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Teacher is racists’ target of fake Facebook profile smear

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Evil fiction: teacher a target of fake Facebook profile

Asher Moses
August 5, 2011

Police are hunting the creator of a fake Facebook profile that was used to impersonate a Sydney primary school teacher and frame him as a paedophile by targeting kids at his school.

The teacher, who cannot be named, is a long-time campaigner against racism online and with others he runs a blog that names and shames racists by publishing their hate-filled Facebook postings.

In a phone interview, he said he believed this is why he was targeted. He said he and his family had been harassed over the phone, received death threats and had threatening notes left in his mail box after his personal details – including his address, phone number, photos and work details – were posted on a white supremacist website.

“This Facebook profile opened up a couple of days ago with a picture of me and a friend with shirts off holding a beer … they were writing things on the wall such as ‘i’m gay and I like little boys’ and all sorts of things like that,” the teacher said in a phone interview.

“They were engaging with students – kids were commenting and they were writing back pretending to be me.”

Screenshots of the fake profile, which Fairfax Media has chosen not to publish, have photos of the teacher with captions such as “this is me being a gay god”. The About Me section says: “I’m a teacher at [redacted] and I adore my students. Especially the boy’s [sic] I could eat them up with a spoon”.

The screenshots also show students posting on the wall debating whether the profile is real. Some appeared to be tricked by the ruse. “Hey mr [redacted] can I do training next week because my leg is better,” wrote one.

The teacher said parents had contacted him asking why he befriended their children on Facebook and he worried the impersonators were also grooming them through private messages. Their goal, he believes, was to “portray me as a paedophile and make me lose my job”.

The teacher said he had reported the harassment to police. He had been making reports about the phone threats for months but police had never done anything about it.

“I’ve got about six or seven outstanding police reports and none of them have been touched. I tried to get an AVO [apprehended violence order] in Sydney but I didn’t even get it due to a police f*** up,” he said.

But now that kids have become involved and parents have begun complaining, NSW Police has fired up an investigation.

“Redfern Police are investigating a fake Facebook page created to impersonate a south-western Sydney teacher,” a NSW Police spokesman said.

News brief · 5 August 2011