As you may know, the Little Gossip website is back online following its closure earlier this year.
If you’re not familiar with the website, it is a message board where users can post anonymous public messages about people and link these messages to a school, college, university or organisation, thus creating a searchable archive of gossip and rumour. Users can then vote on whether they think these rumours to be true.
CEOP previously received a number of emails from schools and parents concerned that the postings on the website were highly offensive and that it encouraged cyberbullying.
The site received significant criticism in the press and was shut down voluntarily by its owners in February. It is now back up and running once again with additional measures in place to try and discourage users under 18. These include explicitly stating that users should be over 18 and the removal of schools from the drop down list of organisations.
Despite the changes made to the website, there is still concern over this site’s potential for anonymous harassment of young people. We would advise schools to block young people from accessing the website where possible.
Any offensive material should be reported to the website via the ‘Report’ link next to the messages. The site’s owners state that any comments reported by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
will be removed as quickly as possible.
In previous information received from Little Gossip, they informed CEOP that they would remove any organisation listed on the website if it was reported to them that there were people under 18 years old that attend i.e. any schools with pupils under 18.