BY HANNAH COHEN and LAURA PLACELLA
Controversial Facebook group ‘Melb guy pals’ has been removed after revenge pornography was allegedly posted to it, but copycat groups are now appearing in its place.
Created on Wednesday, ‘Melb guy pals’ amassed 6700 mostly male members before it was removed by Facebook late last night following complaints.
‘Melb guy pals 2.0’ was created today, among other new groups, in response to the original group’s removal. It has more than 700 members and counting.
The group’s description originally read “don’t post anything that is drug or sexual related”.
But now reads “[groups support] our mental health during this tough time” and “our only intention was to have a good time with the boys it was never to disrespect women”.
But in screenshots seen by MOJO News, one member posted “I’ll fu*k anyone up, name any girl I’ll bash her”. In response, another member commented “name any girl I’ll dog shot the slut”.
One member commented on another thread to “purge these rat c*nts”.
Garry*, who refused to join the original group, confirmed that since its removal more groups with similar content have been created.
“I have a few girl friends that have messaged me and told me what was going on and then I searched [the groups] up to confirm,” Garry said.
“A few of the girls are using their boyfriend’s (Facebook) profiles to get in and see what they’re posting.”
Garry said the new groups were created soon after the original group was removed.
“I don’t think any [nude] videos or photos have been posted to the new groups,” he said.
Grace* came across screenshots of the original ‘Melb guy pals’ which were posted on ‘Melbourne Gal Pals (Original)’, a Facebook group with more than 59,000 female members.
She said those screenshots conveyed that a male member had posted “revenge porn” to the group, after initially posting “75 love reacts and I’ll drop mine and [sic] sex tape”.
“I saw a post about a girl whose [sex] video had been exposed and I just followed the thread from there,” Grace said.
“I was just in bed in tears at the fact of what had been happening.”
Victoria Police said the alleged revenge pornography was not yet a police matter.
“Until a victim makes a report to the police, there is no investigation,” a Victoria Police spokesperson said.
Although Grace believes ‘Melb guy pals’ was created with innocent intent, she said people “took it too far”.
Grace posted screenshots from ‘Melb guy pals’ to her personal Facebook page, which were then shared by feminist and author Clementine Ford.
Invited by a friend, ex-member Noah* joined the original ‘Melb guy pals’ under the impression the page would be a safe space for men to share their thoughts and feelings.
“I didn’t really check the group when I joined but when I logged onto Facebook [yesterday] morning I saw the post about someone posting this chick’s nudes, so I decided to put up a post,” Noah said.
Noah was removed from the group after speaking out against the nude photos other members had uploaded.
“The description changed to say you are allowed to make fun of any woman and I think that’s just disgusting," he said.
“I reckon there are some good guys in there but the large majority are really sexist, terrible people.”
Noah said his post in the group garnered more attention than he imagined.
“The comments that I saw when I was in the group were mainly people telling me to pull my head in and I’ve also received some [direct messages] from a guy saying he was going to bash me,” Noah said.
Noah and his friend have created a new Facebook group called ‘Melb Bros’. The description reads “we’re just some guys trying to undo damage done here on Facebook”.
“It’s basically what that group was meant to be before sexism and everything came in,” Noah said.
* surnames withheld for fear of online trolling