Wigan pond death Facebook group hit by 'vile' comments
Friends of a suspected murder victim have hit out at anonymous users who bombarded a Facebook tribute group with offensive comments and pictures.
The page was set up hours after 17-year-old Dylan Aaron's body was found in a pond in Hindley, Wigan, on Sunday.
But tributes to the teenager were soon swamped with comments and pictures mocking his death. Facebook has now removed the group.
One site user told the BBC the "vile" comments had upset his friends.
Dylan died in the early hours of Sunday after apparently being assaulted and disappearing into the pond off Ladies Lane, Hindley.
The teenager, from Margaret Street in Hindley, was recovered from the water a few hours later.
Later, friends set up the Facebook group to pay tribute to the Hindley High School pupil.
But Facebook acted after site users contacted them about disparaging and explicit comments, as well as mocked up pictures, left by people using fake accounts.
Samantha Blundell, 17, who was in the year above Dylan in school, branded the comments "vile", adding: "I've been seeing everyone commenting, saying this is sick.
"Dylan's friends and family are really upset, what has happened was tragic. This is just upsetting them more.
"I just thought it was disrespectful and I don't know how anyone can find fun in doing that."
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said the group and fake accounts had been removed from the social networking site.
"Facebook is highly self-regulating, and users can and do report content that they find questionable or offensive," the spokesperson said.
"In this case, people using fake profiles had posted vulgar and offensive material on a tribute group.
"We responded to reports and disabled the accounts responsible, we have also removed the group from Facebook as it did not have an administrator so content was not being properly managed.
"We strongly encourage anyone who creates a page or group on Facebook to use the specific privacy controls to manage their pages or groups they set up, and block or ban anyone who tries to post offensive content."
Two men have been charged with Dylan's murder and were due to appear before Wigan magistrates on Wednesday.