Complaints by social workers led Facebook to ban a ‘vile and offensive’ web page that published social workers’ names and photographs online alongside Nazi imagery.
The Facebook page, called UK Social Workers Exposed, featured Nazi symbolism and claimed to expose social workers’ identities in the best interests of parents and children. “Here on this website we will expose the social workers that have stolen and continue to steal the children of the UK,” the site’s mission statement reads.
The names and photographs of around 20 social workers and Cafcass guardians were on the site and a related facebook page, with the site’s creators asking web users to share more names.
Some photographs include further details, such as the number of children the social worker is believed to have taken into care.
After being alerted to the site by Community Care on Twitter and Facebook, social workers complained to Facebook asking them to remove the site.
In a statement to Community Care, a Facebook spokesman said: “The page has been removed as it broke Facebook’s terms as set out in our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Whilst we don’t comment on individual cases, content can be removed for a number of reasons such as infringements of intellectual property or being created by a fake account.”
However, while the Facebook site is now down, the associated website is still live.
Community Care understands that one local authority is considering taking legal action against the website, on the grounds that it incites violence and hatred. The College of Social Work (TCSW) is contacting employers whose staff have been named.
Social workers expressed their outrage on social networking sites, with many urging colleagues to ensure they have protected the personal information they store online.
Nushra Mansuri, professional officer at the British Association of Social Workers, said she was “sickened” by the site, which she described as “vile” and “disturbing”.
“BASW roundly condemns the organisation calling itself UK Social Workers Exposed. Such websites should be removed as they incite hatred and worse against a number of professional groups involved in child protection, including social workers.
She continued: “I actually think the same laws applicable to dealing with for example, far right groups need to be applied. Websites of this kind have no place in a democratic society and expose its proponents as those who do not value the rights of children to be protected by the state when they are being abused.”
Ruth Allen, spokesperson for TCSW, said the College “strongly condemns this offensive website, which seems to be targeting and ‘exposing’ a random list of social workers, many of them simply because they work in the field of child protection”.