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Facecrook; Mum target of abuse after page set up in her name.

Byline: By KATY SIMPSON

SHE doesn't have a computer and has no idea how to use the internet.

But this mum-of-five from Wallsend has become the target of online abuse after a Facebook page was mysteriously set up in her name.

Sandra Martin, 42, had never heard of the social networking website until explicit messages about her were plastered across it.

The social networking website is designed for friends to send messages and photos to each other, and allows people to set up their own 'profiles' giving personal details about their life.

Sandra does not even have a computer, but a profile was set up for her in a cruel con.

The Strawberry Gardens resident was shocked to find her full name and date of birth identifying her on the website, alongside references to her living in Wallsend.

Her confusion turned to horror, when a friend showed her vulgar messages being posted on the site by strangers, asking her to meet them in various pubs near her home.

False allegations about her sex life were slapped across her "message wall", which can be read by anyone.

And under her hobbies, the Sandra-impersonator listed activities including pole dancing.

Although there were no photos of Sandra posted on the site, there was a mysterious picture of Grease stars Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.

Some of her friends and family were taken in by the con and innocently left messages, believing the site to have really been set up by Sandra.

She contacted the police as soon as neighbour Debbie Watson raised the alarm on Tuesday, and after the Chronicle contacted Facebook, Sandra's webpage was taken down.

"The messages were disgusting," said Sandra, who is thankful to partner Paul Burnip, 38, for his support throughout the ordeal.

"I don't know who set it up or why, but it was terrible.

"The worst thing was there were messages from friends saying, 'how are you?'. And my own family were leaving me messages on it.

"People were phoning me up and pulling me up about it all the time. But my partner knew none of it was real because I don't even have a computer.

"When I went on my friend's internet she had to do everything for me because I don't know how to use one."

Sandra was told there was nothing police could do about the Facebook page, as it was not technically identity theft.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: "Suitable advice has been given to Sandra Martin. She has been advised to get on the Facebook website and select the 'report abuse' key and then Facebook will take appropriate action."

What is it?

FACEBOOK is one of the internet's fastest-growing socialnetworking sites.

It allows users to post videos and photographs online and set up groups called networks for members with similar interests.

Users first set up a profile page and then invite other people to become their 'friends'. Once each party has confirmed they are friends, both parties can view each other's profiles and pictures.

CAPTION(S):

OFFENSIVE: Sandra Martin of Wallsend who is the victim of a web page con PICTURE: DAVE CHARLTON
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 18, 2008
Words:522
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