it."

Before its removal, the page - which carried a disclaimer that it was not intended to cause harm - had more than 1,000 likes.

Chief inspector Barney O'Connor, of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon district police, said officers were aware of the social media page.

He added: "I would like to remind everyone that uses social media to be mindful of the content of any material they post online.

"Be responsible, otherwise you may leave yourself open to criminal charges."

Belfast Telegraph


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