Bullying fears over ‘Sm@sh or Pass’ Facebook group

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A South Tyneside charity has hit out at an internet group which invites users to rate the attractiveness of people.

Members of South Tyneside Against Bullying (STAB) were alerted to the social media group called ‘Sm@sh or Pass’.

This can cause huge emotional distress.

A STAB spokesman

A number of pictures of youngsters, and adults, from the borough have been submitted to the site, which encourages its almost 12,000 followers to comment on whether or not they’d ‘kiss or miss’ or ‘smash or pass’ the individual.

It’s unclear whether the owners of the pictures are submitting the images themselves.

Some posts suggest they have been taken by friends, and the people in the images are later tagged – only then becoming aware their picture is on the page.

However, representatives from STAB are worried that the page could potentially cause emotional and mental stress to those involved.

A spokesman said: “Although this page has stated that these posts are for fun and “banter”, the administrators and those sending pictures to this page need to be made aware of the outcome that may occur and how this could potentially affect victims.

“Posting these pictures can cause huge mental and emotional distress to the victims.

“It could lead to self doubt and lack of confidence because of a certain picture being used and finally this could also result in individuals being bullied in public, online and at home.”

Most people who have appeared in the site appear to be taking it in good humour but some have questioned how their image ended up being used.

The group’s hosts say pictures will be taken down on request.

A recent post – after the Gazette started investigating – stated: “The photos you wish to have removed will be removed as requested.”

The STAB spokesman, who has reported the group to Facebook, said: “We urge anyone who is a victim of this group to report any pictures to Facebook that may cause harassment and distress to them.

“Local counsellors from South Tyneside Against Bullying will be on hand to support any victims of this page via telephone and our online live chat system.”

No comment was available from Facebook