Hate targets infant online
AT JUST one month old, Klarissa Louise Conway is too young and innocent to know there are people in Emerald who hate her.
But apparently some social network users do, after a Facebook ‘hate group’ was created this week, targeting the newborn baby and her 15-year-old mother.
Amid outrage and disgust, Klarissa’s grandmother Jaunita Conway ironically turned to other Facebook users to get the page removed but not before at least 30 people had joined it.
“I’m pretty thick-skinned and I can handle a lot but when it’s targeted at my granddaughter, that’s just sick,” Jaunita said.
“It’s just unnecessary and I got so angry.”
The hate group was part of an ongoing family feud involving Jaunita which began last October when her partner Darren died in an accident.
She said the family was divided following the tragic incident, and despite her and her daughter Tanisha’s efforts to move on, something always stopped them.
“I was with Tanisha when we found out about the page and we were both a big mess,” Jaunita said.
“I know the administrator of the Emerald Community Awareness Board.”
“I posted a message asking for people to try and shut down the page.
“I went to the police but was told they couldn’t do anything about it.”
Because of the intricacies of cyber-tracking and the prevalence of Facebook users, who number more than 75 million world-wide, it is virtually impossible for police or other authorities to accurately track cyber users.
But Jaunita said she was still considering legal action.
“People who set up these pages do it because they think they can get away with it,” she said.
“But they need to know that what they say hurts. They need to know the damage they have done and there are repercussions for their actions.”
Several derogatory and defamatory pages relating to Central Highlands residents have emerged on Facebook in the past few months, prompting the creation of the Emerald Community Awareness Board.
The page’s original purpose was to inform locals about businesses and spread verified community news, but it has increasingly become an avenue for hate group victims to appeal for the removal of “disgusting pages”.
“The support I got from people on the Awareness page went a long way to restoring my faith in the community,” Jaunita said.
“I had offers of support from people I didn’t know, and after the page about my granddaughter, it was sort of a healing process for me.”