Facebook Investigation

21 July 2011, 06:23

Teenagers have told Capital they're more wary of using Facebook after someome sent inappropriate comments to more than a 100 of them.

The account uses the profile name 'Hi Heart' and has friend requested 126 students at Selston College in Nottingham.

After reporting what was happening to the police, Headteacher Dianne Stendall is recommending parents oversee their children's accounts:

"Once we saw what he'd been saying, he'd been saying things of a very sexually explicit nature, we clearly thought that this was going to be a huge problem.

"He was asking them to do disgusting things, asking them go on his webcam and watch him and he wanted them to show parts of their body."

Students 'Creeped Out'

Nottinghamshire Police say they're trying to identify the person responsible and an investigation into the reports has started.

After getting the messages, pupils have been telling Capital they don't use the site as much:

"I hardly ever go on it now cus it's just creeped me out."

"I hardly ever go on it cus it's kind of scared me"

Every student has been told to delete and block the account.

A police spokesperson said:

"We would advise parents to ensure they are aware of what their children are doing when using computers and social networking, and for young people to not accept anyone they don't know as 'friends'."

Facebook Response

Facebook have told Capital they are investigating this case and have sent us their own tips for staying safe online.

Facebook Tips: Staying Safe Online

Tip: Learn how to use Facebook's reporting tools

Why it's important: It is important to report things that make you feel uncomfortable, whether they're photos or messages. Use the "Report" links that appear on almost every page, profile or picture. If you receive an abusive message, you can report it by clicking the "Report" link next to the sender's name as you are reading the message.

Tip: Block and report anyone who sends you unwanted or inappropriate messages. 

Why it's important: Unlike in real life or in other forms of communication, on Faceook you can prevent somebody from sending you unwanted communication. When you block people, any ties you currently have with them will be broken, and they won't be able to find you, contact you on Facebook or view your profile. You can block people by adding their names to your block list in your privacy settings area, or by checking "Block this person" when you report them. These people will not be notified when you block them.

Tip: Spend a little time reviewing your privacy settings.

Why it's important: It is important to be in control of what you share. At Facebook we take the issue of privacy very seriously. Our users have control over the information they share and the people with whom they share it with. Facebook privacy settings allow you to easily restrict access to any content that they post, from status updates to photos. It's up to you what you share.

Tip: Be careful when accepting or sending friend requests, and only accept requests from people you know.

Why it's important: Use caution when accepting or sending friend requests, and keep in mind that it is always risky to meet anyone in person whom you don't know through real world friends. In order to prevent harassment from strangers, be careful to accept friend requests only from people you know in real life. If you are worried that someone will make inappropriate posts or send offensive messages, you can block them using the link below their profile image.

Tip: Before you post, stop and think about who might see it.

Why it's important: Be sure to customize your privacy settings on the Privacy Settings page if you are uncomfortable being found in searches or having your profile viewed by people from your school or work networks. Try out our friend list tools at facebook.com/friends and place different groups of people in seperate lists - then you can choose what you want to share with different people.

Officers have also given Capital a website where you can get more information about being safe online, just click here to go to CEOP.

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