A Facebook page asking people to send in pictures and stories about ex-girlfriends and other women is causing concern - but it isn't illegal.
Started early in January, the "Tauranga Sluts" Facebook page has attracted more than 800 likes and encourages people to send in pictures and stories about local girls. Similar pages such as "OMG Tauranga Confessions" and "Tauranga Sex Confessions R18" have also attracted a similar number of likes.
The description of the page said people could use the page to talk about good and bad experiences and "put up pics of your X girl friend".
Netsafe chief technology officer Sean Lyons said many such pages were being created on Facebook.
"They generally encourage people to post anonymously. The person who creates the group often wants to target an individual or group of individuals and they often spiral out of control, becoming offensive and harmful to an individual."
Mr Lyons said several pages about ex-girlfriends had been set up where a disgruntled ex-partner could post explicit pictures or stories.
"This page is looking for exactly the same stuff. These sorts of pages started with the gossip stuff and became more offensive. Some people may just be looking to collect images who would like nothing better than for a disgruntled ex-boyfriend to send in some private pictures of his ex-girlfriend."
Mr Lyons said nothing good could come of the pages. He recommended that anyone targeted by such pages contact Facebook and ask for them to be removed.
"From our experience, they don't take long to take it down. Give Facebook 24 to 48 hours to process it and if you don't get anywhere, give us a call. People need to realise they don't have to put up with it."
He warned it was illegal to post sexualised pictures of anyone aged under 16 on the internet - and that included if a 15-year-old posted a picture of another 15-year-old. "It's a serious crime in New Zealand carrying a potential jail term."
A police spokeswoman said while most of the content on the websites was "hurtful and distasteful", it was not always a criminal act.
"If police identify offences positive steps will be taken and as a result there have been instances where Facebook have blocked individuals and closed down pages at the request of police."
The spokeswoman said even if a criminal act could not be established, there were still steps people could take.
"The first course of action should be to contact the website or internet service provider.
"Facebook can, and do, take down pages that are not acting with social responsibility, so any concerns about pages should be reported. Netsafe also provides some excellent advice for parents and children."
To contact Netsafe, call toll-free on 0508NETSAFE or visit netsafe.org.nz