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Imposter posts 250 comments under Police officers name: Receives Caution

Reader's comments are an oft-discussed subject by hyperlocals, a frequently debated issue being if to pre- or post-moderate them (although this was clearly answered as 'post-moderate only' at the David Banks #TAL12 session - otherwise he says you destroy your innocent dissemination plea).

Here's a significant twist on comments - one that we'd imagine no-one hopes they have to deal with.

Over a period of five years someone left 250 comments under a different (but living person's) name on the Southend Echo’s website

The comments were being left in the name of a serving Policeman - Detective Constable Nick Burton. After a internal investigation at the local Police force, then legal inquiry, they discovered that the person actually leaving the messages was ... an ex-Policeman.

It's unclear quite why the officer didn't get to hear that 'he' was leaving comments given it was over such a long period and the comments were described as "offensive" and "critical of the force", - especially as it says, he and his family had "suffered numerous other forms of harassment."

The Southern Echo had no idea of false postings, but once they'd been aware of the investigation, "gave Essex Police the information they requested".

The actual comment poster has been cautioned.

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simonperry ·


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