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article imageCalgary Facebook group makes fun of the homeless

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 12, 2014 in Internet
Calgary - Calgary police and homeless advocates are concerned about a Facebook page that posts videos of teens approaching people who appear to be homeless and taunting them. The administrator of the page defends what they are doing.
The Facebook page is called "Creature Sightings." Teens are videotaped approaching people who look like they are homeless and making fun of them. The Creature Sighting group has more than 200 members who are encouraged to rate the postings and add comments, further making fun of disadvantaged people. Photographs of the homeless are also posted.
At a press conference yesterday Sgt. Erin Partridge said the Calgary Police Service is monitoring the site and the possibility of criminal charges has not been ruled out. She said, "We take this very seriously — that a website such as this is marginalizing our already vulnerable community members and is being viewed and actively engaged at and we really encourage members of the public not to further support it by going to the website."
The accompanying video shows two young men approaching a man sitting on a park bench reading a book. One of the teens says, "I'm going to check out a bum in his natural habitat. The man is addressed as "creature" and one of the young men says, "You are a fine specimen, my friend." One of the teens drops what appears to be a small piece of paper onto the man who then brushes it off.
Tim Richter, president of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, said what the Facebook group is doing amounts to bullying; exploiting vulnerable people for their own amusement.
But the page's administrator defends what he is doing. Known as "Mostbig Tunafish," the 26-year-old told Metro in a telephone interview he is not harming anyone and the photos and videos of "creatures" are not meant to be mocking.
He told Metro he has been homeless off and on since he was 15. He once posted a picture of a homeless man he had been drinking with on Facebook and got a lot of "likes." So he decided to make a group out of it and pictures on the page include pictures of him. Mostbig Tunafish said, "I'm not better than you. No one's better than you. We're just taking a picture for the entertainment."
The administrator also said he tries to block certain people and delete racist comments but only has limited access to the Internet.
Calgary police want anyone who feels they have been harassed to contact them.
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