Dubious Borders websites

Cyber bullying is becoming an increasing concern on a national scale and now it’s getting close to home.

A new UK-wide trend of ‘Spotted in’ Facebook pages is becoming increasingly used as a forum for locals to write abusive and disparaging remarks about people in Border towns, including Coldstream.

For some Facebook users, however, the ‘Spotted In’ sites weren’t intended to be nasty or provocative but were to bring the community together.

There are rules included on the Coldstream page such as no names, no racism, no bullying, no licence plate numbers - but describing someone by their age and looks and where they work makes them easily identifiable by others in the same town.

In the last month, sites have sprung up for Hawick, Galashiels, Selkirk, Coldstream and St Boswells, but the St Boswells and Selkirk pages have since been removed, either by Facebook, or by the pages’ creators.

One Facebook user, disgusted by Hawick, Gala and Selkirk’s ‘Spotted in’ pages, called them “a playground for cowards” and their comments “puerile and childish”, which could be a “more serious opening for bullying”.

“I’ve no time for anybody using that,” he said, and defriended the people he knew associated with it.

The Spotted in Coldstream Facebook page so far has a mix of innocuous comments and offensive: messages about last week’s civic week sitting alongside others that are unpleasant, particularly in the language used about women.